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No. 2 Duke hasn’t come close to No. 1 UConn, Register
No. 2 Duke Ready To Take Another Swing At No. 1 UConn, Courant
Capsule: No. 1 UConn Women Vs. No. 2 Duke, Courant
No. 1 UConn women’s game day: Tuesday at No. 2 Duke, Post
No. 1 UConn, expected to be at full strength, set for No. 2 Duke, Post
UConn women in No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdowns, Post

No. 2 Duke women set for No. 1 UConn challenge, News & Observer
No. 1 UConn, No. 2 Duke both look to stay unbeaten, Durham Herald Sun

Mechelle Voepel: Can Duke compete with UConn?, ESPN

There are some “big” games you anticipate with confidence … and others with trepidation. In women’s basketball, Connecticut vs. Duke — No. 1 vs. No. 2 Tuesday (ESPN2/WatchESPN, 7 p.m. ET) — is the latter.

For this one, we’re all a bunch of Fox Mulders saying, “I want to believe.” Yes, I’d bet even most UConn fans would like to see this be an exciting game between two 10-0 teams that sit atop the rankings.

Rebecca Lobo: X factors to keep an eye on – Fouls? Free throws? Offensive flow? These elements might impact showdown

The top two teams in the women’s game meet Tuesday night when top-ranked UConn heads to Durham, N.C., to play No. 2 Duke. The Huskies have beaten the Blue Devils six straight times with an average margin of victory of nearly 30 points. (Duke kept it close for a half last season, down only two points at the break, but UConn blew it open in the second half.)

Does Duke have the talent and experience to beat UConn? Yes, without a doubt. Will the Blue Devils finally be able to play a full 40 minutes in order to get the W? We’ll have to tune in to see (ESPN2/WatchESPN, 7 p.m. ET).

Here is what I’ll be keeping my eye on while watching the game.

Charlie Creme: The history behind 1-vs.-2 matchups – Blue Devils riding 24-game home winning streak into showdown

Just more than a month into the season, there is little to no debate over which are the two best women’s college basketball teams in the country. With possible apologies to those in Knoxville, South Bend and Lexington, Connecticut and Duke entered the season at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and neither team has done anything up this point to indicate any errors in that assessment.

The real question, as we embark on another 1-versus-2 matchup on Tuesday night (ESPN2/WatchESPN, 7 ET) in Durham, N.C., is whether the Blue Devils are right there with the Huskies as a true threat to the top spot … or merely closer to the rest of the pack that includes Tennessee, Notre Dame, Kentucky and a few others.

From espnW: Demanding Perfection – Top players for UConn describe what practice is like playing for coach Geno Auriemma.

From Doug: No. 2 Duke ready to meet No. 1 UConn

Today will mark the 52nd meeting between the top two teams in the poll, with the No. 1 team holding a 31-20 edge in the series. UConn has been in that game 17 times, including going 10-1 as the top-ranked team. Duke has played in this game six times, going 3-3. The two teams met once as the top two teams in the nation in 2003, with No. 2 UConn beating top-ranked Duke 77-65.

In other news:

As Rutgers women’s basketball continues to roll, No. 16 Georgia looms

Somewhat surprisingly, little has gone wrong thus far in the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s season.

After losing four of their top-six scorers from a year ago, the Scarlet Knights, who feature no seniors, have quietly blended youth into balanced offense. Four Knights — three underclassmen — are averaging double figures through 10 games. As a team, Rutgers is actually scoring 12 more points per contest (68.1) than last season (56.0).

Buckeyes try to shake out of slump

The Ohio State women’s basketball team gathered for a film session yesterday that served as a double feature without the box of popcorn.

The Buckeyes (7-6) had to watch the postmortem of their 64-49 loss at Cincinnati on Sunday and follow that with a look at Tennessee Martin (6-3), their opponent tonight at Value City Arena.

Coach Kevin McGuff entered the room knowing that his young, largely inexperienced team is at a crossroads.

From the .com: Sheryl Swoopes Embraces New Role as Head Coach at Loyola Chicago

It’s been two years, three months, and five days since Sheryl Swoopes last played a game of basketball, but I was still surprised when she said she didn’t miss playing.

“My passion for the game doesn’t come from playing anymore, my passion for the game now comes from watching and teaching, instructing and coaching and giving back,” Swoopes told WNBA.com over the phone from her new office in Chicago. She had just gotten off a post-practice conference call – one of her many new duties as the head coach of Loyola Chicago’s Women’s Basketball team.

Stinky news for Asjha Jones and the Sun: She’ll Miss WNBA Season

Meanwhile, the Lynx continue their Roster Review: Janel McCarville

 … coming into the season, though, McCarville hadn’t played in the WNBA since 2010. 

The center quickly answered any and all questions. As she got into shape during Training Camp, her knack for finding open teammates became obvious and it seemed like she was perfect for a team with offensive threats like Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore. Throughout the season, her role became extremely important for the Lynx and she averaged a career-high 2.9 assists per game while helping the Lynx win the 2013 title in her first season with the squad. 

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Add Richa Jackson to the list of lost for Duke (Chloe Wells and Amber Henson).

From Joanne at the NYTimes: Injuries, Player Issues Test Duke Women’s Resolve

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From Michelle Smith: Beating the Odds: Boyle, Daugherty Bounce Back

June Daugherty and Joanne Boyle earned their perspective and their lessons about resilience in the hardest possible way.

Boyle, in her sixth season as the head coach for the Cal women’s basketball team, was an up-and-coming assistant coach at Duke under Gail Goestenkors back in 1991. She was in a hallway in the athletic department when she felt a stabbing pain in the back of her head. She was suffering a brain hemorrhage, her life in serious jeopardy.

Boyle needed brain surgery. She spent 13 days in the hospital wondering whether she would be able to go back to her life as she knew it.

The fact is, she wouldn’t. Though she’s completely recovered nine years later, that life as she knew it was over, replaced with another that involves more risk, and as it turned out, more reward.

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A Rarity in Women’s Basketball; Duke Leads the Way

Well, every so often Duke Women’s Basketball releases a question and answer style update on the life of a former player. Most (though not all) of these “Catching Up” pieces ask a question about the alumna’s spouse and kids. It’s a pretty heteronormative question and I always wondered if they only asked it of straight athletes (I sort of figured that they only asked it if they knew that person was in fact married, though I don’t know this for a fact). But what about a player who was in a committed same-sex partnership? Would Duke Women’s Basketball ask former players they knew to have a partner about this aspect of their lives, the same as they ask their straight counterparts? Or would it be a matter of reporting on the relationships of the straight athletes while simply not reporting on the “love lives” of any LGB-identified former players, thereby ignoring any same-sex relationships?

Well, I’m here to applaud Duke Women’s Basketball, GoDuke.com and Nicole Erickson!

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Cash helps carry Storm to finals – After reinventing herself, former UConn and Shock star is back at the top of her game

Swin Cash laughs and says there are “little pieces of” her kind of spread all over the country. Western Pennsylvania is where she grew up. Connecticut is where she went to college. Detroit is where her WNBA career began, and she still has a home there. Seattle is where she had her pro renaissance. Miami is where she has enjoyed hanging out during some of her offseason time over the past few years.

Wherever she goes, this is always the same: Cash leaves an impact.

Mechelle also takes some time with Duke grad Bales: Back and in best shape of career – Career in medicine awaits, but Bales realized she’s not done playing just yet

Alison Bales knows that if she eventually follows her mother into a career in medicine, she’ll be answering the “Did you used to play basketball?” question endlessly by patients.

But perhaps she won’t mind so much if she’s able to answer, “Yes — and I won a WNBA championship.”

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Glens Falls, NY!

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