A year ago at this time marked the final days of ESPN’s Three To See, as seniors Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne were in the final stretch of their standout collegiate careers at Baylor, Notre Dame and Delaware, respectively. The question many fans were asking at the time was who would be the next group of standouts to emerge. 

Seniors Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland), Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Bria Hartley (UConn) and Kayla McBride (Notre Dame) have certainly lived up to their pre-season All-American billing this season. 

While those seniors shine in their final season, the story of the season has been the play of the underclassmen who have shown that the game is in good hands for the future. Playing beyond their years, sophomores Breanna Stewart (UConn), Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame), Jillian Alleyne (Oregon), Ameryst Alston (Ohio State) Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina) and Nirra Fields (UCLA) to name a few, have emerged as team leaders, while freshmen Chrishae Rowe (Oregon), Kelsey Plum (Washington), Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech), Diamond DeShields (North Carolina), Jessica Jackson (Arkansas) and several others are some of the top scorers in the country, freshmen or otherwise.

It can be argued that this is one of the top freshmen classes in history, with a total of 60 freshmen and sophomores ranked in the top 250 players in scoring this season, with 16 of those being freshmen.  In 2012-13, there were nine freshmen ranked in the top 250 in scoring.

The top-scoring sophomore this season is Kelsey Minato of Army, who is averaging 21.7 points per game, while Rowe tops all freshman at 21.8 points per game.  Rowe’s teammate at Oregon, Alleyne averages 21.4 points and a national-best 15.7 rebounds per game.

SUPER SOPHOMORES
NAMESCHOOLPOINTS PER GAME
Kelsey MinatoArmy21.7
Jillian AlleyneOregon21.4
Shereesha RichardsAlbany20.8
Ashley LukeWestern Illinois20.1
Jada PayneEast Carolina19.3
Breanna StewartConnecticut19.3
Emani WhiteNicholls State19.2
Brittany CrainUC Riverside18.9
Jewell LoydNotre Dame18.7
Aundrea GambleArkansas State18.6

FABULOUS FRESHMEN
NAMESCHOOLPOINTS PER GAME
Chrishae RoweOregon21.8
Kelsey PlumWashington20.8
Raven BankstonDelaware State20.4
Malia Tate-DeFreitasHampton18.9
Sara DickeyEvansville18.3
Kaela DavisGeorgia Tech18.3
Diamond DeShieldsNorth Carolina17.7
Jasmine NwajeiWagner17.7
Kaylah KeysHigh Point17.6
Jessica JacksonArkansas16.6

Regular-season champions

Congratulations to the following teams which have clinched conference regular-season championships and for some, the No. 1 seed at their respective upcoming conference tournaments. Note that for the Mid-American and Ohio Valley conference’s, the No. 1 seeds are still be determined because those conference’s crown divisional champions.

• America East -- Albany
• Atlantic 10 -- Dayton
• Atlantic Coast -- Notre Dame
• Colonial -- James Madison
• Mid-American -- Central Michigan (West Division)
• Mountain West -- Colorado State
• Ohio Valley -- Tennessee-Martin (West Division)
• Pac-12 -- Stanford
• Southern --  Chattanooga


Around the division

South Carolina clinched at least a share of its first Southeastern Conference regular-season championship in school history last week. The Gamecocks won a pair of games, including their first win at Kentucky since 2008. Their home win against Florida this past Sunday was in front of the second-largest women’s basketball crowd at Colonial Life Arena with 10,547 fans in attendance.

Central ArkansasCourtney Duever has been a major part of the Sugar Bears’ rise to first place in the Southland Conference. In her most recent outing, Duever, a senior from Austin, Texas, scored a career-high 36 points against Oral Roberts in a 62-54 win. Duever’s 36 points ties the highest total for a conference player this season.

Geno Auriemma celebrated his 1,000th game as UConn’s head coach with another victory, when the Huskies won at Houston 92-41 this past Saturday.

The much-anticipated matchup between UConn and Louisville will take place on Monday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that only a limited number of tickets are remaining for the game in the 22,090 seat facility. The undefeated Huskies (28-0) are currently ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, while Louisville (27-2) is No. 3. UConn defeated Louisville 81-64 in Storrs, Conn., on Feb. 9. The game is Senior Night for Louisville seniors Tia Gibbs, Shoni Schimmel, Antonita Slaughter and Asia Taylor.

Division I Basketball RPI Update

The Ratings Percentage Index ranks teams based upon a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule and is one of many tools used by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee in the selection and seeding process for the championship. Notre Dame has maintained the No. 1 RPI, followed by Stanford, Duke, Connecticut and South Carolina. The combined record for the top five RPI teams is 130-8.

GAMES OF THE WEEK
MATCHUPTIME (ET)
THURSDAY 
Iona at Quinnipiac
No. 14 North Carolina at No. 2 Notre Dame
Georgia at No. 4 South Carolina
Georgia Tech at Florida State
Green Bay at Wright State
Arkansas at No. 17 Texas A&M
Indiana at Minnesota
No. 10 Tennessee at LSU
St. Mary's (Calif.) at No. 22 Gonzaga
6 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
8 p.m.
8 p.m.
9 p.m.
9 p.m.

 

FRIDAY 
Princeton at Yale
UCLA at Colorado
No. 20 Arizona State at Oregon
Arizona at Oregon State
7 p.m.
8 p.m.
10 p.m.
10 p.m.

 

SATURDAY 
DePaul at St. John's
Campbell at Winthrop
Stony Brook at Albany
Dayton at George Washington
Creighton at Marquette
San Diego at BYU
Michigan at No. 8 Penn State
No. 24 Rutgers at No. 1 Connecticut
Tulane at Southern Mississippi
SMU at South Florida
Washington State at No. 5 Stanford
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
2 p.m.
2 p.m.
3 p.m.
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
5 p.m.
7 p.m.
10:30 p.m.
SUNDAY 
Marist at Iona
No. 7 Duke at No. 14 North Carolina
No. 17 Texas A&M at Florida
No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 13 NC State
No. 16 Nebraska at No. 19 Purdue
Southern California at Colorado
Fordham at Saint Joseph's
No. 4 South Carolina at No. 10 Tennessee
No. 11 West Virginia at No. 6 Baylor
South Dakota State at South Dakota
Vanderbilt at No. 12 Kentucky
Noon
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
2 p.m.
2 p.m.
2 p.m.
2 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
3 p.m.
4 p.m.

 

MONDAY 
No. 1 Connecticut at No. 3 Louisville
South Florida at No. 24 Rutgers
No. 15 Oklahoma State at Texas
Montana at Montana State
7 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
8 p.m.
9 p.m.
Complete television listings