NCAA Women's Tournament 2012: Stanford Poses Only Threat to Baylor

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIMarch 17, 2012

PALO ALTO, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Nnemkadi Ogwumike #30 of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Maples Pavilion on December 20, 2011 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There has been no answer for the Baylor women's team this season, as they have pretty much stormed through a 34-0 season on their way to the No. 1 overall seed in the women's NCAA Tournament.  But if there was a team that could take them on in the Final Four, it would be the sharp-shooting Stanford team.

Like Baylor, Stanford is also assumed to be having a moderately easy time making their way to the Final Four and possibly the NCAA Championship.  The Cardinal have won 28 games in a row since their loss at Connecticut on November 21.  Since then, the Huskies have lost four times, including two games to fellow No. 1 seed Notre Dame.

However, for any team to beat Brittney Griner and Baylor, it will take a whole lot of things to go their way, and Stanford may just have the assets to make a run at unseating the assumed NCAA women's champions.

The Cardinal's biggest weapons are not that they have tall players that can limit Griner inside, it is that they have a core of extremely good shooters that can strike from long range on a consistent basis.  The duo of Chiney and Nnemkadi Ogwumike could be the difference for this team, as they have combined to score 37.6 points per game of the team's 76 points per game this season.

Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 27 points against California in the Pac-12 Tournament championship, while Chiney Ogwumike tallied 17 points.

Stanford will still need someone to guard Griner inside, which is why we should see Stanford's Sarah Boothe get a lot of playing time once the two teams meet.  Boothe is 6'5", but has only been getting around 10 minutes per game this last season.  She may be put in the game to bother Griner more than anything.

The basis of the game for Stanford will be to overpower Baylor's inside game with their own outside game, and that may be just enough to pull out the upset over the highly-favored Baylor team.