Each team may well have been familiar with each other by the time the ACC Basketball Championship came around. From the lowest to the highest seed, all understood victory was not going to be a cake walk. And make no mistake, hard fought contests were indeed the order of the first two days. Twelve teams entered; all claiming to be number 1, rightfully so in terms of possibilities. When the dust had settled though; after the final tournament game had been played; the Ladies of Duke University claimed undisputed bragging rights: ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Champions, 2013.
In a nut shell, here’s why it was an array of outstanding basketball gamesmanship to watch. You got to see the smallest player on the floor, thru a constancy of pick and roll or screens, challenge the tallest player on the court; one experienced watching a marquee player, drive, dribble coast to coast, grab rebounds, score, and play defense, when her team needed her the most; fans were treated to 3-point shooters stepping up at optimal times and making those shots, and I’m speaking of nothing but net; coaches of all teams had to deal with opposing defenses which refused to let anyone come into the paint without having that ball swatted at or shots contested; the ladies do indeed play tough. There was simply no fear of taking shots, at the most critical of junctions. These ladies had moxy, guts, were scrappy, and, as pointed out by one team member, played with a trust of each other, even when most challenged. Overall, we were treated to some freshmen who proffered a presence that noted they were ready for the big stage, of ACC post season. No one was needlessly or seriously injured, but it’s probably a good guest that some left with aches and bruises, from the toughness of the battles; and requests for aspirin were a priority.
I have no doubt that those teams which have the further chance to play, in more post season games, will make the game proud, in terms of showing a competitive drive to win. If you missed the action, on Thursday and Friday, March 7th and 8th, 2013, to say the least, then it is likely fair to conclude: some very good games got past you, this year. Until next season’s tournament, let the ‘Road to the 2013 Final Four,’ for Women’s Basketball begin. Furthermore, next up, the Men’s ACC Basketball Tournament, March 14-17, Greensboro, NC Coliseum. Good luck to everyone.