NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2012: Baylor and Locks for Final Four

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 12, 2012

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 04:  Baylor Bears head coach Kim Mulkey gestures in the second half against the Connecticut Huskies during the Women's Final Four Semifinals at the Alamodome on April 4, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. Connecticut defeated Baylor 70-50.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Brittney Griner and the undefeated Baylor Bears reign supreme leading up to the NCAA Division I women’s college basketball tournament, which tips off Saturday.

Griner will lead Baylor into the Final Four, where it will be joined by these other teams.  While the bracket will not be released until tonight, all three teams are guaranteed No. 1 seeds.


Baylor Bears (34-0)

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 04:  The Baylor Bears after a 70-50 loss against the Connecticut Huskies during the Women's Final Four Semifinals at the Alamodome on April 4, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Baylor blew out almost every team that had the misfortune of playing it this year. In fact, only five out of its 34 victories were by fewer than 10 points. 

Aside from those five wins, Baylor was able to blow out teams by as many as 60 points. 

However, Griner will lead Baylor to its second-ever women's basketball title.


Connecticut Huskies (29-4)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 3:  Tiffany Hayes #3 of the Connecticut Huskies and Bria Hartley #14 of the Connecticut Huskies watch action against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with Head Coach Geno Auriemma of the Connecticut Huskies during the 2011 NCAA Women
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Despite finishing with an amazing 29 victories, this year was disappointing for the UConn women, since they lost four games. 

Before this season, this UConn program hadn’t lost more than two games since the 2006-07 season. That year, the women’s team went to the Elite Eight, seeing its season come to an end at the hands of LSU. 

This time around, UConn will advance past the Elite Eight because it ranks fifth in the NCAA in points per game, averaging 78.3.

For as good as UConn is on offense, this team is just as good on defense. It ranks first in the nation, only allowing opposing teams to average 45.7 points per game.

UConn will cruise through its region and advance to play in the Final Four. 


Notre Dame (30-3)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 5:  Natalie Novosel #21 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish controls the ball as Tyra White #20 of the Texas A&M Aggies defends during the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse on April 5, 2011 in India
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Big East will have two teams in the Final Four. Notre Dame did drop an early season game to Baylor, 94-81, but rebounded to win its next 21.

This year, the Fighting Irish knocked off 11 ranked teams, including Duke, Purdue, Kentucky, Connecticut (twice), Georgetown, Tennessee, Rutgers, DePaul (twice) and Louisville.

Because of their 21-game winning streak and 11 victories over ranked teams, they will blow past their competition in their region, making their way into the Final Four.