5.4.16

SUPERIOR EFFICIENCY IS NEVER POPULAR WITH THOSE WHO MUST COMPETE AGAINST IT.

Tonight, the college basketball season ends with the women's tournament, and once again ZooConn are the prohibitive favorite.  The talent pool in that sport appears to be skewed, with a relatively few teams regularly appearing in the round of four, and often the winner is named Connecticut if it's not Tennessee.  ZooConn's current success was too much for sports pundit Dan Shaughnessy, who is getting bored with blowout wins deep in the tournament.  (Until the Power Five conferences decide to end the fiction of amateur sports, there will be ritual sacrifices of surprise conference tournament winners that qualify with a seeding in the teens.)

Because Mr Shaughnessy griped about a successful women's team, he's taking stick, in that there have been strong men's teams that, in hindsight, didn't get criticized for being too good.  Perhaps not, but the stuff shot was illegal in collegiate and high school basketball for about ten years, in part because Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) had so many opportunities to use it.  Superior efficiency is never popular with those who must compete against it.

There were, however, enough promising college players to permit expansion of professional basketball in such a way that it became more than the Celtics and the Lakers.  That might take longer in the women's game, but that's the inducement.  Recruit better, redshirt cleverly, develop effectively.  Villanova might have inspired witticisms directed Mr Shaughnessy's way, and yet another March Madness will be upon us in a year.

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