Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Women’s basketball makes room for new stars and new contenders

There are some more compelling variations than NCAA tournament basketball, and since the postseason was canceled last March due to the coronovirus epidemic, the best players in women’s basketball are starved of the bright lights of the big stage. His passion for the game, at least for the next few weeks, becomes our own as we drown in the glimpses and heartbreak of the bracket.

Before the tournament starts in San Antonio on March 21, women’s college basketball has some keys to understanding last season.

Women’s college basketball season is defined by epidemic, it is impossible to incomplete. At least nine games have been canceled this month due to coronavirus health and safety protocols. Almost every top event has missed games due to either contact tracing or positive virus tests, meaning that most teams have not played a full slate of games.

In December, The New York Times reported that at least there was 6,629 cases of coronavirus Within college sports; It is difficult to know how many more athletes and staff members have tested positive, as the NCAA does not track test results. But at least one female basketball player, Demi Washington of Vanderbilt, Found out that he had acute myocarditis, which doctors believed was a side effect of coronovirus.

Six of the top 10 teams have won in the Associated Press poll At least one title; Only two have never been to a final four. But the high ranking of perennial contenders such as Stanford, Baylor, Louisville, yes, Yukon obscured the fact that there is a very high level of playing field at the top of the game, which is for years, as evidenced by this. Split vote for number 1 The spot. (UConn has the top ranking with 22 first place, Stanford is second with five, and North Carolina State in third two.)

UConn is the only team in the top 25 with only one defeat, but the Huskies played a relatively easy schedule. Among his teammates at the top, there is no clear front-runner, who sets the stage for the tight elite eight matches.

The epidemic has replaced conference tournaments and NCAA tournaments. Because teams in each conference have not played the same games, most tournaments are ranked using win percentages. In the SEC tournament, for example, Tennessee was the No. 3 seed and Kentucky was No. 5, even though Kentucky had won as many conference games as the Lady Walls and had more wins over all. The result of this seeding system was wooing the matchup for two strong upset candidates – No. 11 Ole Miss, who came to the Tentljingli after beating Tennessee in the quarterfinals, and No. 4 Georgia, who suffered a 5-point loss against South Carolina . Championship game.

A similar unpredictability could be under way in the NCAA tournament, which would use A. True s-curve For first time seed teams: Because the games are all happening in San Antonio, geographic considerations will not be taken into account as the selection committee forms brackets, removing a variable and potentially creating strong competition.

According to the data, during the 2020-21 season, teams averaged more than an average of at least eight 3-point baskets per game. His circle statistics. 3-point revolution Has clearly made it to the women’s game, and paved a way for mid-major events to either make their first shot to make the tournament, such as the High Point Panthers (10.2 per game), or meet the actual upset potential To do, as is Florida Gulf Coast (11.8 per game) and Stephen F. Case with Austin (8.6 per game). Power 5 schools are no strangers to splash, either – Virginia Tech is averaging 9.8 per game, thanks in large part to senior guard Aisha Sheppard (3.7 per game), and Arkansas is averaging 9.6. Either of these teams can easily live (or die) by 3.

Beyond the top teams, there used to be a talent vacuum in women’s college basketball, with programs designed to extend the reign of dynasties to lead deep postsunny runs, with programs accustomed to watching the home finals. With high school recruits. Not now, though: Texas’s Charlie Collier and Oklahoma State’s Natasha Mack, who are WNBA top prospects, represent the Big 12. The best shooter in the country is Monica Cajinano, a Junior Center in Iowa. It is difficult to turn on a female college basketball game capable of at least one truly forced player ready for victory – and to bring some craziness to March.

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