Feb 15, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
The Fighting Irish’s decisive victory over tenth-ranked BIG EAST rival Louisville Monday night was a further testament to the dominance of this year’s elite women’s college basketball teams.
Notre Dame (23-1, 11-0 BIG EAST) remains ranked second in the NCAA behind Baylor, the only team to beat the Irish, and first in the BIG EAST. Connecticut and Stanford are third and fourth overall, but the way these four teams have matched up against each other this season, it’s difficult to say any one team is much better than the others.
Notre Dame’s only games left against (currently) ranked opponents are #23 Syracuse (Feb. 26) and #3 Connecticut (Mar. 4). Connecticut has #2 Notre Dame and #1 Baylor. Baylor has #3 Connecticut and #22 Oklahoma. And Stanford has #15 UCLA. Barring anything wild, the top four will hold (though not necessarily in the current order), and each of these teams will receive a first seed in the NCAA tournament that begins on March 23rd.
Last year’s tournament was exciting, but some might say a little bit too predictable. The Elite Eight was comprised of the first and second seeds from each region, the Final Four was the four top seeds (which, unsurprisingly, were Baylor, Stanford, Connecticut, and Notre Dame), the championship was between two #1 seeds, and the champion was the undefeated Baylor team, led by Brittney Griner.
That consistency with the pre-tournament rankings is a stark contrast to the volatility that usually characterizes the men’s tournament and shows how the elite women’s teams are pretty much a level beyond.
Will there be a rematch of last year’s championship? Will any team be able to topple Baylor now that Stanford has drawn blood? Between the remaining regular season match-ups and the inevitable tournament match-ups, we have numerous exciting clashes of women’s college basketball’s top teams ahead of us.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
- And there's a magic, in the sound of her name....🍀 http://t.co/Lm23LR7Vwg 1 hour ago
- RT @fhallallen: FORTUNATE to work w/ another Championship caliber contender today @ndwbb. THX @MuffetMcGraw, @GoIrishCoachO, @IrishCoachIve… 15 hours ago
- #TBT Official Visit with @HannahHuff22 @jloyd32 @mmabrey23! Looking forward to a great things from these juniors!🍀🍀🍀 http://t.co/5yy7EqjuRa 18 hours ago
- Hope you enjoyed our coverage of @ndwbb at #ACCMediaDay … here's exclusive video from @NDfidm on yesterday's events: watchnd.tv/#!/videos/A4ZW… 19 hours ago
- RT @cubsirishfan: Got my @ndwbb tix today! Let's go @mmabrey23 @mcable22 @HannahHuff22 @jloyd32 @busta_reimes @LA_Cruisen Ready for the se… 19 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- We present a new video series - "Mike'd Up" - see/hear @NDMikeBrey wear a microphone for an early season scrimmage. watchnd.tv/#!/videos/B4dX… 1 hour ago
- Want to download our schedule to your Outlook, Apple Products, Google Calendar and more? We have your back! CLICK: und.com/ot/sched-downl… 1 hour ago
- Time for our annual "Meet The Team Dinner" -Dinner -Autographs -@NDMikeBrey's Season Preview #SeasonTicketExclusive http://t.co/C2Pm0tesIx 14 hours ago
- RT @NDSportsBlogger: Thanks to @NDmbb alum Phil Hickey (@biggfill) for helping develop @bestfiends, a game that I have played for hours... … 19 hours ago
- RT @NDMikeBrey: Thanks @BlueAngels! Experience of a lifetime and great to reconnect with former player Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz @jphiltz2 http:… 1 day ago