Best Of The Best

By Jeff Lippman - January 09, 2008

We often talk about women's basketball being a sport in which the best of the best win as expected and the worst of the worst lose as expected.

This scenario is slowly beginning to shift, however. Last year at this time, the nation's top three teams, Maryland, North Carolina and Duke, respectively, were all undefeated.

Fast forward to 2008 and the country only has two undefeateds remaining - No. 1 Connecticut and - get this - No. 20 Arkansas.

That's right. Tennessee, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, Rutgers (twice), Stanford (three times) and Baylor have all lost at least one game this season thanks to a heavy dose of non-conference Top 10 matchups.

The best played the best, and beat the best. Somehow, Connecticut remained unscathed. Of course, "somehow" might be explained by looking at UConn's opponents. They have met just two ranked teams this season, beating Stanford at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands and then-No. 9-now-not-so-great Duke.

Don't get me wrong, this might be the best UConn team of all time before everything is said and done, all I'm saying is they really haven't had the opportunity to lose that some of the other top-ranked programs have.

Arkansas, on the other hand, was never supposed to be this good. That's why, after winning their first 15 games, they are still ranked in the bottom of the Top 25. The Lady Backs have yet to play a ranked opponent - they get No. 11 LSU Thursday - but do have some big wins against teams from top conferences including wins over Clemson, Marquette and the absolute demolition of Texas Tech.

Worst Of The Worst

Two teams remain undefeated, four teams have yet to win a single game.

Does anyone else find that odd? That while only two Division I teams could avoid losing to this point, four haven't been able to find any way to win.

It's hard to lose every game you play. Try it sometime. Sometimes luck wins out.

Luck is not something that Winston-Salem, Howard, Cal State Northridge or - especially - Fordham has experienced lately as combined their records stand at 0-49.

What a Final Four that would be?
Howard: You take the ball and score, I don't want it.
Fordham: Oh, and I do? Even if I had the ball, I wouldn't know what to do with it.

In this infamous foursome, Winston-Salem is 0-10, Howard and CS Northridge 0-12 and Fordham is an incredible 0-15.

Arkansas has won 15 games in a row, Fordham struggles scoring 15 points in a half.

The big question on everyone's mind is, can this fearsome foursome make it 50 games lost in a row? It's all on Northridge's shoulders. They play next on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 6-7 UC Davis. I'd say the Matadors had a chance, but since the game is not at home... my guess... 0-50!

Worst Conference
The Southland Conference is bad.

I mean really bad. Like leaving a cut-open avocado on the counter for a week bad.

The best team in the conference is University of Texas at San Antonio who harbors a divine record of 8-5. That's the best record in the entire conference!

Northwestern State and Lamar are the next best at 7-6 and after that, there isn't another team in the 12-team conference over .500. Oh, and on the list of the teams with the worst scoring margin of victory in the country, the Southland has two teams in the bottom five - McNeese State at 323 out of 326 and Sam Houston State at 325.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 01:42 PM on January 09, 2008

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