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Amna Subhan | | January 12, 2023

These are the five best women's basketball games to watch this week

UCLA and Maryland enter this week's Power 10 rankings

Coming off a week of women's college basketball with lots of movement and unexpected outcomes, this week features some heavyweight conference matchups and an ESPN doubleheader to cap it off. 

Here are the five games to look out for: 

No. 6 Indiana vs. No. 9 Maryland — Thursday, Jan. 12 

  • When: 6:30 p.m. ET, Thursday 
  • Stream: Big Ten Network     
  • Storyline to follow: Top-10 Big Ten battle 

This week, Maryland broke into the top-10 AP rankings making the matchup between No. 6 Indiana and No. 9 Maryland all the more special. 

The Terrapins (13-3) trot into the matchup on a five-game winning streak dating back to Dec. 8 including a buzzer-beating win over top-ranked UConn. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers (14-1) bounced back from an upset loss to Michigan State just before the new year breaking their undefeated record. 

Star guard Grace Berger returned in Indiana’s last outing after an eight-game absence from a knee injury sustained Nov. 25. Berger recorded 16 points, a season-high, and five assists in her first game back. 

RANKINGS: View the latest women's basketball AP poll

No. 2 Stanford at No. 8 UCLA — Friday, Jan. 13 

  • When: 11:00 p.m. ET, Friday
  • Stream: Pac 12 Networks 
  • Storyline to follow: Top-10 Pac-12 clash 

It’s the first time No. 2 Stanford hits the road since before Thanksgiving, and they’ll meet its match against No. 8 UCLA. 

The Cardinal (16-1) struggled against California in its last game only between the Golden Bears by four points. Stanford typically beats opponents by 26.1 points on average for the third-best point differential rank in the nation. 

The Bruins (14-2) had a six-game winning streak broken by Oregon State but rebounded to beat rival Southern California 61-60. 

Cameron Brink, who leads Stanford in points (13.9) and rebounds (9.4), had a season-high 25-point and 17-rebound performance to lift the Cardinal over the conference foe. For UCLA, Charisma Osborne leads the Bruins in both categories with 17.4 ppg and 6.2 rebounds. 

While Stanford looked human in its last performance, Tara VanDerveer’s squad has won 38 consecutive conference games. 

No. 1 South Carolina vs. Missouri — Sunday, Jan. 15

  • When: 1 p.m. ET, Sunday
  • Stream: ESPN     
  • Storyline to follow: Defending champs in action

Anytime No. 1 South Carolina is in action it’s a sight to see, and if it’s against an SEC opponent like Missouri itching for an upset — it’s even better. 

The Gamecocks (16-0) faced its first conference test against Mississippi State churning out a scrappy 58-51 win over the Bulldogs. The defending champs have been perfect all season, but will face the last team to beat them, Kentucky, just before Sunday’s matchup. 

The Tigers (14-3) have only faced one ranked opponent and lost versus Virginia Tech. Before traveling to South Carolina they’ll encounter the other undefeated SEC team LSU getting a practice run before playing Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke and company. 

🔮 BRACKETOLOGY: The first March Madness women's bracket predictions of 2023

No. 10 Utah vs. No. 14 Arizona — Sunday, Jan. 15

  • When: 2 p.m. ET, Sunday
  • Stream: Pac-12 Networks 
  • Storyline to follow: A battle for Pac-12 dominance 

In the last six outings between No. 10 Utah and No. 14 Arizona have been equal 3-3. The Wildcats won the last three with the Utes winning the three before that. 

Now, both are top-15  teams through early January. This matchup could define who is the second or third best team in the Pac-12. 

The Utes (14-1) stayed undefeated through 14 games losing to Colorado in their last game 77-67. The Wildcats got rocked in early December 77-50 by then-unranked Kansas but have won seven out of eight games since then only falling to Stanford. 

Before Arizona travels to Utah they’ll face Colorado while the Utes get some extra rest in a forfeit from Arizona State because of Sun Devil injuries. 

No. 11 NC State vs. No. 22 North Carolina — Sunday, Jan. 15 

  • When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Sunday 
  • Stream: ESPN 
  • Storyline to follow: In-state rivalry matchup

This North Carolina rivalry dates back to 1975 when the Tar Heels blew out the Wolfpack 74-47. Now, No. 11 NC State battles No. 22 North Carolina for the 115th time. 

The Wolfpack (13-3) consistently stick around the top of the AP poll while North Carolina dropped to 22nd after a four-game losing streak. But UNC shattered that downslide with a statement 60-50 win over No. 4 Notre Dame last week. 

The backcourt matchup between the Tar Heel’s Deja Kelly and the Pack’s Diamond Johnson will be a fun one to follow. Kelly tops North Carolina in points (16.3) and assists (3.9) while Kelly does the same recording 13.9 ppg and 3.8 assists per contest. 

NC State leads North Carolina all-time in the series 62-53. 


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