Teams are down to fewer than 10 regular season games with conference tournaments right around the corner.
Here are my three must-watch games for Week 12 of women's college basketball, which includes the NCAA DI Women's Basketball Committee's top-16 reveal during the Pac-12 battle between No. 5 Stanford and No. 11 Oregon.
You might want to circle your calendars on Monday. During halftime of the Pac-12 rematch, the NCAA DI Women's Basketball Committee will reveal its first in-season top-16 teams for the 2021 women’s basketball tournament on ESPN2.
Earlier this season, Oregon fell to then-No.1 Stanford, losing by single-digits. The Ducks were the aggressors in the first half, but it was a third quarter attack outscoring the Ducks 28-14 to help Stanford pull out the win. Turnovers also plagued the Ducks in the last stretch, while Stanford gained 15 points off of Oregon's mistakes.
Stanford is currently on a six-game winning streak, holding the No. 1 spot in the Pac-12 standings. That's credit to having a consistent offensive attack in Cameron Brink, Fran Belibi and Haley Jones. The three Cardinal are featured in the Pac 12's top-6 for field goal percentage.
Can the young Ducks put up another fight against Stanford's experienced depth?
On Sunday, a top-3 SEC matchup is set between No. 16 Tennessee and No. 6 Texas A&M. This game will finally take place, after being rescheduled twice this season due to COVID-19 protocols.
If you love hoops, then you gotta love this team ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WqsMFaU3B4— Texas A&M Women's Basketball (@AggieWBB) February 10, 2021
Tennessee will travel to Texas A&M, which is 11-0 at home in the Reed Arena. The Aggies also hold a 7-0 record against ranked opponents — the most ranked victories in the country. The Vols however are 2-2 against top-25 foes, almost knocking off UConn and suffering a double-digit loss against No. 20 Kentucky.
Watch for Texas A&M to focus on the paint with top scorers N’dea Jones and Ciera Johnson inside. The Aggies’ front court puts up about 24 points together. Tennessee’s Tamari Key will be tasked with helping shutdown Jones and Johnson in the paint.
Result: No. 6 Texas A&M 80, No. 16 Tennessee 70
There will be another battle in the paint in the in-state showdown with No. 7 Baylor facing Texas. This will be the first time the Big 12 opponents meet this season.
Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith will match up against Texas’ Charli Collier. Both are double-double machines and the leading scorers of their teams. Smith averages 18.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Smith will have to find a way to slow down the preseason National Player of the Year candidate in the paint on both ends of the court.
Collier is currently No. 3 in the country in rebounds and top-15 in the nation in scoring. She averages 22.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. Collier recently joined the 1,000 point milestone club against Oklahoma State on Feb. 10. She will look to help Texas snap an eight-game losing streak against the Bears that dates back to 2017.
The Bears have only lost one conference game, falling to Iowa State, while Texas holds an 8-4 record in Big 12 play. Baylor's DiJonai Carrington is another scoring nightmare for the Bears, giving her team a boost on 3s, leading with 22 3-pointers. Carrington will help Smith by opening up the paint with her perimeter shooting in Sunday's matchup against Texas.
Result: No. 7 Baylor 60, Texas 35