Boy, unless you closely follow college basketball like no other, it’s difficult to know what makes good teams click. Often, it’s one player that is the cement that holds their team together.

That was no more amplified than in the women’s basketball championship game when Baylor, which had overpowered just about everybody en route to a 37-1 record and the NCAA championship (Baylor’s only loss came at Stanford Dec. 15 in a 68-63 loss to the Cardinal).

Baylor had the championship game well in hand when its six-foot-four junior forward Lauren Cox went out with a knee injury. The Bears held a 12-point lead over Notre Dame, the defending national champions, when Cox departed. Quickly, the Fighting Irish closed the gap, tied the game and actually took the lead.

Without Cox dominating the paint and blocking off avenues to the basket and protecting the rim, Baylor was suddenly ripe for an upset loss. Didn’t happen, but you could see the difference the Bears were with her and without her.

Notre Dame had a chance to send the game into overtime, but their top player, Arike Ogunbowale, hero of last season’s post-season when she hit two buzzer-beating shots in the tournament semifinals and in the championship game, uncharacteristically missed one of two free throws with the score 82-80 Baylor  and 1.9 seconds left. Ogunbowale scored 31 points in the game, but the FT miss was critical and, again, showed how valuable one person is to a good team.

Don’t ask me who is going to win the men’s championship game tonight between Virginia and upstart Texas Tech. They both play fierce defense and if the final score is in the 40s, I would not be surprised.

I thought Auburn was going to win the championship, so don’t look to me for answers. But I could be right when I say one player will make the difference. I just don’t know what player it will be.

Then there is the Mariners. What about the M’s? I wrote something just recently comparing them to the amazin’ Mets of 1969. The Mets,  like the M’s, were expected to lose 100 games. Instead they won 100 games and the World Series.

I’m not saying the Mariners, 9-2 as I write this, are going to win he World Series, but they are amazing. They are clubbing the ball all over the field and over fences. They have 26 home runs in 11 games. That computes to around 380 homers for the season.

But baseball is a funny sport. You can never know what will happen from game to game. You can get beat 15-2 one night and win 15-2 the next night. We will really find out what this team is made of, I think, this weekend when Houston comes  to T-Mobile Park for three games followed by Cleveland for three more. Those two teams are the cream of the American League top and if the M’s batter those two, whoa, look out.

Okay, I’m outta here. Like my dad used to say when he would stop someplace with me in the car and tell me he would be right back, that he had to go see some guy about a horse, or sometimes a cow.

I was like five or six when these stops occurred and I quickly knew that he was  not looking to buy a cow or horse, he was looking to buy a beer. But I don’t drink alcohol, so I will just say I’m going to go get some water.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day

You are loved.