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
- RT @SenDonnelly: Congrats to @ndwbb on advancing to the #EliteEight, and good luck @NDmbb against Kentucky. Go Irish! -Joe #MarchMadness 51 minutes ago
- RT @MRBastedo: Looks like @_Breezy_Briii said something funny http://t.co/NkairGazmc 2 hours ago
- BIG double-OT win, @NDlacrosse! Way to fight! #NDFamily 6 hours ago
- RT @NDsidMasters: .@jloyd32 stops by to tape interview with Westwood One radio broadcasters Amy Lawrence and Ann Meyers Drysdale: http://t.… 6 hours ago
- All 5 starters requested to join Coach McGraw for today's news conference! #NDWBB http://t.co/ZVAwSg1s7g 6 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- DEFENSE. #NotDoneYet 9 minutes ago
- It's Time ... Together we ride ... #NotDoneYet ND - UK TBS NCAA Midwest Regional Final http://t.co/mGOJqpaQKV 13 minutes ago
- RT @DavidtheAdmiral: Good luck @NDmbb - will be a tough one! #GoIrish 14 minutes ago
- HERE COME THE IRISH. #NotDoneYet http://t.co/mC6xwq09Ne 24 minutes ago
- #NotDoneYet ND - UK 8:49 - TBS NCAA Midwest Regional Final http://t.co/FLtG4teiiO 26 minutes ago
- Softball. Notre Dame Softball Saturday Schedule Update
- W. Basketball. Inside The Game: #2 Notre Dame 81, #14/17 Stanford 60 (NCAA Championship - Oklahoma City Regional Semifinal)
- W. Basketball. Notre Dame Women's Basketball Postgame Quotes - Notre Dame vs. Stanford
- W. Basketball. #2 Irish On To Elite Eight, Beat #14/17 Stanford, 81-60
- M. Swimming. Irish Break Another School Record on Day Two of NCAA Championships