One of these 8 teams will win the championship

oldude

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#2
Up until the conference tournaments, there were 6 teams that could win it all. Stanford has clearly added themselves to that list. Not so sure that Iowa deserves to be included. While their win in the BIG conference championship behind Megan Gustafson was nice, beating the Turtles doesn’t qualify as a “signature win” imo.
 
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#3
Up until the conference tournaments, there were 6 teams that could win it all. Stanford has clearly added themselves to that list. Not so sure that Iowa deserves to be included. While their win in the BIG conference championship behind Megan Gustafson was nice, beating the Turtles doesn’t qualify as a “signature win” imo.
I think Iowa is legit. It all depends on how their supporting players perform. Plus, if you look at the Maryland game, Gustafson is going to get a lot of players in foul trouble. She gets a ton of calls. Even phantom ones.
 

oldude

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#5
Terp: her numbers...points/boards/shooting percentage...all are significantly better than a certain UConn favorite who is in the mix for POY.

What weaknesses does Gustafson have....defense?...overall athleticism?
Gustafson does what she does very well, but she is nowhere near as versatile a player as Pheesa who has more blocks, steals and more than twice as many assists as Gustafson. Pheesa can handle the ball, drive the length of the court and knock down shots from the arc. Pheesa has taken 48-3pt shots this year. Gustafson has taken one.

We probably won’t get to see it, but I would love to see a matchup between the two. My guess is that Pheesa’s footwork, athleticism and defensive ability would be very difficult for Gustafson to deal with.
 
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oldude

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#6
I think Iowa is legit. It all depends on how their supporting players perform. Plus, if you look at the Maryland game, Gustafson is going to get a lot of players in foul trouble. She gets a ton of calls. Even phantom ones.
Iowa is a good team and they are clearly on a roll. I just don’t see them as a national championship caliber team.
 
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#7
Nice article, thanks Nan. Four of these teams WILL NOT make the final four. My question is which four?

I think Louisville, Oregon, Iowa and Mississippi State will be on the outside looking in that first weekend in April. Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford and UConn make the cut. Three of these four have won a NC recently. I think Iowa may be this year's sleeper.

Thoughts anyone...........
 
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#8
Nice article, thanks Nan. Four of these teams WILL NOT make the final four. My question is which four?

I think Louisville, Oregon, Iowa and Mississippi State will be on the outside looking in that first weekend in April. Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford and UConn make the cut. I think Iowa may be this year's sleeper.

Thoughts anyone......
I believe there will be a team not seeded #1 or #2 that makes it to the FF
 
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#9
Iowa is a good team and they are clearly on a roll. I just don’t see them as a national championship caliber team.
You are right that IOWA is a good team but not at the NC level, but that hasn't held other teams back. I'm thinking of the Louieville Vs Griner Baylor', no one could have predicted that. No Walz didn't play the NC.
Gustafson is fun to watch. She works hard. She has talent that can't be denied but the depth of it can be questioned.
 

TheFarmFan

Stanford Fan, Huskies Admirer (most of the time)
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#11
I'm not sure why, but my gut tells me Baylor, UConn, and ND are the only three teams that have any significant probability to win it all. UConn and ND have the most complete starting 1-5s (assuming Lou is back), while Baylor has the best 8 man rotation in the country, without question, and that helps a lot in putting together 6 wins in a row in a little over 2 weeks.

If history is any guide, if I'm a Baylor or ND fan, I should worry about a sleeper upset in the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight, and if I'm a Huskie fan, I'd worry about the Final Four. Who their opponents are for those games will probably decide which among these three end up in the title game. For instance, I could see a Miss. St. edging UConn in the Final Four, but not in the championship game; a Stanford-over-Notre Dame type upset in the Elite Eight; or an OSU-over-Baylor type upset in the Sweet 16 - all three have happened over the past few years.

The only other "complete" team outside of those three is Oregon, but I feel like they don't seem to handle "big moment" games very well (witness this year's PAC-12 final and last year's relatively uncompetitive loss to the Domers in the tournament), and they have essentially no bench, which means less margin for error in any given game. I think they have a strong shot out to get out of the Portland regional since they're essentially going to enjoy four home games, but I don't see them winning both a high stakes final four and also a championship game two days later. (And while I like Coach Graves a lot, I think he's among the weakest at making halftime adjustments among these eight contenders.)

Mississippi St. is also fairly complete - if they hadn't lost Bibby, I would probably put them in the mix too. My main concern with Miss. St. is that they really depend on McCowan to do a lot of work, and I'm skeptical about whether can stick with it for four close-to-40-minute games in a row against top teams. McCowan hasn't faced three or four really good teams in a row this season - heck, she's hasn't even faced two top 25 RPI teams in a row in the entire season, which means she's either been able to phone it in for stretches on the court, or play <30 minute games. She was on the court almost 40 minutes a game during the tournament last season and she seemed kind of out of gas by the time they faced ND.

IMHO, Louisville, Stanford, and Iowa rely too heavily on just two or three players, and I don't think that can carry you through six games in 17 days. Those three teams seem more like spoilers likely to take down a top seed than to win it all.

Just my two cents.
 
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oldude

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#12
Nice article, thanks Nan. Four of these teams WILL NOT make the final four. My question is which four?

I think Louisville, Oregon, Iowa and Mississippi State will be on the outside looking in that first weekend in April. Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford and UConn make the cut. Three of these four have won a NC recently. I think Iowa may be this year's sleeper.

Thoughts anyone......
My only comment is that at present Creme has MS St & OR in the Portland region. If that holds one or the other will not make it to Orlando
 
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#13
Terp: her numbers...points/boards/shooting percentage...all are significantly better than a certain UConn favorite who is in the mix for POY.

What weaknesses does Gustafson have....defense?...overall athleticism?
Nice how the thread has swerved to a NPOY discussion pitting Gustafsson vs. Pheesa.
 
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#14
My only comment is that at present Creme has MS St & OR in the Portland region. If that holds one or the other will not make it to Orlando
And this is why I posted on some FF/NC Poll threads that none of the projections matter until the Committee reveal next Monday and we know which of the top 10 (or 8 or 12 or 16, etc.) are in each Region. Head bang
 

Orangutan

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#16
Extremely minor homer quibble re Notre Dame:

The writer mentions ND's losses to UNC and Miami but doesn't mention how well ND has been playing since the Miami loss.

Turner, particularly, has gone to another level. She has 5 20-point outings in her last 6 games. The exception was the 2nd Syracuse game where she scored 14 points in 21 minutes. The key is that Shepard has been playing well, too, so they have finally got those two playing well at the same time.

ND is still inconsistent enough, especially defensively, that they are vulnerable to an upset loss, but I really do think they've found another gear since the Miami loss.

As for depth concerns, ND won the NC with 6 last year and I think Vaughn is approximately as good as Nelson was last year. Plus, Prohaska has shown enough that she can be used to by a few minutes rest here and there for the starting guards (at least in the early rounds). They definitely can't afford an injury to a starter, though.

Anyhow, good to see this from SI. It's hit and miss with national media pieces on WCBB, but this seems well-informed.
 

Argonaut

No, not that Providence.
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#17
Mississippi St. is also fairly complete - if they hadn't lost Bibby, I would probably put them in the mix too. My main concern with Miss. St. is that they really depend on McCowan to do a lot of work, and I'm skeptical about whether can stick with it for four close-to-40-minute games in a row against top teams. McCowan hasn't faced three or four really good teams in a row this season - heck, she's hasn't even faced two top 25 RPI teams in a row in the entire season, which means she's either been able to phone it in for stretches on the court, or play <30 minute games. She was on the court almost 40 minutes a game during the tournament last season and she seemed kind of out of gas by the time they faced ND.
I just told someone last night that if Coach Vic could/would have pushed McCowan to get in better shape, I'd have them slated for the NC game.
 

oldude

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#19
Extremely minor homer quibble re Notre Dame:

The writer mentions ND's losses to UNC and Miami but doesn't mention how well ND has been playing since the Miami loss.

Turner, particularly, has gone to another level. She has 5 20-point outings in her last 6 games. The exception was the 2nd Syracuse game where she scored 14 points in 21 minutes. The key is that Shepard has been playing well, too, so they have finally got those two playing well at the same time.

ND is still inconsistent enough, especially defensively, that they are vulnerable to an upset loss, but I really do think they've found another gear since the Miami loss.

As for depth concerns, ND won the NC with 6 last year and I think Vaughn is approximately as good as Nelson was last year. Plus, Prohaska has shown enough that she can be used to by a few minutes rest here and there for the starting guards (at least in the early rounds). They definitely can't afford an injury to a starter, though.

Anyhow, good to see this from SI. It's hit and miss with national media pieces on WCBB, but this seems well-informed.
While I’m pulling for UConn, I would make ND the favorite. No team can score from all 5 positions like the Irish.
 
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#20
I think it will come down to Notre Dame and Baylor with Notre Dame winning. Those two teams present matchup problems because of their front court duos.

MS State also has a great front court duo, but they give me pause because they haven't beaten any of the top teams. So the question is still out there: can State beat any of the other 7 teams?
 
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#24
It scares me how many people are picking ND to win it. I wish Y’all would pick Your own teams to win it. Haha
ND presents so many matchup problems. I was trying to figure out how State would matchup against them, and I couldn't figure out who we'd put on Young.
 

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