Kansas is one of just three schools with both their men's and women's basketball teams headed to the Sweet Sixteen this coming weekend and the Jayhawks owe a great deal of that to junior point guard Angel Goodrich. Last night, the Jayhawk women's team advanced after pulling of their second upset in the tournament and they are now one of just sixteen teams remaining in the tourney. After a tournament drought that has extended the length of her time at Kansas, this marks a pretty big benchmark for Bonnie Henrickson and her program.
I have to admit that last night was the first time in a long long while that I've watched women's basketball and it probably started because of the amount of attention that Elena Delle Donne had been receiving leading up to the game. While Delle Donne was deserving of the hype, I'd probably argue that Goodrich was the best and most important player on the floor.
Throughout the game junior point guard Angel Goodrich controlled the tempo, made big shots and created opportunities for her teammates to score. It really was exactly the type of game that any coach would love to have from their point guard in the tournament.
On top of Goodrich's performance, the gameplan put together by the Kansas staff clearly frustrated Delle Donne and the Delaware team. Add to that the execution by the rest of the Jayhawks and it really was a pretty impressive performance that seemed to get better as the game went on.
Kansas won by a final score of 70 to 64, but heading into the last four minutes the result really wasn't in question. Two big second half runs put the Jayhawks out in front and the Rock Chalk chant was heard loud and clear in Little Rock. One more impressive piece to this win was the fact that Kansas has now made this run without the services of their leading scorer Carolyn Davis.
Goodrich finished the game with 27 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Delle Donne still received a great deal of attention after the game for her 30 point outing, but for my money Goodrich was the player of the game in this one and the best player on the court Tuesday night.
Kansas will head to Des Moines for the round of 16 where they will face 2nd seeded Tennessee on Saturday. Can Kansas keep the run going? It's certainly not going to be easy, but the Jayhawks have found a way to recapture some of what made them a very strong team prior to the loss of Davis and if players like Goodrich continue to step up, you just never know.