Feb 26, 2013, 2:32 PM EST
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
- It was a great day to support @KayYowFund. Thanks to all who came out! Together We Can Do More! #Play4Kay https://t.co/DpJ2VTHIH2 2 hours ago
- Happy Valentine's Day from @ndwbb! We LOVE our fans! https://t.co/T2SPRpftvs 2 hours ago
- Irish Win, 90-69! https://t.co/hjvwLodeRr 3 hours ago
- And with a long THREE from Michaela Mabrey, @ndwbb hits lucky number 8️⃣8️⃣ today so all fans in attendance get a FREE Big Mac 🍔🍟🍀 3 hours ago
- RT @FightingIrish: Dedication. Family. Community. @ndwbb's annual Pink Zone game in support of the fight against breast cancer. https://… 3 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Four Straight Wins at Home. Four Straight Sell-Out's at Home. Be a part of the next one: UND.com/BuyTickets https://t.co/TK3gwPOQzl 4 hours ago
- RT @NDSlo: @JerianGrant @PlanetPat5 @EAtkins0 returned to see their young bros. at work this weekend. https://t.co/cNbA6O8nVN 5 hours ago
- GOODNIGHT. Let's start chasin' another ACC title on Sunday. https://t.co/YxSw9wSIJh 18 hours ago
- KEY STAT TO OUR WIN OVER #13 UL UL came in outscoring opponents by 15.6 points in paint. TODAY? ND 30 | UL 20 https://t.co/ARhBfTyc6x 21 hours ago
- PHOTOS OF THE GAME: DJ's "D" VJ's layup Bonzie's Rebound Steve's Drive FINAL SCORE: ND 71 | #13 UL 66 https://t.co/nk05xhzguQ 22 hours ago
- W. Basketball. No. 3 Irish Dominates No. 19/17 Miami 90-69
- Softball. #24/RV Irish Crank Up The Offense In 10-4 Win Over GSU
- M. Basketball. Sunday Brunch: Just Another Irish Saturday Night Comeback
- M. Ice Hockey. #8 Irish Sweep Into First With a 5-1 Win Over Maine
- Track. Irish Track And Field Earn Top Marks On Day Two at Two Meets