Eight more elite

There are a lot of things that you used to be able to say, but you can't say any more. I must confess, I blurt one out every now and then without realizing that somebody's going to be offended. I repeat things I heard my grandfather say, wihout quite understanding where his language came from, and next thing you know, I'm in trouble.

Thus, it is with some hesitation that I introduce this post as relating to the distaff side of college basketball. "Distaff" is a word we sometimes used for women's things in my newspaper days, nearly 50 years ago. It was an outdated term even then, but synonyms can be in short supply, and sometimes headline space is tight.  So we learned it.

Can you still say "distaff"? If not, I'm about to find out. Maybe you're supposed to say "distxff."

Anyway, we had many fine weekend developments in the women's national tournament in San Antonio. Like the men, the women are down to eight teams as of this morning. Two are from our beloved Pac-12 conference, Stanford and Arizona. Arizona, a 3-seed, stomped Texas A&M, a 2-seed. Stanford, favored to win it all, shellacked a 5-seed, Missouri State.

All was not roses for the Pac-ers, though. The Ducks (6) were trounced by Louisville (2), and UCLA (3) dropped a shocker to Texas (6). And so those two West Coast teams are headed back home. (Texas went on to beat Maryland, a 2-seed.)

In the next round, which is the Elite Eight, Arizona has to deal with Indiana, who eliminated North Carolina State. That game is this evening. Stanford will take on Louisville tomorrow. Let's hope the desert Wildcats send their opponent back to Penceland, and that the Tree women put a hurting on the ladies from Turtleville.

As best I can tell, if they play each other, Stanford and Arizona will do so in the national title game.

Every team in the tournament, except one, loses its last game.


  1. It's an interesting term. A distaff is the stick that wool is wound on to spin from. As in women's work. Which probably gets you in trouble if someone is language checking. Maybe spin it and say you were trying to say basketball IS women's work if you have to answer to the Inquisition.


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