Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Women's Tourney Not Ready?

Maybe I just don't get it (which is entirely possible), but how is it that we still have teams playing on their home floors in the NCAA Women's Tournament? I was under the impression that those days were over, but in fact, they are alive and well. The home floor thing didn't come into play in UNC's loss to Purdue on Monday, but it was certainly a factor in Duke's Tuesday loss to Michigan State.

Duke and MSU were tied at 47 with under 4 minutes to play. MSU scored back to back hoops, their crowd (their REAL crowd, since they were playing in the home gym) got wild and loud, the Spartans close the game on a 16-2 run, and the top seed Devils are knocked out. It's a double-edged sword, I know. Women's hoops doesn't fill up stadiums like the men's game does. I get it. Still, in the interest of a level playing field, neutral sites for the hoop tourneys is vital. In the lower divisions of college football, home playoff games are earned, based on records and the like. MSU was the lower seed, and playing on their home floor. Still scratching my head over that.

Neat thing I found out about on Tuesday, the Charlotte Bobcats will take a train from Washington DC to Philadelphia, as their mode of transportation on Wednesday night, rather than fly. According to Charlotte Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell, this is the norm for many teams. Makes sense, as there is no airport security, the train is chartered, so only team personnel is on it, costs have to be less (don't know this, but only assuming it), and since it's a short trip by train, it's not too taxing on the players. I haven't been on an AMTRAK train since I was in 4th grade, but I would think there is a bit more room for the players to walk comfortably in a car than a plane cabin.

This is neat, though, because I am a hockey guy, and love the history of the game. In the days of the Original 6 (when the NHL had just 6 teams, based in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit), train travel was the way to go. It was a quaint nuance of the league, and it's kinda cool to see it revived, if only in certain areas, in the NHL, and perhaps other leagues. I haven't heard if any others do this, but it's neat knowing there are some that do.

Busy Wednesday show for you on Sports Night, as we'll check in with Ryan Welch in Boston, the Bobcats travel to Washington to meet the Wizards, Carolina Hurricanes home with the Ottawa Senators, NASCAR chatter....busy, busy, busy. See you at 10!

Mike Solarte

No comments: