Lady Mocs beat writer Wesley Rucker offers some Sunday thoughts from the NCAA womens basketball tournaments Chicago pod in Rosemont, Ill.
The difference in the haves and have nots of womens college basketball is the same now as its always been, and it might never change.
Mid-major conferences just dont have enough skilled size to compete. Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UTC both lost today because they had absolutely no match for the inside games of Michigan State and Kentucky.
Liz Shimek looked every bit the 6-foot-1 All-American forward she was billed as with 27 points in game one, and 6-6 center Sarah Elliot was dominant with 22 points in game two.
The common theme? UWM lists three players at 6-0 or taller, and UTC lists five. Thats being very generous. Too generous, in fact.
The Lady Mocs looked like five cavemen trying to bring down a wooly mammoth when Elliot got the ball inside. She repeatedly backed down on the blocks and caught, turned and flipped her way to easy buckets.
She said she had butterflies before the game, but UTC looked like a group of butterflies floating helplessly around her.
Its just hard for us to get quality big kids, Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore said. If a kids 6-5 and can play, shes going to be in the SEC, ACC.
Theres just not many of them to go around, and all those schools have them. There were some things we could have done better to neutralize it, but it was hard out there.
Tiffani Roberson finished a spectacular career with a tough assignment and tough game. At maybe the 6-0 shes listed at, she struggled against Elliot.
Shed played bigger centers in the SoCon, but she was always the quickest post on the floor. She routinely took defenders out to the elbow and drove around them for easy buckets all year.
On Saturday, those shots came in traffic and often times came right back at her. Kentucky had a size and speed combination the Lady Mocs hadnt seen since Tennessee, a game UTC lost 92-50.
In both those games against Southeastern Conference schools, the Lady Mocs were dominated inside and forced to take contested jumpers outside against bigger, stronger players.
Thats just how it is at this level. Thats just how its always been, and maybe how it always will be.
On the bright side, UTC fans, Alex Anderson looked great today. Im sure you saw it on television, but most of their games arent televised, and thats as good as shes looked all year.
She will be an incredibly important part of next years team, and with the loss of Roberson, shell have to be the SEC-caliber player she was today.
Dont count on too many more players like her coming to mid-majors like UTC, though. She was a steal. Shes a tad undersized for her position, but some SEC and ACC schools have to be kicking themselves that a 6-footer with her skill set got away.
It hasnt happened much.
Good-bye from Chicagoland, where brisk means cold and windy, Ditka means God and the Cubs are always one free agent signing away from the World Series. At least here on the North side.
E-mail Wesley Rucker at email@example.com