Fans of women’s college basketball, and for that matter the Oklahoma State and Notre Dame teams, should pull up a chair and get comfortable.
Saturday’s Baylor vs. Kentucky Sweet 16 game could last awhile.
The teams are meeting for the first time since Kentucky outlasted Baylor 133-130 in four overtimes at AT&T Stadium last December. The winner advances to the Elite Eight to play the Notre Dame-Oklahoma State winner.
That matchup at Jerry Jones’ palace was part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge that included a Baylor vs. Kentucky men’s and women’s hoops doubleheader. The women’s game was the front end of the double dip, lasted more than three hours and set an NCAA Women’s Division I record for most points in a game.
Much like the men’s version of March Madness, guard play is big this time of year and the Bears and Wildcats provided a showcase last time.
The winner of this game will likely win the backcourt battle.
Baylor star Odyssey Sims fouled out of the game with 1:23 remaining in the first overtime, but not before she put up 47 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Not to be outdone, Kentucky’s Jennifer O’Neill scored a career- high 43 points, including the go-ahead basket, to go along with six assists.
McKenzie Robertson also had a strong outing against Kentucky with 23 points and six assists.
Kentucky’s backcourt outscored Baylor’s 101-90. The Wildcats had 12 turnovers to 12 assists while the Bears had 19 turnovers to 25 assists.
Baylor comes into the game on a six-game winning streak and having won 17 of their last 18 games. Kentucky comes in as a winner of seven of its last eight.
But this is the biggest test for both teams in the NCAA tournament and it’ll only get tougher from here with the winner facing Notre Dame on the Irish’s home court or No. 21 Oklahoma State for a berth in the Final Four in Nashville, Tenn.