Tuck vs. Tuck NCAA showdown a possibility
While there may be some clamoring for a showdown with Tennessee or the Elena Delle Donne-led Delaware squad, there is an under the radar matchup possibility that I think would make for an intriguing story.
Normally a second-round NCAA game between UConn and Illinois would be met with little more than an indifferent yawn but when you consider that UConn freshman forward Morgan Tuck's sister is Illinois sophomore Taylor Tuck and that could make for an intriguing story line.
A year ago at this time it would not even be a realistic possibility that the Fighting Illini would be eyeing a berth in the NCAA tournament as Illinois finished 11-19. But this season the Illini are 16-10 and 9-5 in the Big 10.
UConn has faced a team from one of the power conferences in four of the last five seasons although Illinois' current RPI of 57 is a little lower than the teams the Huskies have met up with in the second round.
If that happens, Morgan Tuck would absolutely love it.
"I think that would be great," said Tuck, who is averaging 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. "She said that she doesn't want to play our team but at the same time, to be on the same court as her again that is something that I hope some day will happen.
Taylor Tuck averaged 0.9 and 0.5 rebounds as a freshman but she seemed to have benefited from the arrival of first-year head coach Matt Bollant this season.
"She is doing really well this year, a big improvement from last year. I know they have a good chance of getting into the tournament so my parents are trying to balance out the game times. I am really proud of her and really glad she has made such a big improvement."
Morgan Tuck credits her sister for sparking her interest in basketball as well as igniting the competitive fire inside of her.
"She always has been (a role model) ever since we were little," Morgan Tuck said. "We played all the same sports, she was great at everything and I was horrible. She was who I was striving to be better than and if she wasn't there I don't think I would have tried to compete as much in sports."
Teams like Cal-Davis, which recently agreed to play a home and home with UConn, UCLA and California are among the teams showing interest in playing UConn during the regular season. Surprisingly, I've been hearing that there have been no communications between UConn and Illinois to meet.
Labels: Morgan Tuck