Top 10 games to watch in 2005-06
Updated: November 9, 2005, 2:17 PM ETAssociated Press
A look at 10 of the top games to watch during the 2005-06 regluar season:
Nov. 13: Tip-Off Classic: Baylor vs. Georgia, Texas Tech vs. LSU
The season should get off to a rousing start with this doubleheader at Tech's United Spirit Arena. Baylor is the defending national champion, Georgia should have its best team in years, LSU is coming off two straight Final Four trips and has the nation's best player (Seimone Augustus) and Texas Tech, as usual, will contend in the Big 12.
Nov. 24: Tennessee vs. Michigan State at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
The Lady Vols should be rubbing their hands in anticipation of this one after Michigan State rallied from 16 points down to beat them in last season's national semifinals, matching the biggest comeback in Final Four history. "It's definitely in the back of our minds,'' Tennessee's Shanna Zolman said.
Dec. 1: Texas at Tennessee
The two coaches in this game begin the season with a combined 1,751 victories. Tennessee's Pat Summitt leads all Division I coaches, men's and women's, with 882 wins. Jody Conradt of Texas has won 869 games.
Dec. 4: Tennessee at Stanford
It's Candice vs. Candace. Stanford's Candice Wiggins was the Pac-10's player of the year last season as a freshman. Tennessee's Candace Parker was expected to have the same type of impact as Wiggins as a freshman last season, but couldn't play because of a knee injury.
Dec. 15: LSU at Ohio State
The two centers make this a must-see. Ohio State's Jessica Davenport, a 6-foot-5 junior, was the Big Ten's player of the year last season. Few players anywhere are stronger than LSU's Sylvia Fowles, a 6-6 sophomore who's one of the game's rising stars.
Jan. 7: Connecticut at Tennessee
Sure, last season's one-point Tennessee victory lacked the buzz of their previous meetings because neither was highly ranked. But the series between these two heavyweights remains one of the game's most intense. There's respect between the two, but little love.
Jan. 7: Texas at Baylor
Not only are these expected to be the two best teams in the Big 12, they'll also showcase the two best players -- Sophia Young of Baylor and Tiffany Jackson of Texas. Watching those two alone makes this matchup worthwhile. They meet again March 1 in Austin in a regular-season finale.
Jan. 28: Connecticut at DePaul
DePaul is the best of the Conference USA teams that migrated to the Big East. This will be the Blue Demons' first chance to see how they match up against the league's most prominent program.
Jan. 29: North Carolina at Duke
The ACC's two best programs are talented, quick and athletic, and these games -- they also meet Feb. 25 in a regular-season finale in Chapel Hill -- should decide the conference title. North Carolina won all three meetings with Duke last season, including the championship game of the ACC tournament.
Jan. 30: Baylor at LSU
Two up-and-coming stars in the coaching ranks will match wits. Kim Mulkey-Robertson turned a forlorn situation at Baylor into a national championship. In her only two seasons in charge at LSU, Pokey Chatman helped the Lady Tigers deal with former coach Sue Gunter's illness and death and guided them to the Final Four both years.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press