Week 9 of women's college basketball is filled with rematches and rivalries, including the UConn-Tennessee battle this Thursday.
Here are my must-watch games this week:
We have two rivalries on Thursday. First, is a battle in the Big Ten when No.11 Michigan takes on No. 17 Ohio State.
Undefeated Michigan holds a 5-0 record in conference play — which is the best start and first time in program history. Michigan is led by Naz Hillmon in the paint, who averages 23.7 points per game. 7-1 Ohio State is coming off its first loss of the season falling to Big Ten foe Nebraska, 63-55, on Saturday.
The Wolverines will have to find a way to slow down the Buckeyes' offense. Ohio State features four double-figure scorers, led by Jacy Sheldon who averages 17.4 points per game.
This is the game of the week. No. 3 UConn battles old-time rival No. 25 Tennessee.
This rivalry dates back to 1995, and last season marked the first time these two teams saw each other since 2007. UConn defeated Tennessee, 60-45 last year, but the Huskies feature a new squad this year with seven freshmen.
"I wish she was still coaching and I wish she was still with us. I wish I had to work a lot harder to catch her." - Geno Auriemma— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) January 20, 2021
Geno may have passed Pat Summitt in wins last night, but the impact she had on the game goes far beyond any number. 🤍 pic.twitter.com/Apeib1Kj4s
Speaking of freshmen, I'm excited to see Paige Bueckers — who leads UConn in scoring with 18.1 points per game — take on the big stage during her ESPN debut. Plus, Evina Westbrook will battle her former team, since transferring from Tennessee her junior year.
This is the Huskies second test against a ranked opponent this season. Tennessee has upset No. 15 Indiana and No. 13 Arkansas.
On Friday, we have a rematch in the Pac-12 when No. 6 UCLA seeks revenge from No. 5 Stanford.
Earlier this season, Stanford defeated UCLA, 61-49. That's credit to Stanford's inside game. The Cardinal had 34 points alone in the paint and out-rebounded the Bruins, 51-37.
The first-quarter scoring was the difference maker of that matchup, with the Bruins shooting 1-for-10 from three and 4-for-18 from the floor.
Leading scorer Michaela Onyenwere stepped up big for the Bruins knocking down 19 points against the Cardinal. She'll need help from Charisma Osborne (18.1 points per game) to come out on top in this matchup. Osborne only had seven the last time out against the the Cardinal.
.@CharismaOsborne scored a game-high 28 points in our victory over WSU on Sunday, including 11 of our 13 points in overtime! 🏀— UCLA W. Basketball (@UCLAWBB) January 19, 2021
Check out some highlights from her stellar performance! ⤵️#GoBruins | 🐻💙💛 | #Elite pic.twitter.com/u3PtsiBTDX
Tune in at 10 p.m. Eastern on the Pac-12 Network to see if Stanford will bounce back from the upset to Colorado that knocked it from the No. 1 spot.
On Sunday, there's another battle in the Big Ten to finish the week when No. 21 Northwestern faces No. 16 Indiana.
Northwestern has bounced back and is coming off of a three-game winning streak since suffering back-to-back losses to Nebraska and previously No. 16 Michigan. Veronica Burton leads the Wildcats' offense with 17.7 points per game and is coming off of a 19-point performance in the victory against Penn State, 67-50.
As for Indiana, two of the Hoosiers' three loses this season has come from ranked opponents — Kentucky and Maryland. The Hoosiers are also on a three-game winning streak since falling to the Terps. Mackenzie Holmes leads Indiana in scoring (17.5 ppg) and blocks (35) and is second in rebounds (6.7 rpg).