Feb 26, 2013, 2:32 PM EDT
The bracketology has begun for the NCAA women’s basketball national tournament, and nearly everything is in order. One confusion, however, results from complicated NCAA rules that dictate where in the country the first and second round games will be played (Source: Charlie Creme of ESPN). Baylor, Connecticut, and Stanford will each play their first two games at home, but the way things are currently looking, Notre Dame will play its first two games in Baton Rouge, potentially leading to a second round matchup against LSU at the Maravich Center–a home game for the Tigers.
We’d like to think it doesn’t make much of a difference in how the games will turn out for the Irish, but having a couple of home games to kick off the tournament can give a team a huge momentum boost that keeps them rolling through later rounds. Additionally, it gains the attention of the fans who will be more likely to cheer the team on in later rounds if they have a chance to see them play at home.
The matchups at the end of the regular season, however, are poised to be much more interesting, with two of Notre Dame’s last three games coming against ranked, BIG EAST opponents. Tuesday night, the Irish face #22 Syracuse (22-4, 10-3), and on Mar. 4, they will host the #3 Connecticut Huskies (25-2, 12-1). The last time the Irish faced the Huskies, they put on a thriller in Storrs, winning the game in the final minute of regulation. We can expect a similar level of excitement next week, but I think Skylar Diggins, who has been on fire pretty much all season, but especially in the past few games, will keep it going and shut down Breanna Stewart and the Huskies in a showcase of offensive talent.
The Irish won’t meet #1 Baylor (27-1, 16-0 Big 12) in the regular season or conference tournament, but I foresee a rematch of last year’s national championship game in Denver. This time, however, I think Diggins and the Fighting Irish will come out on top to cap an amazing career for the team’s class of 2013.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
- Tune into ESPN2 NOW to watch some #ndwbb alums suited up for #USABWNT! 1 hour ago
- We have a new segment coming to #ndwbb... Make sure you stop by our twitter & facebook pages tomorrow! #staytuned 5 hours ago
- ICYMI - This weekend we helped with the construction of a neighbor's new home! #Irishinthecommunity @SJCHabitat - wndu.com/home/headlines… 9 hours ago
- Also, catch the #USABWNT tonight at 7pm ET as they compete against @CanBball on ESPN2! 9 hours ago
- Congrats & good luck to our alums, @SkyDigg4 & @kaymac_2123, as they advance through the 1st round of #USABWNT cuts! usab.com/news-events/ne… 10 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @NASCAR47: .@NotreDame Men's Basketball coach @NDMikeBrey visits with @AJDinger in the #47 hauler. #DINGERNATION http://t.co/q0X4m5WlZc 47 minutes ago
- RT @TheMikeBagley: Hanging with Notre Dame Men's BBall Coach Mike Brey in the @ChicagolndSpdwy Cup Garage http://t.co/lZL4pibcDQ 47 minutes ago
- We just received our new kicks from @UnderArmour - not ready to release photos yet ... 🏀 9 Different Styles 🍀 🏀 5 Different Colors 🍀 4 hours ago
- We've settled in for the @NASCAR race, but stay tuned to @WatchND as @NDfidm captured Coach's day at@ChicagolndSpdwy: http://t.co/cNLHSzrREd 1 day ago
- Coach had the chance to ride on the track with performer/singer/dancer/teen heartthrob @AustinMahone - #BreyInPaceCar http://t.co/HbyJaxjmcK 1 day ago