Last season, the LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes for the national title in the most-viewed women’s college game in history. Now, they’ll aim to repeat, as head coach Kim Mulkey brought in the top recruiting class, still has the superstar Angel Reese and brought in transfers Hailey Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow. They begin the repeat attempt by facing the No. 20 ranked Colorado Buffaloes on Monday, Nov. 6.
Colorado is coming off their best season in two decades, finishing 13-5 in the Pac-12 and making their first Sweet Sixteen appearance in 16 years. While not making quite the same big splashes as the Tigers did in the offseason, the Buffaloes did get better, adding transfer Katie Nolan from Michigan into the fray. The Buffs look to be a top-four team in the Pac-12.
LSU will be favored in this matchup, and rightfully so. On paper, the best got better. Pairing Reese’s 23.0 points and 15.3 rebounds per game with Morrow’s production—averages of 25.7 points and 12.2 boards for DePaul last year—could mean danger for all of college basketball.
It's a brand new season pic.twitter.com/rsvOzZgwMi— LSU Women's Basketball (@LSUwbkb) November 6, 2023
The biggest issue for the Lady Tigers entering the season opener is adding all of these weapons while keeping the chemistry that made them so dominant in the first place. Which is a good problem to have—but even good problems are problems. Mulkey will have to make sure she can balance this issue and not let the Lady Tigers lose games early on in the season as she tinkers with rotations and the team’s pecking order.
The path for Colorado to win is difficult—but possible. Last season, the Buffaloes showed that, when everything is flowing, they can compete with and beat anyone. If they best the Lady Tigers on Monday, it will be thanks to Jaylyn Sherrod having a big game, Nolan shooting lights out and Frida Forman scoring more than 15 points. The neutral site in Las Vegas should help Colorado, as they won’t have to deal with the hostile crowd in Baton Rouge.
Expect the matchup to post huge numbers ratings-wise as women’s college basketball continues to grow exponentially.
No. 1 LSU Lady Tigers (0-0) vs. No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes (0-0)
When: Monday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
How to watch: TNT