When Tennessee landed at the Oklahoma City airport last week, lots of great memories came flooding back for senior Taber Spani.
When Spani played for Metro Academy — a Missouri homeschool team — she visited Oklahoma City four straight years for the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships, winning one title.
“Oklahoma City's a great city,” Spani said. “I love it and I really appreciate all the hospitality. I just have some great memories here, and hopefully I'll make some more.”
Spani's Volunteers beat Oklahoma on Sunday to earn a spot in Tuesday's regional final against Louisville, with the winner advancing to the Final Four.
WALZ: ‘I DIDN'T SEE MY KIDS DO ANYTHING THAT WAS OUT OF LINE'
Louisville coach Jeff Walz made no apologies Monday for the physical nature of Sunday's upset victory over No. 1 Baylor.
“There's nothing better than when you get an email from a 63-year-old ex-coach who's telling me that I'm an embarrassment to the game because I told our kids to go out there and foul every time Brittney Griner touched the ball,” Walz said. “That was never told. That's not what we did. Our entire goal was to go out there and be vertical and get in her space and make sure she just couldn't turn, catch and shoot, because if you allow that you're not going to win.”
After the game Sunday, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was extremely critical of the officials.
“I didn't see my kids do anything that was out of line,” Walz said. “I was proud of their effort. I thought we competed. I've always been told, and this is back to my 18 years of doing this and going to I've listened to clinics, listened to Rick Pitino, all the great coaches, Mike Krzyzewski, they always say, when you're going into battle and you're the underdog, you've got to throw the first punch.”