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
- RT @NDsidMasters: Full coverage (recap, box score, highlights, notes, quotes & photos) from tonight's @ndwbb 87-59 win vs Pitt now up: http… 1 hour ago
- RT @WhitHolloway3: I loved every second of senior night!😍 1 hour ago
- One point shy of a Big Mac, Irish clich a share of the @accwbb title! ND defeats Pitt 87-59. 🍀🍀🍀 FINAL INFOGRAPHIC: http://t.co/l2OUBxyt2t 3 hours ago
- Last media timeout of the game...Irish with a 77-55 lead over the Panthers 🍀 4 hours ago
- 73-48 Irish lead...7:08 left in the game 4 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Ever want to be part of ND Hoops, but you lacked the jump shot? Go inside our squad on the SHOWTIME special, HOOPS•U http://t.co/yNfdaMySmQ 5 hours ago
- This will make a lot more sense after you read the #WaPo article on Jerian & his bros. READ: washingtonpost.com/sports/for-hoo… http://t.co/uFozQewaQ3 7 hours ago
- DYK: There are only 2 players in America that average 7 rebounds & 2 3-pointers/game ... Pat is one. (HT @JB_Long) http://t.co/G0S1ZVNJ1X 11 hours ago
- You can officially add "Oscar Robertson Trophy" (USBWA POY) to Jerian's outstanding collegiate resume. #WhatsNext http://t.co/S8lv40VwCw 11 hours ago
- We're so proud to see alum Jack Cooley suit up for his 1st NBA game with the @UtahJazz vs. the Lakers. #NDinNBA http://t.co/8lTJIJ82pf 1 day ago
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- Track. Irish Complete Day One At ACC Championships
- W. Basketball. No. 4 Notre Dame Women Top Pitt 87-59, Clinch Share of ACC
- M. Swimming. Irish Finish Day Two of ACC Championships, Earn Several NCAA B Cuts