Around The Big East In 30 Games
The 30 games to watch in one of the best basketball conferences in the country
Sept. 20, 2007
By Jeff Lippman
Jeff is CSTV.com's lead women's basketball writer.
For those who think the Big East will be a two-team race this year, spot on, good show, you really know your stuff.
Let's not kid ourselves, the ladies hoisting the regular season and conference championship trophy will get their schoolin' in either
And of course, the two most glaring dates on the Big East schedule are Feb. 5 and March 3, because those will determine which school that returned everyone from deep NCAA Tournament runs - UConn the Elite Eight, Rutgers the national runners-up - will more than likely be this year's Big East champions.
February the 5th sees Rutgers seek revenge against
But while the Big East remains a two-team race, there are plenty of big matchups along the way, many including the Huskies and Knights, and many that are meaningful for other reasons. Some see powers from conferences far and wide invading Big East towns, some games the Big East will travel.
The way I see it, including the two mentioned above, there are 30 games to watch that involve the Big East. Thirty matchups that will have major impacts, repercussions and ramifications, and more importantly, 30 games that fans of women's college basketball will want to see.
And it all starts with Stanford. Yes, Stanford.
The Cardinal opens its season on the East Coast against Yale, so I guess they figured, "hey, we're here, let's play the best the Big East has to offer." Sorry UConn fans, that was a cheap shot, because Stanford gets
Five days later brings us to our next not-to-be-missed contest, and I'm throwing a curve here because neither team is
Sunday, Nov. 18 has
West Virginia finished fourth in the Big East last season and came within six points of defeating eventual Final Four entry LSU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, so when
Nov. 22-23, the Big East gets tropical when UConn travels to
On Nov. 24 the ACC comes calling again when Boston College plays at Notre Dame. And the next day, Sunday, marks the first multi-big-game afternoon. The SEC's Tigers of LSU are more than a little peeved by the way Rutgers man-handled them in the Final Four last year, and they will try to settle the score when they visit
With Shavonte Zellous, a 19-point-per-game scorer of a season ago, coming back for her junior year, Pitt will also be a team to reckon with. And on Nov. 27, Maryland reckons to reckon with the Panthers when they welcome Pitt into the
And if the Panthers weren't a big enough dose of the Big East for the Terps, they travel to Jersey Dec. 3 for the Jimmy V Classic and a game against Rutgers that will pit two guaranteed Top 5 teams - and two teams who will both have legitimate claims at the national title.
The beginning of December has a span of six games in six days that are all gems. Starting Dec. 5, the ACC Freshman of the Year Monica Wright and Virginia play UConn in
The next day Rutgers heads down to
Notre Dame heads to
Just two days after
Fans must wait 18 days for the next big game and that one features DePaul in
The last big game of 2007 has
But the fun doesn't stop there, oh no, it's just beginning, because after Jan. 2's game that pits Tennessee at DePaul, Connecticut goes to Villanova to get the conference party started.
The Lady Vols must like the Big East, because three days after DePaul, they make the trip from
Outside of out-of-conference monster games like North Carolina-UConn in
And one major storyline will be the fight for third place in the standings.
That fight should come down to two teams, Angel McCoughtry and Louisville and Lechlitner and Notre Dame, making the Jan. 8 showdown in Louisville - the only meeting between the two teams - a must-win for both programs. And both have home games against
So there you have it, 30 big games for your viewing pleasure. And you thought the Big East was just