Top-ranked squads South Carolina and UConn set to do battle
Calling it a heavyweight matchup would be putting it lightly.
A day ago, the South Carolina Gamecocks and UConn Huskies occupied the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, in the women's college basketball AP Top 25.
But a Feb. 1 loss by former No. 1 Louisville to NC State opened the door for South Carolina (15-1) and UConn (13-1) to make a jump before their Monday showdown at Gampel Pavilion on the campus of the University of Connecticut.
Now, their clash at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 will serve as the latest 1-2 matchup in women's college hoops and arguably the biggest game of the season.
Besides being the top-ranked teams in the land, the Gamecocks and Huskies have another thing in common: They each have one loss on their résumé so far this season.
South Carolina, similar to Louisville, fell to now-No. 4 NC State in a 54-46 setback on Dec. 3. Since then, the Gamecocks have put together a 12-game win streak, including victories over then-No. 23 Iowa State, then-No. 10 Kentucky, then-No. 15 Arkansas, then-No. 22 Georgia and then-No. 21 Mississippi State.
The Huskies' lone loss came in a 90-87 defeat on Jan. 28 at Arkansas. Connecticut owns two wins over then-No. 18 DePaul and a victory over then-No. 25 Tennessee.
The two teams will meet for the first time this season. South Carolina blew out UConn 70-52 on Feb. 10 of last season, earning the Gamecocks their first win over the Huskies.
On that night, South Carolina was No. 1 in the nation, and UConn was No. 5.
On UConn's side this season, however, is standout freshman guard Paige Bueckers, who has hit her stride in a big way over the past week.
After scoring a season-low nine points on Jan. 21 at Tennessee, her only single-digit output of the season, Bueckers has been on fire the past four games, averaging 27.8 points on 63.2% shooting.
On Feb. 3 against St. John's, she put up a career-high 32 points, and two days later, she scored 30 at Marquette.
The battle for women's college basketball supremacy is set.
Bring it on.