Congrats to Lady Norse on winning tournament

I’m not going to lie. My head is still spinning.

What just happened? The Norse weren’t even given an outside chance to go to the Elite Eight, much less to win the national title. Cinderella’s Slipper does, in fact, still fit.

I think the only people who really thought the Lady Norse had a shot at the NCAA Division II National Championship were, well, the Lady Norse.

The amount of people who really, I mean, truly, could honestly say they thought NKU could advance to the title game outside the team could be counted on one hand.

Ask the AP. They’ll tell you.

Only one person voted for them to be in the Top 25. One vote. Now the Lady Norse are home from Nebraska with two nets and a large trophy.

Amazing. Five minutes left, down nine on a “neutral” floor-three out of every four fans were South Dakota fans-then down by as many as a dozen in the second half.

The Norse, however, didn’t seem to care. They chipped away at the lead, and 19 free throws in the second half, including six in the final minute, sealed the deal, and a painful title game loss from five years ago was avenged.

Of course, you can’t talk about the Lady Norse without talking about their two seniors.

Nichole Chiodi finished her career with only four points. However, she had eight rebounds, which paid dividends against South Dakota’s smaller lineup. It truly pays to have a six-foot point guard who doesn’t have a single turnover in forty minutes of play.

Fittingly, now she can say she has played more minutes than anyone in a single season in the forty year history of Northern Kentucky University.

Angela Healy was, well, herself. Fourteen points, thirteen boards, and two gigantic free throws to give the Norse a three point lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.

Cassie Brannen had a career night, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. South Dakota simply didn’t have an answer for Northern’s one-two punch on the low block.

Jessie Slack said that the hostile crowd made the game that much more fun. “We enjoy playing in front of a lot of people,” she told NKU’s sports information. Coach Nancy Winstel told the Enquirer how great it was to see the girls having so much fun.

Fun indeed. Everything’s more fun when you aren’t given a fighter’s chance against the third-ranked team in the country.

Everything’s more fun when you cut down the nets, get a ring and raise a large trophy.

Congrats, girls. Everyone is proud of you. Thanks for the Cinderella-like run.