Open Thread: National Semifinals are tonight starting at 6:30 PM ET on ESPN

Skylar Diggins and her college team has the upper hand to win it all in the NCAA Tournament. And though some folks may disagree, I think she will be someone who will make an impact as a pro regardless of what team she's on. - USA TODAY Sports

The Final Four starts in New Orleans today which features a team with a transcendent college superstar, a mainstay college power, and two rising programs. Which teams will come out on top to play in the national championship? All games are on ESPN or ESPN 3.

Here are the two games on tap tonight. Here they are:

1. #5 Louisville vs. #2 California, 6:30 PM ET

This match will feature two rising programs in college basketball, with Louisville, which is in its second Final Four, and Cal, which is heading to its first Final Four ever, led by two rising coaches in the women's game with Jeff Walz and Lindsay Gottlieb.

While this match may be considered to be "Battle of the Runner Ups" because of the two teams playing in the game after this one, really, I can see the 2013 National Championship team come from the winner of this game too. They have everything to gain from being here and nothing to lose. If anything, we may be seeing both of these coaches in future Final Fours as coaches of these teams as established national powers.

2. #1 Connecticut vs. #1 Notre Dame, 8:30 PM ET

This game features the team that has the remaining "Player to See" in Skylar Diggins, and the premier women's college basketball program for the past 20 years with UConn. Considering how dominant the Huskies have been in the national picture last several years, and this is their sixth straight national semifinal game, I personally would rather see Notre Dame win this one and yes, I want to see Skylar Diggins hold the national championship trophy this Tuesday. Next year, I'm totally fine with Connecticut winning it all again because it's the start of a "new" era without the Big Three.

However, it's hard for one top ranked national team to win FOUR matches against another top ranked national team. If this was a best of seven series like in the NBA playoffs, I just find it really hard for Notre Dame to beat Connecticut ALL FOUR STRAIGHT TIMES this season, as much as I'd like to see it happen. If UConn freshman post Breanna Stewart plays like she has so far in the NCAA tournament, I'd be really really worried if I'm Notre Dame.

My Quick Take on "The Big Three" and this Final Four

Lastly, I want to say something real quick about the "Big Three" draft class and with the college powers.  In women's college basketball, for the last 20 years, it's been UConn and Tennessee that have dominated the landscape and sure some other programs are close, but no one is at these two schools' collective level of dominance. In addition, both of these schools are heavily represented in the WNBA.

Sure, ESPN has been touting this "Big Three" of Skylar, as well as Elena and Brittney who couldn't get their teams this far this year for whatever reason. But also note that NONE of the Big Three players represent UConn or Tennessee. That is also notable, because so far if we see a major draft class in its senior year, it is almost an inevitability that someone is a Husky or a Lady Vol. This class was NOT that way and it's certainly very possible, if not probable that future generational classes will also be this way.

With a number of other schools that are recruiting very strongly and also getting a chance to be showcased at the Final Four, like Louisville and Cal this year, as well as some of the other programs we've covered quite regularly here, like Kentucky, and Maryland, I honestly believe that women's college basketball is gradually showing more parity all around.

In the End

Let's just watch some basketball and may the best teams win tonight!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Swish Appeal

You must be a member of Swish Appeal to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Swish Appeal. You should read them.

Join Swish Appeal

You must be a member of Swish Appeal to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Swish Appeal. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker