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Games I wish I'd seen: 9 November 2013

Wherein the author tries out ESPN3, and is left unimpressed.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Among the games that I didn't see yesterday, there was one that I tried to see:  Hartford at Connecticut.  I saw what I saw of that game on ESPN3, the webcast version of ESPN.

Let's just say that the webcast connection was so poor the game devolved into still photos for uncomfortable stretches of time.  I thought I was watching a magic lantern.  It's hard to enjoy Connecticut's speed and grace when you see so little of it.  I told myself that I'd stop watching when the Huskies lead hit the 40 point mark; Connecticut led by 38 at halftime.

The general rumor is that Jen Rizzotti would be one of the heirs apparent to Geno Auriemma whenever he leaves Connecticut or retires.  One thing I liked about Hartford is even though they were struggling with injuries and were behind virtually the entire game, Hartford never played what I call "panic ball".  Players at all levels are told never to try to play beyond their level of performance - to never try to do anything beyond realism.

Yet you see it all the time - one team leads by 20 and the next thing you know, everyone on the team that's behind tries to turn into Angel McCoughtry.  But none of them are Angel McCoughtry, and what you get are bad passes, horrible shot selection, and hacking the leading team in the lane on defense.  Panic ball.  Hartford never played panic ball, and you have to give them that.

Connecticut won that game 89-34, beating my imaginary 40-point spread.

Here are the games I'd wish I'd seen:

Michigan beat Arizona 73-71 in overtime
.  I didn't see that game, but Queenie did!   Sso I'll point you to her article up at Swish Appeal.  For the Wildcats, it's their second straight OT loss to start the season, as they lost in extra time against Iona on Friday.

Saint Francis (NY) beat Pennsylvania 56-51. For a long time, the Brooklynites had probably the worst women's program in Divison I after Centennial dropped to DIII.  But it looks like Terriers coach John Thurston is resurrecting the program.  They went 11-19 last year and are predicted to finish sixth this year.

Louisville beats Loyola (Ill) 101-54.  This spoils Sheryl Swoopes's debut as a coach for the Ramblers.  Louisville coach Jeff Walz wasn't happy about the win, saying:  “It was a win, but not what I’d call a very good effort by our players... If we’re just trying to win every individual game, we’re not going to get better as a basketball team.” (From the Louisville Courier-Journal.)  Jeez, what did Swoopes tell her team after the loss?

Oregon beats Cal State Bakersfield 131-91.  Well, it looks like Oregon got out of the gate fast.  The Ducks took 101 shots in that game and they ended up setting a Pac-12 record for highest scoring game for any Pac-12 team (Stanford was the previous title holder).  Oregon was 20-for-42 from 3-point land and junior Katelyn Loper tied an Oregon record with nine three pointers.