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
- Stats to follow! Thanks for tuning in, Irish fans! 1 hour ago
- Irish win!!! 92-84 1 hour ago
- UCLA scores and takes a timeout. Irish lead 90-84 with 19 seconds remaining 1 hour ago
- UCLA star Jordin Canada fouls out. @mmabrey1 at the line shooting 2 1 hour ago
- UCLA scores and takes a timeout. 47.1 seconds remain in OT. Irish ball, up 86-82 1 hour ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- HIGHLIGHTS: Take a few minutes to catch all the action from our 68-62 win over IOWA. #Together amp.twimg.com/v/477e5366-722… 8 hours ago
- #17 ND 68 | IOWA 62 FINAL We move to 4-1 & will play Sunday against Alabama at 7pm on ESPNU. https://t.co/adiEVxoQ1K 21 hours ago
- It's back & forth here in Orlando, but VJ (@VB3ND) is rolling right now w/16 points. #17 ND 54 | IOWA 49 4:39 | 2H https://t.co/G4mqxIfIW2 22 hours ago
- BOOM! VJ (@VB3ND) continues his hot shooting, hitting his 4th 3 of the game (14pts) #17 ND 46 | IOWA 31 15:50 | 2H https://t.co/9KCaxqR9at 22 hours ago
- #17 ND 39 | Iowa 27 HALFTIME ND NOTES: -Held Iowa to 6/27 (22%) shooting over last 16:58 -VJ leads all scorers w/11 https://t.co/9b1ZP05v4t 23 hours ago