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3 games to watch in women’s college basketball for Week 8

This week’s women’s college basketball schedule is loaded with must-watch games, including five enormous matchups between ranked teams.

Welcome back to FanSided’s weekly look around the women’s basketball world. Looking for some games to watch this upcoming week? We’ll be highlighting three of them that should be on your radar.

Whether you’re a long-time viewer who’s just looking for a shortcut to see what you should watch or you’re just getting into the sport and want to know about compelling storylines, we have you covered. And at the end, I’ll include a short “other games to watch” section, if you want to take your basketball watching further.

Let’s dig into the eighth week of the women’s college basketball season!

Here are the women’s college basketball games you won’t want to miss this week:

3. No. 9 LSU @ No. 24 Arkansas

Thursday, Dec. 29, 7:00 PM — ESPN2

It’s finally time to see what LSU is all about.

The Tigers are 12-0 on the season, but per Her Hoop Stats, the team’s opponent average winning percentage of .423 ranks 290th out of 361 teams. LSU just hasn’t really faced many tests yet. They’ve played exactly one team from a power conference, beating Oregon State by 32, but where we’ll really start to learn what Kim Mulkey’s team is all about is in SEC play.

The Tigers lead the country in points per game at 94.8 and are winning games by an average margin of 44.0. But again, strength-of-schedule matters here. Can this team keep throttling teams now that they’ll be playing high-quality opponents night after night? Angel Reese is averaging 24.6 points and 14.7 rebounds per game for the Tigers, plus 2.3 steals and 1.5 blocks.

As for Arkansas, Mike Neighbor’s teams have always been known for offense and the Razorbacks are 32nd in Division I in scoring offense, led by Samara Spencer’s 16.3 points per night. Arkansas plays fairly fast and will try to control the pace of this one. But the team also comes into Thursday’s game on a two-game losing streak, dropping close ones to Oregon and South Florida.

2. No. 14 Michigan @ No. 3 Ohio State

Saturday, Dec. 31, 1:00 PM — Big Ten Network

Michigan and Ohio State will both be in the College Football Playoff, but a rematch between the two sides there will depend on whether or not both teams can win in the first round. That’s not the case this weekend in women’s basketball when we have a guaranteed meeting between the two teams.

The Wolverines come into this one 11-1, with the only loss coming earlier in December against a really good mid-major team, Toledo. The team has a win over North Carolina since then, plus has victories over Miami, Baylor and South Florida, all good teams.

Michigan has been really efficient, ranking 21st in the country in effective field goal percentage and 12th in points per scoring attempt. Emily Kiser leads the team in scoring with 18.4 points per game.

On the other side, the Buckeyes are 13-0 on the season and have been elite offensively, scoring 89.4 points per game, the third-best mark in Division I. The team is shooting 50.1% from the floor, the sixth-best mark in the country, and they rank top 10 in effective field goal percentage, points per scoring attempt, and points per play.

Taylor Mikesell is at her third stop in college. After two years at Maryland and one at Oregon, she arrived in Columbus last year and immediately average a career-high 18.6 points per game. She’s slightly below that this year at 18.1, but overall Mikesell has been such an important piece for this team.

1. No . 13 North Carolina @ No. 7 Virginia Tech

Sunday, Jan, 1, 4:00 PM — ACC Network

We’ve talked a lot about the Tar Heels this year. The 9-2 team has wins over Oregon and Iowa State, plus losses to Indiana and Michigan. Maybe that’s the secret to beating UNC — being a Big Ten program?

Anyway, the Tar Heels haven’t been great defensively, but the offense ranks 22nd in scoring, and the team has done a good job avoiding turnovers, ranking 12th in turnover rate and 26th in assists/turnover ratio. Deja Kelly and Eva Hodgson both have done a good job handling the ball and keeping it on the Tar Heels’ side. Kelly ranks in the top 50 in the country in assist/turnover ratio.

As for the Hokies, the team’s dropped just one contest, losing 62-52 to Notre Dame back on December 18th. The team has been stellar on both ends, which has led to the sixth-best average margin at 36.3.

Like UNC, Virginia Tech does a great job avoiding turnovers, ranking 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio. Both of these teams know how to hold onto the basketball, setting up what should be a really good battle between these two teams. But considering the Hokies have actually been one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to getting steals of their own — they rank 317th in steals per game — this game could end up favoring UNC.

Other games to watch

  • No. 14 Michigan @ Nebraska — Wednesday, Dec. 28, 7:00 PM — Big Ten Network
  • No. 8 UConn @ No. 21 Creighton — Wednesday, Dec. 28, 8:30 PM — SNY
  • Tennessee @ Florida — Thursday, Dec. 29, 6:00 PM — SEC Network
  • Duke @ No. 6 NC State — Thursday, Dec. 29, 8:00 PM — ACC Network
  • No. 11 Utah @ Washington State — Friday, Dec. 30, 7:00 PM — Pac-12 Network
  • No. 10 UCLA @ No. 17 Oregon — Friday, Dec, 30, 9:00 PM — Pac-12 Network
  • No. 15 Iowa State @ Texas Tech — Saturday, Dec. 31, 3:00 PM — ESPN+

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for AccessTV.co, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on AccessTV.co.

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