Women's Tournament 2012: Bold Predictions for Teams Still in the Mix (4-5)
There is a great chance that the top-four ranked teams on the AP and ESPN polls Baylor, Standford, Connecticut and Notre Dame will make it to the dance in Denver for the Final Four. But they must get through the Regional Finals first.
The Kingston Regional pits Connecticut and Kentucky against each other.The Huskies have built a dynasty and are a power house that can't be dined. Head coach Geno Auriemma thinks the two loses to St. John's and Notre Dame during February helped the team become stronger during the tournament.
With the loss of star player Maya Moore to graduation the team on a whole will has to step up their individual game to bring home the championship. Kentucky has made three trips to the regional finals but not to the big show.
With forward Samarie Walker who is a transfer from U Conn the game will become interesting because she has certainly stepped up her game since she started playing for Wild Cats. The Huskies will be relying on past experience and the sheer fact they are a strong team to get them to the Final Four.
Coach Matthew Mitchell of the Wildcats wants the chance to play int the Final Four just as bad as the girls themselves.He went as far as top put a photo of the Final Four logo outside of the Wildcats’ locker room. The Wildcats are definitely the underdogs and might upset the Huskies if the Huskies enter the game over confident.
In the Raleigh Regional, it's Notre Dame battling Maryland. After losing a year ago, the Fighting Irish has a lot to prove and is determine to claim what they believe is theirs. They have won all three games by double digits and they are ranked nationally by averaging 79 points.
The Terrapins are second behind the Irish with 78 points. The last time Maryland won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament was in 2009 and they believe a Final Four opportunity is long overdue. Notre Dame might have more fight and determination in them to win over Maryland.
Maryland needs to stick to their game plan and not crack under pressure. Standford take on Duke in the Fresno Regional. Duke has a lot of work to do to get the team ready to defend Cardinal star Nnemkadi Ogwumike who is coming off a 39 points, 11 of 12 free throws and 10 rebounds in the last game.
The Blue Devils are coming into the regional shooting above 50 percent in the last six games. And with players such as senior Shay Selby, Kathleen Scheer and Chelsea Gray, they are coming in with a strong team.
Only one of the starting five is a senior so the experience being under pressure might be a issue. The Cardinals however are coming in with a power house of super stars.
The Ogwumike sisters will be the test. Younger sister Chiney is still nursing a sprained right knee and took a few falls during semi finals so we will see if she will be able to come to the party. As long as Duke doesn't come in the game fearing the power of the Ogwumike sisters and the Cardinal team in general they should be able to hold their own.
The Blue Devil Cardinal match should make for a good game to watch tonight. In the De Monies its Baylor matching up against Tennessee. Which proves to be the most interesting and exciting regional match up.
Tennessee coach, Pat Summit who has been coaching for 38 years announced last August that she had dementia a form of Alzheimer's. She has not announced if she will retiring after this season. Because of the heart breaking news the Lady Volunteers has had a up and down season.
The seniors on the team have the most amount of pressure, if they don't win this game against the Lady Bears they will be the first senior class in school history to miss the final four. By the way this is the 25th out 31 years Tennessee has played in the regionals.
In order for them to succeed at their goal they must beat Baylor who are three wins away from becoming the first NCAA team in history to finish with a 40-0 record. And they have the women power to possible reach that mountain top.
Star player Brittney Griner made a statement in the last game. With slam dunk. two steals, six blocks, 10 rebounds and 35 points she came not only to play but to get to the final four and win. Baylor also has Odyssey Sims who averages 27.1 points a game.
With Baylor's star power, it will be hard for Tennessee to beat them, if they don't get there mind in the game tonight. Monday's matchups are Tennessee vs Baylor and Standford against Duke. Tuesday night is Notre Dame verses Maryland and Connecticut taking on Kentucky.
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