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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Men's NCAA title game goes black and white ...


The 2011 NCAA men's tournament was made for high-definition TV.

It was explosive, wild, dynamic, surprising and full of the dunks, dishes, blocks and swishes that make the game of basketball the most exciting per-second game of all the major sports.

But after weeks of hoops best watched on a 52-inch LCD flat-panel HDTV, Monday night's national title game was more deserving of a 5-inch black-and-white RCA.

The eventual champion, Connecticut, and the runner-up, Butler, shot a combined 26.1 percent from the field, the worst in a title game since 1948. Their combined point total of 94 was the lowest in a title game since 1949. Butler made just three 2-point field goals, the fewest in a tournament game, and its 18.8 percent shooting was the worst in a title game.

When you're breaking scoring records from the '40s (when 3-pointers and shot clocks didn't even exist), your game deserves a TV from the '40s.

The good news is, the women have a chance to get college hoops back to color before we close the books on the 2010-11 season.

On Tuesday night at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the women's national title game will pit No. 2 seed Notre Dame against fellow 2-seed Texas A&M. For the first time in 17 years and just the second time in the 30-year history of the women's tournament, there won't be a No. 1 seed in the final.

The Irish upset two-time defending champion UConn on Sunday, denying the school a repeat of the Huskies' historic 2004 men's and women's hoops sweep. The Aggies dramatically sent top-ranked Stanford packing with a go-ahead layup with just less than four seconds remaining.

With the favorites out, the country will get a good look at what might be the teams and players of the future. And with the game's biggest name watching from home, one rising star will finally get the spotlight all to herself.

No Maya Moore? No problem.

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins has been in Moore's shadow for too long, anyway. The All-American sophomore posted 28 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in Notre Dame's victory over UConn, and she's primed and ready to put on a show for her hometown crowd tonight.

When Diggins and the Irish take the court Tuesday night against A&M star forward Danielle Adams and her tough-playing Aggies, you'd better have a prime seat in front of a big screen.

The ladies are gonna bring basketball back to life -- in vivid color.