Last weekend’s slate of college basketball games gave us one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.
Wichita State, a No. 9 seed, earned its first Final Four appearance since 1965…but that wasn’t it. Syracuse made an Indiana team with NBA talent on its roster look foolish, but that wasn’t it either. And as exciting as Michigan’s comeback against Kansas was, that upset wasn’t even close to the biggest one of the weekend.
The biggest upset came on Sunday. While Louisville and Michigan were rolling to double-digit victories, the real drama was happening in the women’s bracket. The Louisville women’s 82-81 upset over a Brittney-Griner-led Baylor team was one of the biggest upsets we’ve seen, and will see, in a long time. And that’s because Brittney Griner is one of the most dominant college players – male or female – we’ve ever seen.
Baylor had won 32 straight games up unto that point, and 74 of their last 75 behind Griner’s play. Grinerwas averaging 35 points per game in the tournament, and it appeared she would be taking her Baylor team to back-to-back NCAA women’s titles.
An extraordinary talent
The defeat to Louisville ends a successful and storied career for Griner. She changed the way we look at women’s basketball, and her name should be mentioned with names like Pete Maravich, Bill Walton, Cheryl Miller, Lisa Leslie and Lew Alcindor as the best college players ever. She’s that good.
Her numbers and accolades are comically impressive. Her 736 career blocks are a record for both men’s and women’s college basketball. Her per game averages of 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 4 blocks put her in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar territory. She’s a two-time first team All-American (likely to be three), four-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, three time Big 12 Player of the Year, and an AP Division I player of the Year, which she’ll probably win again this year.
Standing at 6-foot-8-inches, and possessing an 88 inch wingspan, she’s far from a typical women’s basketball player. Griner resembles the modern men’s player; she plays above the rim and overpowers her opponents. You won’t see dunking in a women’s game — unless you watch Griner, who has taken the allure away from female dunking by doing it so often. She dunked three times in her final home game alone.
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article courtesy of TheGrio.com