The More The Merrier
Louisville set a BIG EAST women’s basketball regular-season attendance mark of 22,124 last week in its season-opener against Tennessee. The sellout crowd also helped christen Louisville’s new $238 million arena, the KFC Yum! Center. The attendance mark topped the 19,123 that then-No. 1 Connecticut drew in a visit to Freedom Hall on Jan. 12, 2008.
Two Early Wins Over Ranked Teams
Connecticut and Georgetown carried the conference flag well during the first week of the season earning the league’s first two wins over ranked teams. No. 1/1 UConn topped No. 2/2 Baylor 65-64 in an instant classic that went down to the wire. No. 13/13 Georgetown beat No. 21/RV Maryland 53-45 and earned its first win against the Terps in nine tries.
‘Super Six’ Series Games
Pittsburgh and Notre Dame represented the league in the inaugural “Super Six” Series, which pits two teams from the top six leagues in the country in high-profile, early-season matchups. The Panthers lost at Minnesota 76-63 on Nov. 18, while Notre Dame lost to No. 15/15 UCLA 86-83 in double overtime.
The Series will continue through the 2011-12 season. Two teams from the ACC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pacific-10 will participate.
Starting Off on the Right Foot
In the AP Preseason Poll, UConn secured the top spot for the third straight year and eighth time overall. Joining the No. 1 Huskies in the Preseason Top 25 were West Virginia at No. 11, Notre Dame at No. 12, Georgetown at No. 13 and St. John’s at No. 14. It marked the first time in BIG EAST history that five teams were ranked in the top 14.
DePaul, Rutgers and Pittsburgh also received votes. At No. 11, West Virginia earned its highest Preseason Top 25 ranking and just the second in the history of the program. St. John’s earned its first Preseason Top 25 ranking, with the No. 14 spot also marking its highest AP mark ever.