Better luck next year

(SOUTH BEND, IND.; SUN. 3/19/2000) — The women’s NCAA Tournament may still be a relatively low key event in comparison to the circus that is the men’s tournament, but Sunday night’s second round game between the Colonials and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame certainly held the captive attention of the boisterous 5,521 in attendance. And why not – the two teams involved were easily the best both schools have had to offer athletically this year.

Yes, Sunday’s game had it all. Two great bands duking it out, a great crowd – all the excitement of NCAA Tournament basketball. Oh, and GW lost by 35.

Woops.

This game was more than a little reminiscient of the last time a GW team played the No. 5 roundballers in the nation. (Now, Temple versus Notre Dame, there’s a game.) And when it rains, it certainly pours. For example, what’s worse than losing by 35 to Notre Dame?

How about losing by 35 to Notre Dame and returning to the Marriot in downtown South Bend to find the Xavier men’s basketball team hanging out in preparation for tomorrow’s NIT game with the Irish?

Yeah, this was a bad day, but it was a very good year. The Colonials did more than anyone expected, and beating UCLA was a great accomplishment. It’s nice when your rebuilding years can go 26-6. For next year, Coach McKeown has a great recruiting class, and of course, he’ll still have the supremely confident Petra Dubovcova, who was more than happy to predict a third round game for GW next year. And despite the fact that Notre Dame’s 6-5 center Ruth Riley looked like Shaq out there tonight, Dubovcova was hardly dissuaded:

I will not get another chance to play against her this year. If I do next year, it will be different, I promise.

Tonight’s crowd was the kind GW would have loved to have had back home. Sure, we all love traveling, but there’s a bit more competition for your entertainment dollar back in D.C. (Although I did find a good bar where Rudy was filmed. I think even the Bar Belle might have enjoyed it. Dress: No black pants allowed.)

Maybe next year GW can have that NCAA crowd. I think it’s a good bet, as I put my trust in Joe McKeown, one half of GW’s impressive basketball brain trust. Now that this year’s Colonial basketball season is finally over, GW followers can start licking their lips for what should be a much better year all around in 2000-2001. At least I hope so for big talkers like Petra and her male counterparts – SirValiant, etc.

With some fresh faces and some wiser ones, the numbers on GW’s scoreboard may then be a little bit worthier of such braggadocio.

Other NCAA Stories:
Colonials blown out of NCAAs by Fighting Irish
Colonials withstand Bruins’ charge, advance to second round of NCAAs
Coachin’ Joe sez: Let’s all go to Chicago!

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