Goliath vs Goliath: Notre Dame, UConn Battle for #1


Notre Dame vs UConn isn’t the average regular season college basketball game.

The Fighting Irish vs the UConn Huskies is a game of epic proportion. As the top two teams in the land, these Goliaths will be fighting for more than just a win.

What’s on the line in this matchup isn’t the remains of an undefeated season or the top spot in the AP Poll. What this game represents is who truly is the best in women’s college basketball.

The Huskies are riding an 82-game winning streak and if they play their cards right could end up with over 100 consecutive wins in a row. But what would be better than winning 100 straight games? Ending the chance of a rivalry, and the only team “better” than you from completing the milestone.

There’s no underdog in this game. You can’t say UConn is favored because they’re ranked higher, or because they’ve beaten better teams. At the same time, you can’t argue that Notre Dame is the favorite because of their veteran presence and dominant guard play.

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There’s just no way to go about this. This is beef vs beef, top dog vs top dog, Goliath vs Goliath, and there’s nothing disappointing about it.

Brianna Turner, Arike Ogunbowale, Jackie Young, Kristina Nelson, all players who can easily be considered some of the best in college basketball. Each one of them will quickly realize they’re just an average baller on the court with UConn.

The same goes for the Huskies. You don’t step on the court in a Notre Dame vs UConn game and expect to shine. No one does. You go out there, and you play until you’re blue in the face, and for 40-minutes you do everything you can to outcompete a team just as dominant as you.

It’s what makes this game special. No one was this anxious about UConn vs Baylor, no one is thrilled when the National Championship consists of other teams, people get excited when they know the best two teams in women’s college basketball are squaring off.

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This is every children’s book you’ve ever read without the underdog because UConn vs Notre Dame doesn’t have one. If Las Vegas were smart, they would never put a spread on the game, and just admit that this game is unpredictable.

There’s nothing like it. When you have two teams so far ahead of the pack, you just can’t decide who’s better. So what does the NCAA do? They have them play each other. Not that it decides anything. The winner of this game isn’t the best team in college basketball, and they certainly aren’t the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament.

This game decides nothing. All it does it give each team a little more respect for each other. As soon as the final buzzer sounds, no matter the outcome, these two teams remain the top teams in college basketball.

It’s just how it is. One team may have the upper hand tonight, but tomorrow morning the loser is getting ready to come back stronger. If anything, this is a practice run so the National Championship is more competitive.

It’s thrilling. The best game of the 2016-2017 regular season means nothing more than great basketball. Yes, there’s a winning streak and the top spot in the AP Poll on the line. But to Notre Dame and UConn, this game is nothing more than beating your opponent.

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To the college basketball world, winning streaks and rankings don’t matter in this matchup. The world gets to witness a battle of two Goliaths, battling for nothing but regular season respect.