Who’s the most talked-about basketball player of the week? UConn’s Kemba Walker, perhaps. Who really is basketball’s player of the week? Definitely Texas A&M’s Danielle Adams.
Adams, a senior All-American, scored 30 points (22 of them in the second half) and had nine rebounds in the NCAA Women’s Championship game as she led the Aggies to a win over Notre Dame Tuesday night 76-70, in a game that was arguably better than the finale of the NCAA men’s tournament, in which UConn bested Butler 53-41.
(More on TIME.com: See NewsFeed’s complete coverage of March Madness)
That the women’s championship seemed more interesting than the men’s may be fitting. Texas A&M didn’t even allow women to go to school there until 1963, as Sports Illustrated‘s Ann Killion notes:
Texas A&M was on the outside of women’s basketball back then. And a lot of people considered them outsiders this week, strangers who crashed the Final Four and interrupted the parade of well-known teams. Instead the Aggies are the 2011 national champions. And very deserving ones at that.
Best of all, Texas A&M floated past the women’s Final Four regulars like UConn, Tennessee and Stanford this year and gave the school its first major athletic title since its football championship in 1939. Coach Gary Blair, now the oldest coach to win a women’s championship, promised his team they’d be able to cut down the net. He was able to deliver.
“We gave you that national championship game without the so-called powers of the world,” Blair told ESPN. “The two powers tonight were the two that earned it.”
(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 surprising Final Four teams)