UCONN, ND, SC and BAYLOR 71-2
We lament sometimes here in the women's college basketball world about how the bigs keep getting bigger and the view never changes for the lead dogs in the sleigh. So far, this season...the bigs and lead dogs are holding true to the adage.
As we zip past the half-way point of the WBB season, the scenario is the same. UConn and Notre Dame, who seemingly have played for the national championship game since Bill Clinton was in office, are #1 and #3 in the polls.
South Carolina, who has built a Fort Sumter in Columbia, is undefeated and Baylor rounds out the top four.
The schools have won 71 games and lost just two. Notre Dame fell to UConn by 10 and Baylor (without star point guard Niya Johnson) fell in Stillwater, OK to the Cowgirls.
|His trip to South Bend went south quickly|
South Carolina has been tested a few times. Texas A&M came into town a few days back and left with just a one-point loss. Earlier in the schedule...Arizona State got within two and UCLA lost by three to Dawn Staley's Gamecocks. They won convincingly in the end at top-ten Kentucky (who got sucker-punched at Mississippi last night.)
|The Irish don't seem to be missing this "Jewell"|
Baylor is probably the most vulnerable of the top four. Besides the loss to Oklahoma State, South Florida got within three of Kim Mulkey's Bears. Miami lost by seven and WVU went to Waco and fell by five. BU heads to Iowa State next, where 9-10,000 will fill the Ames arena hoping for the upset.
Louisville fans, coaches and players yearn for a return to the Final Four. Jeff Walz is amassing a powerful squad to accomplish this. A win over Syracuse on Monday would provide a little more light to get to the end of that tunnel. The Cards get Notre Dame at home on February 7th. Louisville has their work cut out for them, though...wins will eventually get them to a top-ten status but pundits will still point to the early season miscues against a less-than-expected California squad (who is on a three-game losing streak in the PAC 12), at WKU and in the Gulf Coast Showcase...no matter how long this current win streak lasts.
The Cards have a definite resurgence in the works currently. Whether it can propel them into a top four (or 10) ranking depends on how well they handle the struggles ahead. If they can knock off a staggered but still very dangerous Orange squad in Syracuse Monday, the dream continues. If not...then it's back to the drawing board to achieve a top four finish in-conference and continue to improve.
After all, it's not who wins the early rounds of a fight...it's who's standing and swinging at the final bell...and the Cards "don't hear no bell yet" (Sorry, Rocky...)