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March 30, 2010 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-30

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10 - Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Michigan Daily -- michigandailyxorn AkI

10 - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom



E-mail: rkartje@umich.edu

WNIT was the better option

Thursday, April 1st - lgsnps Supjsmc
5:30 p.m. A simple Mediterranean meal
in commemoration of The Last Supper.
Friday, April 2nd - L d Txicr y
sccyy 5:30 p.m. Featuring a reading of
the Passion Gospel by the women of
Canterbury House.
Friday, April 2nd - Thu Z o Fd j
21.1 151ght Tusus Mluviu Moralson atud
?ajaccss ?esisy 8:00 p.m. The life of Jesus
has inspired films ranging from "The
Greatest Story Ever Told" to "The Life of
Brian." Bring your jammies and a pillow!
Saturday, April 3rd -'The Essa e fss
Ifi2 8:00 p.m. A culmination of the Holy
Week celebration, with fire-juggling and
the re-telling in scripture and music of the

When I tried to convince
my friends to come to
the Michigan women's
basketball WNIT semifinal round
against Miami
(Fla.) at ZAK
Crisler Arena PYZIK
at 7 p.m., they On Women's
laughed. Basketball
Many con-
sider the WNIT less of an accom-
plishment than qualifying for the
Women's NCAA Tournament.
Is making the WNIT some-
thing to scoff at? Or maybe the
better question is, is it always
better for a team to go to the
NCAA Tournament instead of the
I ran into freshman guard
Dayeesha Hollins when walking
to South Quad on Sunday morn-
ing before the Wolverines' 78-52
quarterfinal annihilation of Syra-
cuse. Hollins told me that she was

nervous for this game - possibly
more nervous than she's been for
any other matchup this year.
If Michigan had qualified for
the NCAA Tournament, would
they still be playing in big games?
Would they still be getting
opportunities to play through the
nerves that Hollins experienced?
Probably not.
It's possible that the Wolver-
ines could have upset some higher
seeds - they had already beaten
Xavier earlier in the year and had
two close matchups against Ohio
State, both top-10 teams.
While the Musketeers are still
battling, Ohio State lost in the
second round. Michigan State -
who swept Wolverines in three
games this season - also fell in
round two.
So while this Michigan squad
is better than average, it most
likely wouldn't have gone to the
Final Four of the NCAA Tourna-

Instead, the Wolverines have
made the semifinal in the WNIT.
Michigan has blown out all four
of its tournament opponents,
including a Northwestern squad
that beat them twice in the regu-
lar season. Michigan remains the
only Big Ten team left in either of
the two major tournaments.
The Wolverines continue to
add dates to their schedule, and
that means the six freshmen that
function as the base for the Mich-
igan program are gettingto play
in some extra games.
The nerves of Hollins and
the other freshmen are a result
of being so deep in a legitimate
national tournament. That will
help her and her teammates in the
near future, when the big-time
tournament presents itself to the
Hollins, freshman guard Jenny
Ryan, sophomore forward Car-

men Reynolds and junior guard
Veronica Hicks have all accumu-
lated more than 1,000 minutes
this season. Last season the Wol-
verines had just one player record
more than a 1,000, then-senior
guard Jessica Minnfield.
The point is, Michigan gains
much more in the WNIT than it
ever would in the NCAA Tourna-
ment, especially this year. In the
WNIT, they have gained valu-
able experience in high-pressure
situations. If they had made the
NCAA Tournament, the season
most likely would have ended
three weeks ago.
So next year, as the Wolverines
progress through their schedule,
they will face a lot of teams with a
weaker foundation from the pre-
vious season, especially in confer-
ence play.
I doubt that then, anyone will
be laughing at Michigan's 2009-
10 WNIT run.


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