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Vol Villains Round One: Lane Kiffin vs. Diana Taurasi

Okay, here's the thing: it doesn't really matter who we put against Kiffin in our last matchup of the first round, they're going to lose and lose badly. But since Kiffin has experience in Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive bracket, we figured the least we could do was give him a chance to continue his impressive run against the best female villain we could find. We'll be back on Monday with the first of four quarterfinal matchups.

Lane Kiffin

  • You can fill in most of these blanks yourself.
  • I will say that Lane Kiffin is an interesting case study. A significant percentage of the excitement he brought to Knoxville came from his mouth, even when it wasn't exactly right about what it said. Another significant percentage came from an impressive last-minute recruiting class, even though eight of the top twelve players in it are not currently with the team, including three guys who tried to commit a robbery in the parking lot of the gas station owned by the team's biggest booster, then tried to get away in a Prius.
  • On the field, Lane Kiffin introduced us to the moral victory. And if you're going to celebrate moral victories, why not do so against your two biggest rivals? It'll make it easier to forget that you inexplicably lost to UCLA and were the team most responsible for sending Dexter McCluster to the NFL.
  • Seriously, if we try to put our hatred down...did the 2009 team actually underachieve? Even if you throw out the bowl game against a good Virginia Tech team, shouldn't we have been better with the talent that was still around? Did he also underachieve at Southern Cal last year?
  • King of the Secondary Violation, only because he wasn't here long enough to be king of anything more impressive.
  • Left in the middle of the night for Southern Cal.
  • And up until he did, we supported him fully. We were on board with it, we believed in what he was doing, and we did all of that because that's what fans do. The good news is he left when he did, leaving behind an NCAA investigation that's still more interested in him than us. And though it's still plenty recent and I'd still love for Mike Hamilton to sign a game with USC as soon as possible, every day his story in Knoxville is becoming less tragedy and more comedy.

Diana Tarausi

  • If you've ever wondered why there are no banners in Thompson-Boling Arena between 1998 and 2007, she's why.
  • In eight career games against the Lady Vols, Taurasi averaged 21 points and shot 48% from three. UConn went 7-1 in those games.
  • In the 2003 National Championship Game, she scored 28 points and was named Most Outstanding Player as the Huskies took home the title against the Lady Vols.
  • Same thing the following year in the 2004 National Championship Game: 17 points, three threes, another MOP and another National Championship at UT's expense.
  • No UConn player has had more success against the Lady Vols than Tarausi.
  • You're going to vote for Kiffin.