Feb 15, 2013, 12:56 PM EST
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
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Madrid
Length: 1:54 | August 12, 2013
Kayla McBride Talks About The 75-57 Win - Women's Basketball
Length: 1:14 | August 12, 2013
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Barcelona
Length: 1:28 | August 12, 2013
Skylar Diggins Look Back - Notre Dame Women's Basketball
Length: 4:20 | May 2, 2013
- Represented the @ACCwbb in the #B1GACC Challenge against Penn State! Leaving this Valley.. Happy!… instagram.com/p/hhY8-6vFJv/ 8 hours ago
- Under a minute left, it's 77-65! #ACCB1GChallenge 8 hours ago
- KMac with her second foul at 3:57... It's the final media timeout of the game. Irish leading 68-57! #ACCB1GChallenge 8 hours ago
- 62-48 - We're all in! #IrishBasketball 9 hours ago
- RT @bmallory22: Back to back 3ssss !!! There we go mikeyyy @mmabrey23 🍀👌 9 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
Meet The Freshmen, Demetrius Jackson - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:08 | August 1, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, V.J. Beachem - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 30, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Steve Vasturia - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:06 | July 25, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Austin Torres - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 23, 2013
- Home! #gladtobehere 12 hours ago
- Our journey home via bus after fog kept the team in Iowa last night & prevented a flight today as well. http://t.co/mvHPDciSy4 16 hours ago
- Garrick Sherman notched a career-high 29 points in Tuesday's #B1GACC Challenge game vs. #23 Iowa. #New… instagram.com/p/hgcRmAQiW1/ 18 hours ago
- RT @NDJackNolan: I don't think I have ever been as encouraged by a team's effort in a road loss as I am by ND's effort here in Iowa tonight… 1 day ago
- RT @AlDogg44: Great effort on the road in a hostile environment. This @NDmbb team is going to be fun to watch this year. 1 day ago