Odds To Win the Women's Basketball National Championship
Connecticut Huskies -475
Perhaps the most iconic image of the entire run of the Huskies came when Katie Lou Samuelson knocked down all 10 of her three-point attempts against South Florida in the AAC Championship Game. She became the first women in the history of D-1 college basketball to hit 10 consecutive threes in the same game, and the only other person to do so was Andre Smith of George Mason.
We already know that UConn is really, really good. The team's closest games this season were a three-point win at Tulane in February, a six-point win at Maryland in December and a season-opening two-point win at Florida State in November. Each of the other 29 wins came by double-digits. The average final score of the Huskies' games this year? 84-54.
So alas, here's the big question: Can anyone even remotely stand up to the best active dynasty in sports?
Considering the fact that no one else in America finished with fewer than two losses is a telling sign that no one does indeed have said shot. The first contender in the women's bracket appears to be UCLA. The No. 15-ranked Bruins are the No. 4 seed in the Bridgeport Regional, and they probably aren't going to have all that tough of a time reaching this prospective Sweet 16 showdown.
More realistic is a challenge in the NCAA Tournament from either Duke or Maryland. The Terps were probably given the short end of the stick by being made the No. 3 seed in this region, and just getting to the Lady Huskies is going to be a big challenge. Maryland is ranked No. 4 in the land, and we already know that it was able to give the Huskies one fight this year at home. At 89.9 points per game, no team averages more than do the Lady Terps, though their challenge of taking care of No. 9 Duke, the No. 2 seed in the Bridgeport Regional, will be tough enough.
Fortunately for the Lady Huskies, the clear No. 2 team in America, Notre Dame, is on the other side of the bracket, meaning those two teams can't meet up until the National Championship Game. The Fighting Irish were the last ones to beat the Huskies in the Final Four in 2012, though it should be noted that the team that beat Notre Dame is going to get the first crack at the Huskies in all likelihood in the Final Four.
Baylor is the last team to win a National Championship not named UConn. The Lady Bears have their struggles for sure, but they seem to be galvanized by coach Kim Mulkey's rant on the media about the university's off the court problems. The Big XII was probably the deepest conference in America this year in women's basketball, and though Baylor didn't win the league title in the postseason – West Virginia did – we know that it's still going to be tough to beat on the road to the Final Four. The Lady Bears rank No. 2 in the nation in scoring at 88.6 points per game, and they aren't going to show fear against a team they pushed for four quarters earlier this season.
In the end, it's hard to say that UConn won't end up being champion once again. The Huskies have beaten all contenders this year, most of which have come very comfortably. Is -475 a tremendous price to lay? Of course it is. But when you've won 107 straight games and haven't even broken a sweat against some of the best teams in the land, you've earned that distinction.