Leading up to the Kentucky vs. Delaware women’s basketball game, all eyes were on Blue Hens star Elena Delle Donne. While Delle Donne is an impressive athlete with an inspirational story, Kentucky’s performance during the game was almost an afterthought.
The women’s basketball program at Kentucky has been completely transformed with Matthew Mitchell as head coach. The Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight for the second straight year, and their third appearance in four years. But today’s game wasn’t all about Coach Mitchell either – A’dia Mathies ended the game with a career-high 10 rebounds and 16 points, making her the fifth Wildcat (including men’s basketball) to join the 2,000 point club.
The game wasn’t about Kentucky battling itself out of foul trouble or forcing 18 turnovers against the Blue Hens. Nor was the focus on UK’s nationally recognized “40 Minutes of Dread.”
UK Hoops moves on to the Elite 8 despite ESPN trying to keep Elena Delle Donne in the tournament as long as possible.
— Daniel Broderick (@ukfan35) March 30, 2013
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) March 30, 2013
— Kristin Rotert (@kmrotert) March 30, 2013
ESPN writer Sarah Spain, who was kind enough to tweet back at me, was just one example of the media’s over-the-top coverage of the Delaware star. She did eventually give UK credit.
@annied_kysz_cs definitely a more solid, well-rounded team. executed better, made fewer mistakes.
— Sarah Spain(@SarahSpain) March 30, 2013
ESPN even did a feature of Delle Donne’s entire basketball career immediately after the game. A little much following a loss? I think so.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Delle Donne play, just like the rest of the country. But today’s impressive performance by the Kentucky Wildcats was the real story, regardless of what you read.