Women’s college basketball fans will never be 100% happy until the best rivalry in WBB history is revived and Tennessee plays Connecticut again.
But Sunday night, we have a chance to witness a game that likely will generate the same kind of intensity when the Baylor Lady Bears take on the University of Connecticut Huskies. Both teams are undefeated.
In fact, Baylor, let by 6’8″ center Brittney Griner and point guard Odyssey Sims, has a 28-game winning streak at home and is the top-ranked women’s team in the country.
UConn, which was (for some unknown reason) expected to flounder a bit after Maya Moore‘s graduation, has tightened up its game a bit — and it’s working. I don’t mean to discount individual excellence; center Stefanie Dolson is having a great season, and Freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is showing signs of being the next Huskies marquee player.
The key for a UConn win is to shut down Griner, not by blocking her shots (which is pretty rare), but by putting pressure on Baylor’s guards so they can’t get the ball to her. Unfortunately for the Huskies, Brooklyn Pope has been making the shots Griner can’t lately — and Griner won’t hesitate to pass the ball to an open player when she can’t get to the basket.
Coaches Kim Mulkey and Geno Auriemma talked to ESPN about the upcoming game and what each team needs to do to win.
This is the first game in Baylor women’s basketball history that has been completely sold out in advance of game day. And on the heels of Robert Griffin III winning the Heisman, Baylor is feeling the love. UConn may find itself in the kind of atmosphere that makes teams hate to play them at home — with a crowd as intense as the players.
The game airs Sunday night at 8:30 ET on ESPN. Check your local listings, though, as broadcast schedules seem to get shifted a lot these days.
My prediction is that the Lady Bears will stay #1 and might even get a few complaints from PETA for abuse of Huskies. Who’s with me?