4 Reasons to Watch UConn-Baylor This Sunday
Baylor's Brittney Griner and UConn's Stefanie fight for the tip in last year's matchup
For the second straight year, UConn and Baylor will face off as the No. 1 and 2 teams in the country. But this year, the roles are reversed, as the Bears enter the game at the top of the polls.
This battle in Waco on Sunday figures to be the biggest matchup of the season in women's college basketball, and it should provide plenty of excitement.
But despite the prospect of a great game, the contest isn't getting much hype. Here are a few reasons to watch:
1. Brittney Griner
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
One of the major criticisms of the women's game is the lack of an exciting inside game, as rarely are players seen backing one another down in the post.
But what could be a bigger post presence than the 6'8" Griner, who had five dunks during the course of her freshman and sophomore years—something that is rarely seen in the women's game.
Griner will go up against UConn's Stefanie Dolson for the second straight season, a matchup that heavily favored Griner last season, as Dolson fouled early and often and wound up on the bench much of the game because of it, eventually fouling out while trying to cover Griner.
But that was also Dolson's first game as a college player, and she has matured greatly since, turning into a dominant defender and post player for the Huskies.
Standing 6'5", Dolson should provide Griner with more of a challenge this time around.
2. Last Year's Matchup
A year ago, amidst a winning streak that would eventually extend to a staggering 90 games, the Huskies were pushed to the brink by Baylor, narrowly escaping with a 65-64 win.
After building a 44-29 lead early in the second half, the Huskies went cold, and Baylor made a charge to regain the lead, mounting a 27-4 run.
With 6:51 remaining, the Bears held a 56-48 advantage and seemed poised to snap the Huskies' streak at 79. But in the ensuing moments, Maya Moore and Bria Hartley carried the Huskies and managed to bring them all the way back, tying the game at 60 with 2:46 to play.
Over the final minutes, both teams struggled to score, but the Huskies managed to build a one-point advantage.
And in the final seconds, after a controversial no-call on a potential shot clock violation against the Huskies, the Bears resorted to a half-court heave that missed the mark, giving the Huskies the 65-64 win at home.
This year should provide plenty of intensity and drama as well, as the Bears look to even the score.
3. Potential Final Four Preview
The Huskies have made it to four straight Final Fours. The Bears made it in 2010, and then fell just short last season, losing in the Elite Eight to the eventual champions, Texas A&M.
Once again, both teams look poised to make a run through the tournament, with the goal to end up in Denver, this season's site for the Final Four.
If they do—and the two teams meet in either the semifinals or the championship game—this early season matchup could provide some insight into how such a rematch would unfold.
As they do almost every year, the Huskies once again have the opportunity for a perfect season, a feat they have accomplished four times. And while Baylor has never had a perfect season, this year may provide them with a legitimate chance.
But only one can win this game.
For the other, the dream of reaching that goal will be immediately crushed, while the victor will have gotten past what should be their most difficult test of the season.
So in many ways, this game could help decide whether the Huskies will run the table for the fifth time in program history, or if the Bears will achieve the impossible for the first time.
Either way, there is plenty on the line for this game. And with the high stakes, as well as the high talent level, this game promises to be an exciting one.