After a wild set of Thanksgiving week tournaments in which a slew of ranked opponents suffered early-season losses, many at the hands of unranked teams, the women’s college basketball world has another slate of marquee nonconference matchups over the next few days in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Jimmy V Classic.
The former features four matchups between ranked opponents, including the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes’ 96-77 road win over the No. 18 Louisville Cardinals on Wednesday. Thursday’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge games includes meetings between the No. 20 Maryland Terrapins at the No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels at the No. 5 Indiana Hoosiers, the No. 12 NC State Wolfpack at the No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Jimmy V Classic follows on Sunday, with the No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies traveling to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the No. 3 UConn Huskies taking on No. 7 Notre Dame in South Bend, a revival of the programs’ storied rivalry.
The ACC and Big Ten each have five teams in the latest Associated Press poll, but the former has won 10 of the 14 iterations of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which is in its final year. A new ACC/SEC Challenge will begin in 2023-24, the conferences announced this week.
ESPN.com’s panel of experts — M.A. Voepel, Charlie Creme and Alexa Philippou — break down what we’ve learned about some of these programs thus far, which teams have the most to prove over the next few days and predict every matchup.
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Diamond Miller nails the 3 vs. Baylor Bears
Which team has the most to prove or to gain in these events?
Creme: Maryland is still searching for an identity. Are the Terps a perimeter shooting team? Do they need to play fast to win? Is this Diamond Miller’s team? Can they rebound enough (Maryland is currently 249th in defensive rebounding rate, according to Her Hoop Stats)? All of these questions remain unanswered eight games into the season.
Maryland does have an impressive road…