NCAAW Game of the Day: South Carolina vs. UConn is Sunday’s cream of the crop

Which team are you betting on to win this one?

There’s a lot going on in the world this Sunday that requires our undivided attention — specifically, the NFL Pro Bowl and the 65th Annual Grammy Awards immediately come to mind.

But if you want some entertainment before the aforementioned events, you’ll want to get into your women’s basketball bag. Beginning at 12:00 pm ET, No. 5 UConn hosts No. 1 South Carolina in what should be the sport’s biggest game of the day.

To be fair, Sunday’s whole slate of women’s college basketball games packs high-profile matchups, including Duke-Notre Dame, Ohio State-Maryland and North Carolina-Louisville. But the 2022 National Championship Game rematch between the Gamecocks and Huskies is certainly the most anticipated.

Both teams enter Sunday’s contest holding noteworthy streaks. UConn hasn’t lost a home game in nearly a year, which puts their current streak of home wins at 16 (11-0 this season). Meanwhile, South Carolina has yet to taste defeat this season. In fact, the Gamecocks haven’t lost a game of any type since March 6, 2022.

So, we should expect a tremendous battle on Sunday, right? Right.

Even with UConn being dealt a bad hand with injuries this year — Azzi Fudd has only appeared in nine games (knee), and Paige Bueckers hasn’t played in any games this season (ACL) —the team is now up to 14 wins in a row and has a record of 21-2. This should be considered one of Geno Auriemma’s great coaching jobs.

The Huskies’ streak and ability to play through adversity will be tested on Sunday, though, against the defending national champions. Whichever test has been thrown at Dawn Staley’s group, they’ve passed. Most notably, their big win at Stanford. As the Gamecocks go on the road for another top-5 showdown, they’ll need to lean on their veteran experience to overcome a hostile environment.

There’s something worth paying attention to in this one, which is the classic offense vs. defense battle.

Led by Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Muhl, UConn might have the most efficient offense in the country. The Huskies have the best field goal percentage (52.0), the second-best 3-point percentage (40.3), are third in assists (20.4) and are one of just 13 teams putting up more than 80.0 points per game on the season. On the other hand, South Carolina has the sport’s best defense. It leads the nation in holding opponents to the fewest points per game (47.0) and the Gamecocks average an NCAAW-best 9.9 blocks per game behind the rim presence of Aliyah Boston and Kamilla Cardoso.

So, when the two elite college basketball programs meet on Sunday for a 2022 National Championship Game rematch, there’s no telling how this one will turn out. If you think you know, be sure to head over to BetMGM to bet on either the home underdog Huskies (+4.5) or the favored, defending champion Gamecocks on the road (-4.5).

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No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 6 Iowa in Top 10 Battle, live stream, TV channel, time, how to watch

The eighth-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team will face a stiff test on Thursday night as they take on No. 6 Iowa.

The eighth-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team will face a stiff test on Thursday night as they take on No. 6 Iowa from the Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Maryland enters Thursday’s matchup with an impressive record of 18-4 and 9-2 in the Big Ten conference as they play their first of two back-to-back matchups with top 10 opponents, making this a crucial stretch for the team. Meanwhile, Iowa has a 17-4 record and is 9-1 in the Big Ten, making this a battle between two of the strongest teams in the conference.

This will be a great game between these top-ranked teams in women’s hoops, here is everything you need to know to watch and stream the game.

#8 Maryland vs. #6 Iowa

  • When: Thursday, February 2
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN
  • Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)

NCAA Basketball Odds and Betting Lines

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Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson played absolutely lights out to break the NCAA 3-point record

Step aside, Kelsey Mitchell.

No. 18 Iowa State beat No. 14 Oklahoma, 86-78, on Saturday, but there was little the Cyclones could do to stop Sooners guard Taylor Robertson from making history.

Armed with one of the smoothest shots in all of college basketball, Robertson entered Saturday’s clash tied with Kelsey Mitchell at 497 3-pointers made for the NCAA’s all-time career record.

About halfway through the first quarter, Robertson dribbled up the court, moved around a screen set by her teammate Liz Scott and pulled up from the top of the key unguarded.

The ball swished through the hoop as Robertson smiled and flashed three fingers at her bench while jogging back to the other end.

Robertson finished the game with 25 points while shooting 6-of-8 from behind the arc. It’s the third time this season that she’s made six threes in a game. Robertson also has the NCAA record for most games with five or more 3-pointers made with 42.

And Robertson has now sunk 503 career 3-pointers, making her the first to do so in the history of women’s basketball, across all three divisions, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

“Yeah, that was cool. I’ve had quite a few of those in my career here,” Robertson said on a Zoom press conference after the game of curling around a pick for the record-breaking shot.

“It feels good to get it knocked out. … Now we can just play and try to win basketball games.”

Mitchell – the former record-holder from Ohio State who now plays for the Indiana Fever – congratulated Robertson on breaking her record. While this is Robertson’s fifth season of college basketball, she set the record in one game sooner than Mitchell did. Robertson did it in 151 fewer attempts too.

Records have been falling often this women’s college basketball season. Just last week, Angel Reese passed Sylvia Fowles for LSU’s consecutive double-double record. Meanwhile, Ta’Niya Latson is rewriting record books at Florida State. Latson, Reese and Robertson have given women’s basketball fans something positive to distract them away from injuries to stars, like UConn’s Azzi Fudd.

Robertson is averaging 11 points per game this season and makes about 2.7 3-pointers per game. According to HerHoopStats, she’s eighth nationally in points per play with a mark of 1.22 and is 15th in assist-turnover ratio at 3.13. While she’s not scoring in boatloads very often this season, she’s been incredibly efficient, which has helped Oklahoma win a whole lot of games.

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Women’s college hoops: Maryland-Michigan and Ohio State-Indiana lead Thursday’s slate of highly anticipated games

Thursday’s NCAA slate should be a great one.

With January approaching its end, that leaves about one month until the end of the NCAA women’s basketball regular season.

While there’s seemingly not much basketball left, the remaining games are all big and could be difference-makers when it comes to postseason seeding. That includes Thursday’s action-packed slate highlighted by two Big Ten matchups between Michigan and Maryland and Indiana and Ohio State.

The “We Back Pat” game on Thursday night, which brings recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation, features a matchup between Tennessee and UConn will also stand out,

Here’s a look a quick look at the three games and how to bet on them.

All odds via BetMGM

Sylvia Fowles symbolically passed the double-double crown to LSU’s Angel Reese in heartwarming gesture

A passing of the crown from one legend to another.

In case you haven’t been paying close attention, LSU’s Angel Reese is providing us with one of the all-time great statistical individual seasons in women’s college basketball history. That may sound like a reach, but you’ll understand the above statement when you look at the numbers.

Averaging 23.7 points and 15.5 rebounds per game, Reese has already earned five SEC Player of the Week honors this season, but her latest bit of recognition might trump each of those conference-issued awards.

The recognition, of course, came from LSU and WNBA legend Sylvia Fowles on Monday night when she recorded a personal video for Reese following the superstar sophomore’s school record-breaking 20th straight double-double of the season.

The video:

Fowles’ passing of the double-double crown is cool to see. And with many games left in the season, Reese has a chance to surpass Aliyah Boston’s SEC record of 27 consecutive double-doubles, which was set last season.

Will she get there? Time will tell. Nevertheless, Reese and the No. 4 LSU Tigers are 20-0 on the season with a legitimate shot to win a national championship. They have +1000 title odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Mid-season women’s college basketball check-in: Is LSU’s Angel Reese the Player of the Year?

Who wins the ACC? And what mid-majors are on the rise?

We’re a little more than halfway through this women’s college basketball season. A bit more than a month of conference play remains, and contenders are beginning to separate themselves from pretenders.

South Carolina still looks like the best team in the country, but the likes of Indiana, Ohio State and LSU have joined Stanford and UConn as teams that might be able to give the Gamecocks a good fight, should they meet in March. 

The Big Ten has four teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP Top 25 Poll, while the ACC has six teams in the top 25. Right now, it looks like anyone can win either of those conferences, which should make for interesting battles down the stretch.

Some mid-major powers are emerging, and a few players – like Angel Reese, Maddy Siegrist and Caitlin Clark – are making the case why they should be in the Player of the Year race.

With that, let’s dive into the questions. We might have some answers.

UConn star Azzi Fudd to be sidelined indefinitely after re-injuring knee

More unfortunate injury news this season for Azzi Fudd.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: injuries are the absolute worst!

After missing over a month of basketball following a knee injury suffered against Notre Dame in early December, UConn’s sophomore guard Azzi Fudd made her return to the court on January 11 against St. John’s. Less than a week later, Fudd re-injured the same knee against Georgetown, forcing her back to the sideline again, where she is reportedly going to stay for an indefinite amount of time.

In basketball, and sports in general, there’s always a risk of injury — mostly everyone is well aware of that fact, especially players and members of programs. But I can’t imagine that understanding that possibility makes reality any easier to deal with.

For UConn’s women’s basketball program, the ramifications of the injuries are obvious — the team takes a significant blow without its two best players Azzi Fudd and Paige Bueckers (Torn ACL) on the court, which was also the case last year when the two dealt with injuries.

But schools can always reset and bring in a new crop of players when the time comes. On the other hand, the players are the ones whose careers are altered by the setbacks. They must reshape and rehab mentally and physically to return to their peak levels. Whether they can or not isn’t the question, but the process that goes into it really makes you feel for these young athletes.

Nevertheless, it’s a waiting game now for Fudd and the Huskies women’s basketball team. They’ll have to operate without her for the time being in a tough Big East conference. Could Fudd return in time for an end-of-season push? Will she return at all? Time will tell.

UConn has +600 national championship odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Flu game 2.0? Alyssa Ustby was hooked to an IV before her crucial performance in North Carolina’s win over Duke

Alyssa Ustby or Michael Jordan?

Courtney Banghart was a bit worried Thursday morning.

With a showdown at home against No. 13 Duke looming, the coach of the No. 17 North Carolina Tar Heels got a text hours before the contest that said one of her most important players – leading rebounder Alyssa Ustby – was hooked to an IV.

“And I was like, ‘Oh, God,’” Banghart said.

Ustby had tested negative for COVID and strep throat, but was still feeling very under the weather. But nothing was going to stop the junior forward from playing in a game of this magnitude – a ranked matchup with UNC’s bitter Tobacco Road rivals.

“There was just no option for me,” Ustby said. “I’m not missing out on an opportunity to beat Duke, and just an opportunity to play with my teammates. There’s nothing like it and I’m not going to take a moment of it for granted. So, if I can get healthy and I can play, I’m going to play.”

And so, Ustby played against Duke, and wound up being a key factor in the Tar Heels’ 61-56 victory Thursday night in front of a packed crowd in Chapel Hill’s Carmichael Arena – one that included more than 1,500 students, the most ever in the arena’s history. Ivory Latta, Jessica Breland and rapper Trinidad James were there too.

But Ustby didn’t just simply take the floor against Duke; she played 39 minutes, more than anyone else on either team. The 6-foot-1 forward from Rochester, Minnesota scored 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting and also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“Definitely my version of a ‘Flu Game’,” Ustby said with a laugh, responding to a reporter who compared her to Tar Heel legend Michael Jordan. “Just trying to get as many assists, steals, being active, just doing the things that I do every day. Those are the stuff I’m going to bring whether I have the flu or not… I feel like I can run for days.”

She added: “I think my role was just making sure that Duke’s defense knew that I was making a presence everywhere I was. Whether that was sending a contact ball screen, rolling down to the block, posting somebody… Just trying to make everybody’s job a little bit easier is the role that I love to fill.”

Ustby has been a key player for the Tar Heels all season long, averaging 13.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game, doing a little bit of everything for Banghart’s squad. According to HerHoopStats, Ustby is also 27th in the nation in defensive win-shares this season with 2.1. And so far in ACC play, she’s 12th in PER with a mark of 23.8.

Last Sunday, Ustby grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds to help the Tar Heels beat then-ranked No. 11 N.C. State. These past two games mark the first time – ever – that UNC has beaten N.C. State and Duke in back-to-back games when both were ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll.

“We just got a bunch of gamers,” Banghart said. “I saw (Ustby) a couple hours later (after the IV), and I was like, ‘We’re alright. She’ll be alright.’”

After an 0-3 start in ACC play, UNC has now won four straight games. Should the Heels stack up more wins and keep improving their resume, they could be hosting opening weekend NCAA Tournament games for the first time since 2015. And Ustby will be a big reason why.

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NCAAW Game of the Day: Stanford vs. UCLA could be Friday’s best college basketball game

Who will win this big Pac-12 showdown?

The 2022-23 women’s college basketball continues to outdo itself on what seems like a nightly basis. Whether we are getting freakish stat lines from players such as LSU’s Angel Reese and Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist, or a spectacular finish like any of Diamond Miller’s multiple game-winners for the Maryland Terapins this year, there’s always something special happening that’s worth the price of admission.

And while a good individual performance is more than welcomed, sometimes all that the sport needs is for two titans to clash, which is what will happen on Friday night when No. 2 Stanford travels south to Westwood to take on No. 8 UCLA.

I won’t go as far as to say this is the matchup of the year in women’s basketball, seeing as Stanford’s early-season date with South Carolina may take the cake. But as far as Pac-12 games go, there’s a chance this could be the best.

Despite blowing a six-point lead to the Gamecocks with two minutes left in regulation before ultimately falling in overtime, the Cardinal have a legitimate case for being the best team in the nation. Haley Jones controls the game on both ends of the court like few others in the nation do, and when Cameron Brink is on the court and out of foul trouble, she’s one of the most dynamic two-way players the sport has. Together, they could present some problems for UCLA’s smaller lineups.

However, UCLA’s got experience against teams with tremendous size and length, as well — namely South Carolina. Ironically, the Bruins also led Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks during the fourth quarter of their matchup before surrendering the lead and blowing a chance at pulling off an upset. Will that experience prove to be helpful enough for the Bruins’ guards Kiki Rice and Charisma Osborne when facing Stanford on Friday night?

Stanford enters this contest as the winner of 11 straight games with just one loss on the season (South Carolina), while UCLA has rebounded from its first loss of the season (South Carolina) to win seven of eight games.

Follow the action live at 11:00 pm ET on the Pac-12 Network.

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Florida State upset No. 11 N.C. State thanks to freshman Ta’Niya Latson’s ridiculously awesome performance

We should be paying more attention to Ta’Niya Latson, and Florida State.

Florida State’s women’s basketball team didn’t just squeak past visiting North Carolina State on Thursday night. No, FSU dominated and beat down the 11th ranked team in the country for a 91-72 victory.

Which begs the question: Did we overrate N.C. State, or did we underrate Florida State?

It’s probably a bit of both. But most folks weren’t expecting freshman guard Ta’Niya Latson to be this good – at least not this soon – for Brooke Wyckoff’s FSU team.

Latson had another absolutely stellar game Thursday, tallying her sixth game of the season in which she scored 30 points or more. That’s a program record, by the way, at a school that’s been to 20 NCAA Tournaments.

In all, Latson finished with 31 points on a near pristine 13-of-16 shooting. She swished a pair of 3-pointers, grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists, and coughed up just a single turnover in 30 minutes of action against the three-time reigning ACC champs.

And according to HerHoopStats, Latson is just the 13th freshman since 2009 to shoot at least 81.2% in a single game while taking a minimum of 15 shots. The company she joins in that group includes the likes of Jessica Shepard, Maddy Siegrist and Elizabeth Kitley – which is to simply say, its pretty good club to be part of.

ESPN tabbed Latson as the 14th best recruit in the 2022 class, several spots behind the likes of UCLA’s Kiki Rice and Stanford’s Lauren Betts. But so far, Latson has just a good of a case as anyone to win the Tamika Catchings Award, given to the nation’s top freshman by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

With 25 points per game, Latson is fifth in the nation in scoring and leads all freshmen. She also leads all of Division I women’s basketball in free throws made per game with 6.7. The advanced numbers like her too, as she’s 10th in PER (40.5), third in offensive win shares (6.1) and first in points per-40 minutes (33.7).

Latson has also been named ACC Rookie of the Week eight times this season. Eight!

Perhaps more impressive than the raw numbers is that Latson has FSU saddled with a 16-3 overall record and a 5-1 mark in ACC play. A lot of folks expected FSU to take a step back this year with longtime coach Sue Semrau retiring and some of its top players, like Morgan Jones, entering the transfer portal. Florida State was picked to finish ninth in the ACC Preseason Poll.

But with Latson, all FSU has done is win. Two of FSU’s three losses were on neutral courts – to Oklahoma State and UConn – and the other was on the road in overtime to Boston College.

Notre Dame might be the ACC team with the best national championship odds, but as the women’s basketball season continues, we have to pay more attention to Florida State. And Latson is a big reason why, but they also have players like Sara Bejedi, who can do things like this:

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