Nov. 16: Baylor vs. UCONN - The Huskies’ winning streak will be at 79 by the time this game is played on November 16. This will be a tough second game of the season for UCONN, which is likely to have five freshmen getting significant playing time. Will Baylor 6-8 sophomore Brittney Griner be enough for the Bears? Who will guard UCONN’s Maya Moore?
Dec. 6: Texas A&M at Duke - Nice early season matchup between two teams that could get to the Final Four. This is also a chance for Jasmine Thomas to cement herself as a player of the year candidate. Texas A&M’s Danielle Thomas is an underrated power player who will also get a chance to prove she should be in the same sentence as other star centers Griner, Jantel Lavender, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Amber Harris,
Dec. 19: Ohio State vs. UCONN (at MSG) - If UCONN is undefeated at this point in the season, the record would be 9-0, one win shy of tying UCLA’s all-time record of 88 straight games. Former Commack All-American Sammy Prahalis and all-everything center Jantel Lavender could dash UCONN’s quest.
Dec. 19: Stanford at Tennessee - Ok, so it’s not UCONN vs. Tennessee. But this is the next best matchup. Stanford nearly upended UCONN in the championship game last season, but fell, 53-47. Stanford, ranked No.3 in the latest AP poll, is a heavy favorite to reach another Final Four. Tennessee is looking to get back into the Final Four after a couple of down seasons.
Dec. 30: UCONN at Stanford - No one can predict if UCONN will be undefeated by the time this game is played. But it doesn’t matter, because this is a matchup of probably the nation’s two best teams.
Other impact games:
Dec. 21: Xavier at Duke - Xavier won't be able to sneak up on anyone anymore. The Musketeers are the real deal. But Duke has been a mainstay in the top 10.
Jan. 12: UCONN vs. St. Johns (at MSG) - The Red Storm came into the season ranked 14th in the AP poll for the first time. This could be a statement game.
Jan. 30: Baylor at Texas A&M - There are the two best teams in the Big 12. The last team standing could be a No.1 seed. This is the first of two games.