With four games left in the Big East Conference women’s basketball regular season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are in prime position to win their second consecutive regular season conference title. Notre Dame holds a game advantage over Connecticut and a two-game cushion over Syracuse.
Four Big East teams – No. 2 Notre Dame, No.3 Connecticut, No. 12 Louisville and No. 21 Syracuse -- are currently nationally ranked. The conference tournament is scheduled to be held at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn, starting March 8.
Here is a look at the Big East Conference race and a quick look at how many conference teams will receive a NCAA Tournament bid.
Notre Dame (24-1, 12-0): The Fighting Irish have won 19 straight games, including the all-important one versus Connecticut (73-72) on Jan. 5. The victory over the Huskies essentially gives Notre Dame a two-game lead for the number one seed in the conference tournament though the two teams will meet in the regular season finale at the Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame has defeated Connecticut five-of-the-past six meetings.
Prior to the rematch with third-ranked Huskies (March 4), the Fighting Irish will travel to DePaul (Feb. 24), host Syracuse (Feb. 26) and travel to Providence (March 2).
Notre Dame’s only lost has come at the hands of top-ranked Baylor (73-61) at the Purcell Pavilion on Dec. 5. The Fighting Irish have only had six games decided by single digits (6-0) and are against ranked opponents.
Notre Dame ranks in the top-10 nationally in several offensive categories.
Diggins, McBride and Achonwa are stars and Loyd is a legitimate candidate for National Freshman of the Year. All four are averaging double figures in scoring.
Connecticut (24-2, 11-1): The Huskies had their 12-game winning streak snapped their last time out against Baylor (76-70) on Feb. 18.
Connecticut needs to win their final four games in order to earn at least a share of the Big East title. The Huskies will host Seton Hall (Feb. 23) and Pittsburgh (Feb. 26) and then travel to South Florida (March 2) and Notre Dame.
Connecticut’s two losses are the only games that have been decided by 10 points or less. The Huskies are 10-0 on-the road and 11-2 at home. They are 5-2 against teams ranked in the Top-25.
Connecticut is in the top-10 nationally in several offensive categories and defensive categories.
Mosqueda-Lewis is very underated, Dolson is a top-10 post player, Hartley, who is just rounding into shape, is an all-around good player and Stewart is probably the National Freshman of the Year.
Syracuse (22-3, 10-2): The Orange are having the best season in program history, to this point. Syracuse has won six straight contests and is 12-0 at the Carrier Dome.
The Orange have a tough remaining schedule as they go to South Florida (18-7, 7-5), are at No. 2 Notre Dame, and hosts Villanova (18-7, 7-5) and 12th-ranked Louisville (21-6, 9-4). Syracuse lost at Villanova (64-59) on Jan. 26.
Alexander, the Orange’s all-time leading scorer, is a fabulous low-post player and should receive All-Big East accolades of some sort. Sykes, Tyson-Thomas and Hall have been terrific on the defensive end and have been effective offensively.