Women's basketball wants to shed 'Cinderella' label
SPOKANE, Washington — Don’t tell Sue Guevara that the Central Michigan women’s basketball is a “Cinderella.”
The term, coined after the classic fairytale, refers to teams that are winning games in the NCAA Tournament as a low seed. The Chippewas, an No. 11 seed in the Spokane region, remain along with No. 4 Texas A&M, No. 2 Oregon and No. 1 Notre Dame.
Guevara said she talked to her team about the “Cinderella" label. She doesn’t feel her team mirrors that character or story at all.
“Everybody knows the story of Cinderella, right?” Guevara said at a March 23 press conference. “I mean, Cinderella was not invited to the ball, was she? No. Cinderella wasn’t invited to the ball.
“We got invited to the ball. We didn’t need a fairy godmother to give us slippers or high heels or whatever to go to the ball. Adidias gave us tennis shoes and we’re out.”
CMU earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament after defeating Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Buffalo, respectively, in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. In the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, the Chippewas knocked off No. 6 LSU and No. 3 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio to advance to Spokane.
Guevara told her team to forget the “Cinderella” label and think about “Pretty Woman,” a 1990 film starring Julia Roberts.
“Sure, she wanted it all and she got it all. She earned it all,” Guevara said. “She wasn’t Cinderella. If we’re going beat (the) Cinderella (label), I’m going to be like Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman.’
“Other than that, we got invited, and we’re still dancing. We don’t have any magic slippers on, we have really good Adidas shoes on.”
Senior forward Tinara Moore, the MAC Player of the Year, said CMU doesn’t look at the seeding and the Chippewas have beaten big schools already in the NCAA Tournament.
Moore said CMU is taking it one game at a time.
“The whole upset, Cinderella thing is really just going over my head because we’re a good basketball team, we can stick with these teams,” Moore said. “I think just because people think we’re a mid-major we’re a Cinderella or an upset we get the lower seed. But in reality, we’re a good basketball team and I think we’re finally getting the respect that we deserve.”
CMU (30-4, 17-1 MAC) takes on Oregon (32-4, 16-2 Pac-12) at 6 p.m. ET March 24 at Spokane Arena. The game will be televised on ESPN.