UCONN, Baylor Finish Regular Seasons With Wins

Monday night marked the end of the regular season in women’s college basketball.

The regular season of women’s college basketball concluded on Monday night. Teams will now focus on their conference playoffs and the NCAA women’s March Madness national championship college basketball tournament that is upcoming. The conference tournaments start later this week while the national tournament will be played in late March and early April. Two teams with the most promise to go deep into the national tournament were active on Monday night as both the Connecticut Huskies and the Baylor Bears finished their regular seasons with victories.

UCONN finished their season on the road as they defeated the University of Southern Florida 96-68. The victory improved the Huskies to 33-0, a surprising record despite everything the program is known for. This was the season that Connecticut was supposed to come back down to earth after Breanna Stewart went pro. However, even with her graduation Connecticut remain in the same position at this time of season as they were when they had Stewart. Heading into March, UCONN are favorites to win the national championship and it’s hard to picture anyone stopping them before the very-late rounds of the NCAA tournament.

The Baylor Bears entered this week as the No. 2 team and they posted a 39-point victory to back that up on Monday. Playing on the road, the huge spread wasn’t exactly against a slouch team either. The Bears demolished 19th-ranked Oklahoma to improve to 27-2 on the season. Their only losses came against Connecticut early in the season and Texas late. The Longhorns themselves finished their regular season on Monday night, improving to 22-7 with an 8-point win on the road against Kansas State.

The next games to be played will be elimination games in the conference playdowns. UCONN appear to have the American Athletic Conference dominated and they will play on Saturday, March 4th against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. Their conference’s championship game will be played next Monday on ESPN2. If the seeds hold up, UCONN will face Temple.

Baylor is the top seed in the Big 12 and they will play next on Saturday as well. FS1 has the television coverage for this conference tournament’s championship game next Monday. The Bears are tournament favorites, but they aren’t totally invincible. If the seeds hold up they may have to avenge the Texas loss before claiming their conference title.

As was the case last season, the subregionals of the national tournament won’t be neutral sited. The top teams will host, making upsets all the more unlikely. Heading into the playoffs, it looks like UCONN has about an 80% chance of winning the national championship with all other teams combining for the remaining 20%.

 

Shane Lambert