how good is louisville women's basketball?
By Mike Gilpatrick
January 15th, 2017
January 15th, 2017
For the first time in school history, Louisville women's basketball is ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25. And they've earned that ranking. Louisville has won 19 straight to start the season- their best start, and longest win streak, in program history. They're arguably the best team in program history. But despite how good they are, they probably won't get the No. 1 spot anytime soon.
The reason: Connecticut. The Huskies have the best women's basketball program in history, and are undefeated this season, having won all 15. They have the top offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, and are in the top 10 in numerous others. The only way to get the No. 1 spot is to beat them. It's the only way that Louisville can get their highest ranking in history.
Despite this, Louisville has been impressive. They're 5-0 against ranked teams, and have won in double-digits in all top-25 games, except for Ohio State. They shelled the No. 2 team in the nation 100-67, while two players tied the Irish's point total. Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen have been unstoppable. The guard from Georgia is averaging 21.1 points, and is .500 from three. Hines-Allen has been averaging nearly a double-double. Sam Fuehring has been outstanding from close. Arica Carter is an assist machine.
But, could they beat the No. 1 team in America?
That remains to be seen. The Cards take on Connecticut on February 12th, in Storrs. It'll be interesting. In order for Louisville to win, they have to play all four quarters with intensity, much like how they did against Notre Dame. As the Irish found out, they can't forget about the fourth against the Huskies.
That's one opponent that comparisons can be drawn on. Louisville defeated Notre Dame 100-67, though the Irish weren't at full strength. When Notre Dame took on Connecticut, they led late in the game, but allowed the No. 1 team to outscore them in the fourth, 26-9, to lose the game.
Louisville would have to play all four quarters with intensity against UConn. Six Huskies score more than ten. Louisville will have to have a good mix of physicality and shooting. Notre Dame is ranked higher in almost all statistical categories, except three-point percentage.
If Louisville drains threes like they did against Notre Dame, they may be able to make it a close game.
But first, there's plenty more basketball. Louisville has to play seven more before the top-five matchup in February. They could win or lose any of them. The best game will be next Sunday, against Florida State. The Seminoles are 16-2, and ranked 12th. Five Florida State players are scoring over ten a game. A couple players are averaging almost a double-double.
The next few are going to be fun.