Women's College Basketball: 1 Baylor vs. 2 UConn and December's Must-See Games
Although it may not get the same attention as its male counterpart, women's college basketball is host to some very exciting games.
Legendary college basketball figure John Wooden praised the sport, according to AOL news:
"'The top women athletes play a more pure game than the men,' Wooden was quoted as saying. 'They play below the rim and fundamentally better'. He said women's basketball was 'a beautiful game.'"
When watching the women play, it's clear that there's some validity to John Wooden's assessment of their play. The game is much purer, more team-oriented and full of excitement.
Here are the must-watch women's college basketball games for December.
December 8: Duke at Kentucky
Preview: No. 5 Duke (6-1) takes on an undefeated No. 10 Kentucky (8-0) team that beat No. 11 Louisville by 20 points.
Duke is led by freshman center Elizabeth Williams (11.9 PPG 9.4 RPG) and sophomore guard Chloe Wells (11.1 PPG 3.7 APG), who will have to battle against a tough Kentucky squad.
Kentucky has a booming offense that averages 85 points per game, and is led by junior guard A'dia Mathies (16 PPG 5.9 RPG).
When: Thursday, Dec. 8; 6:00 pm ET
Where: Kentucky (Memorial Coliseum)
Broadcast: CW/ FSN
December 10: Notre Dame at Purdue
Preview: No. 3 Notre Dame (7-1) takes on No. 14 Purdue (7-1) in West Lafayette. The Fighting Irish are led by junior guard Sklyar Diggins (17.6 PPG 5.4 APG), who led Notre Dame to the NCAA championship game last year.
Both teams have lost one game on the season, Purdue losing to No. 6 Duke who was defeated by Notre Dame in a close game.
The Fighting Irish look to dominate Purdue and keep their reign in the top five.
When: Saturday, Dec. 10; 12:00 pm ET
Where: Purdue (Mackey Arena)
Broadcast: Big Ten Network
December 11: Tennessee at DePaul
Preview: No. 21 DePaul (6-1) will host No. 8 Tennessee (4-2) who has started off the season uncharacteristically with two losses in Pat Summit's 37th year as head coach.
The Lady Volunteers are led by senior forward Shekinna Stricklen (16.8 PPG 8.7 RPG), and look to do everything possible to make sure to not lose another game this early in the season.
DePaul, led by junior guard Anna Martin (21.9 PPG 2.7 APG), will face its toughest opponent of the year and aspires to hold on to their top 25 ranking.
When: Sunday, Dec. 11; 1:30 pm ET
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York (Maggie Dixon Classic game)
Broadcast: ESPN U
December 13: Tennessee at Rutgers
Preview: No. 11 Rutgers (8-1) is determined to beat No. 8 Tennessee (4-2) after losing their season's first game in a double-overtime showdown against No. 9 Miami.
The Scarlet Knights are led by forwards April Skyes (13.9 PPG 6.0 RPG) and Monique Oliver (12.9 PPG 9.8 RPG), who had led Rutgers to its best start in five years.
Tennessee's true potential has yet to be reached, as the Lady Volunteers have started the year uncharacteristically at 4-2 and could fall out of the top 10 with a loss.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 13; 7:00 pm ET
Where: Rutgers (Louis Brown Athletic Center)
Broadcast: ESPN and ESPN 3 (espn3.com)
December 18: Kentucky at Notre Dame
Preview: Coming off their game against No. 14 Purdue, Notre Dame (7-1) will host No. 10 Kentucky (8-0) in South Bend. Notre Dame has a slight advantage with stellar guards Skylar Diggins (17.6 PPG 5.4 APG) and Natalie Novosel (16.8 PPG 1.5 APG), but the Wildcats won't go down easily.
Notre Dame will be the most difficult opponent that Kentucky will face in the regular season; therefore, guards A'dia Mathies (16 PPG 5.9 RPG) and Bria Goss (10.6 PPG 5.4 RPG) will have their work cut out for them on both ends.
A win would be huge for Kentucky, who is currently undefeated (8-0).
When: Sunday, Dec. 18; 1:00 pm ET
Where: Notre Dame (Joyce Center)
Broadcast: ESPN U
December 18: Connecticut at Baylor
Preview: If you are going to watch one college basketball game in December, make it this one. No. 1 Baylor (8-0) and No. 2 Connecticut (8-0) will both be undefeated, so everything is on the line for these two teams.
Last year, UConn was ranked No. 1 and squeezed past Baylor who was No. 2. The tables have turned this year, and Baylor is No. 1 and UConn is No. 2.
Baylor is led by 6'8" junior Brittney Griner (23.9 PPG 11 RPG), who leads the nation in blocks per game (5.1) and is the the sixth-leading scorer.
Despite losing playmaker and leading scorer Maya Moore, UConn has been redeveloped under another star forward, freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (16.3 PPG 5.4 RPG) who has blossomed so far in her first year as a Husky.
This game should be decided in the final minutes of the game, as both teams play a relentless brand of basketball. One team will remain undefeated and the other will register its first loss.
When: Saturday, Dec. 18; 8:30 pm ET
Where: Baylor (Ferrell Center)
December 20: Tennessee at Stanford
Preview: No. 4 Stanford (6-1) will host No. 8 Tennessee (4-2), who will face their third ranked opponent in four games.
The Cardinal is led by Nnemkadi Ogwumike (24 PPG 11 RPG) and sister Chiney Ogwumike (14.9 PPG 10.6 RPG), who look to lead Stanford to another Final Four. Nnemkadi is the fifth-leading scorer in the nation and is tied for 11th in rebounds per game.
This is a big matchup for Tennessee, who has struggled in the beginning of the season. If we know one thing, it's the Pat Summit won't allow this team to falter much longer.
It's set to be a very close game. Shekinna Stricklen will have to show up on both sides of the court for the Lady Volunteers or they will be overcome by Nnemkadi Ogwumike's strength.
When:Tuesday, Dec. 20; 7:00 pm ET
Where: Stanford (Maples Pavilion)
Broadcast: Comcast SportsNet