Keeping Score: NCAA women’s basketball predictions

Good news from ESPN: They will be televising 148 NCAA women’s basketball games this season, including all of the NCAA tournament games. (Click here for a full schedule.)

The first on the list of games is the State Farm Tip-Off Classic, which happens this very weekend and signifies that women’s basketball season has come again, at last.

Here are my predictions for this year’s best regular-season headlines:

3) Courtney Paris diagnosed as actual rebounding machine.

Paris holds the record for double-doubles and is hot on the heels of the game’s greatest rebounders. With 1,531 rebounds under her belt, she’s already in the top five. She only needs three more rebounds — which, let’s face it, she’ll probably get in the first give minutes of the season — to shoot past Cheryl Taylor and Cheryl Miller, to secure a spot on the top three.

2) Geno Auriemma uncovers plan by NCAA coaches to build a time machine.

Last year’s senior classes are going to be missed nearly everywhere — except maybe Storrs, Conn. The first seven picks in this year’s WNBA draft were from Elite 8 schools. Tennessee lost four starters, leaving a lone senior in Alex Fuller, who has rarely seen any time off of the bench.

Three players from Connecticut, however, are headlining this year’s Wooden Award candidate list. Renee Montgomery (a senior), Tina Charles (a junior) and Maya Moore (a sophomore) have all seen significant playing time on one of the NCAA’s toughest schedules. It’s no wonder they and their teammates sit happily atop the preseason poll.

1) Pat Summitt sets new records just for the fun of it.

She already has more wins than any other coach in men’s or women’s NCAA history. She’s now at 983, and she’ll probably raise the bar even higher and get to 1,000 this year. No one has ever won that many games, and you can be sure that as the time approaches, men will start up with that, “If she really wants to prove herself, she’ll coach in the NBA” nonsense.

Nothing gives me rage like that argument. She’s got eight national championships and a 100 percent graduation rate. Soon, she’ll have a nearly unbeatable 1,000 wins. I’m pretty sure that’s proof enough that she’s the best coach in the history of the game.

What stories are you looking forward to in the coming season? Will you be tuning in to ESPN for the State Farm Tip-Off Classic this weekend?

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