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
- #FourFavorites from Sunday's autograph ✍️ session after the game. #BestFansInTheLand https://t.co/57XdOhu7RY 46 minutes ago
- RT @ndwbb: .@JShepard32’s career high 39 points broke the all-time Purcell Pavilion scoring record in WBB history. 👏👏 https://t.co/UBZ8vfgl… 12 hours ago
- RT @ndwbb: 🏀 HIGHLIGHTS Check out the top moments of today's 9️⃣1️⃣-8️⃣2️⃣ victory over DePaul! #GoIrish ☘️ https://t.co/CxoBsUoBHc 14 hours ago
- 🏀 HIGHLIGHTS Check out the top moments of today's 9️⃣1️⃣-8️⃣2️⃣ victory over DePaul! #GoIrish ☘️ https://t.co/CxoBsUoBHc 17 hours ago
- .@JShepard32’s career high 39 points broke the all-time Purcell Pavilion scoring record in WBB history. 👏👏 https://t.co/UBZ8vfglaH 18 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Battle in the state capital heading to halftime. @Bcolson_35 12 pts, 5 reb https://t.co/eZqWKLx9N7 1 day ago
- Ready to roll in Indy. ☘️ vs Hoosiers 2:30 pm ET 📺 @FOXSports 📻 und.com/collegesportsl… https://t.co/ETgYYFKwlB 1 day ago
- RT @NDCheerTeam: Stitched in Tradition ••••• •••• ••• •• • See you in Indy ☘️ #CrossroadsClassic #BeatHoosiers https://t.co/qcOT9NBWZ3 2 days ago
- ❌⭕️ Mental prep ➕ 💪 Physical prep = ready for final 🏀workout🏀 before 💨🚌 to Indy https://t.co/6sKNLeEIW3 2 days ago
- Finals DONE ✅ ❌🚫 Ready to BALL on Saturday ☘️ vs IU | @BLFieldhouse | 2:30 ET @FOXSports https://t.co/KKRACJG9OQ 3 days ago