New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) drives past Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young (0) and guard Kelsey Plum (10) in the first half during game one of the 2023 WNBA Finals at Michelob Ultra Arena. Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 WNBA regular season is finally here. Now all we have to do is kick back and watch it unfold. But before the first game tips off, I took a look at the schedule and picked out ten of the most intriguing, must-see matchups that are sure to get social media buzzing. From budding rivalries to rookie debuts and everything in between — get your popcorn ready. This is going to be a fun season.

Opening Night x2

Tuesday, May 14, and Wednesday, May  15

The anticipation for the start of this WNBA season has never been greater. What better way to kick it off than to offer a full slate of games over a two-day period. It reminds me of the 24 hours of college basketball that used to precede the NCAA season. (Too bad that’s not a thing anymore). All of the scheduled WNBA games will be broadcast or available for streaming on ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+, and WNBA League Pass. After what seems like a long extended break since the women’s 2024 NCAA Tournament ended, 48 hours of women’s basketball madness is just what fans need and deserve. It’s highlighted by an Opening Night doubleheader featuring the Indiana Fever-Connecticut Sun (Caitlin Clark’s regular season debut) and the defending champion Las Vegas Aces taking on the Phoenix Mercury on ESPN2.

New York Liberty vs. Indiana Fever

Thursday, May 16, 7 PM (ET), Prime Video

After watching the Chicago Sky dismantle the Liberty in preseason, it’s understandable to wonder how New York’s vets and superstars are going to respond as the season gets underway. After an opening day game against the Washington Mystics, the Liberty will travel to Indiana a day later to take on yet another young and exciting team in the Fever. Caitlin Clark will be top billing, of course. And the matchup against Sabrina Ionescu is juicy. Whatever the outcome, they’ll meet back in the Big Apple for a back-to-back matchup on May 18.

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) in action during the game against the Dallas Wings at College Park Center.
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Sky vs. New York Liberty

Thursday, May 23, 7 PM (ET), Prime Video

Speaking of the Sky, Chicago fans don’t have to wait long for the regular season rematch against the Liberty. It comes fast and furious a mere week after the season starts. New York head coach Sandy Brondello said the team’s veterans had an “embarrassing performance” against Chicago in the preseason when the Sky beat the Liberty, 101-53. Angel Reese had 13 points and five rebounds in a stellar debut. Granted, it was preseason. But a beatdown is a beatdown.

Indiana Fever vs. Las Vegas Aces

Saturday, May 25, 9 PM (ET), NBA TV/WNBA LEAGUE PASS

Last season, the Fever gave the Aces all they could handle throughout the regular season. Though they went 0-3 against the defending champs, the Fever consistently put up a good fight, only losing two of those games by single digits. This year, Indiana is different. With Clark on the roster and Aliyah Boston in the post, there’s a whole new dynamic for teams to contend with — even Las Vegas. It will be interesting to see how Indiana stacks up.

Chicago Sky vs. Indiana Fever

Saturday, June 1, 1 PM (ET), NBA TV/WNBA LEAGUE PASS

Let’s be honest — the most compelling aspect of this matchup is the faceoff between Reese and Clark at the professional level. Both top draft picks are expected to make an immediate impact on their respective teams and have already shown it in the preseason. Watching them take center stage in the WNBA is a continuation of a competitive rivalry that was already established at the college level. It’s also one the WNBA should lean fully into. Too bad the game isn’t on ABC.

Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark pose for photos before the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Dream vs. Chicago Sky

Saturday, June 8, 5 PM (ET), NBA TV/WNBA LEAGUE PASS

When I saw this game on the schedule, my first thought was about Chennedy Carter. Carter has a bumpy history in the league considering her rather short career thus far. After a promising start with the Dream as a rookie, she was suspended and then ultimately traded from Atlanta to Los Angeles, before being released by the Sparks. Carter then signed a training camp contract with Chicago before this season and played well enough in preseason to make the final roster. Teresa Weatherspoon might just be the kind of coach Carter needs to thrive in this league. Needless to say, the chip on Carter’s shoulder will be visible for all to see when Chicago takes on Atlanta. And I mean that in a good way.

New York Liberty vs. Las Vegas Aces

Saturday, June 15, 3 PM (ET), ABC

WNBA fans have to wait a full month until the rematch between the Aces and the Liberty. The two teams met in the WNBA Finals last season, and Las Vegas secured back-to-back titles after defeating New York 3-1 in the series. Both teams were billed as superteams heading into the 2023 season. While the rest of the league has leveled up, both rosters remain largely unchanged and the Aces and Liberty are still considered top-tier teams. It’s a heavyweight fight that could very well be a glimpse at a WNBA Finals rematch.

Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm

Sunday, June 16, 3 PM (ET), ABC

Yes, the Mercury and the Storm already met in preseason, but it was not televised or available to stream on WNBA League Pass. As a result, Skyler Diggins-Smith took on her old team with little fanfare. Both teams meet again in early June, but the game is on a Tuesday night at 10 p.m. (eastern) on CBS Sports. This matchup, slotted on a weekend afternoon on ABC, will draw both intrigue and viewers, especially if the previous game is a chippy one. It’s no secret that there is no love lost between Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi, as well as the Mercury organization. 

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Aces vs. Chicago Sky

Thursday, June 27, 7 PM (ET), Prime Video

Becky Hammon. Teresa Weatherspoon. Two of the WNBA’s greatest and most celebrated players and former New York Liberty teammates. One team on the rise. The other at the top. That’s what we get with this matchup upfront. Depending on how the season goes for the Sky up until this point, this game could be a battle from start to finish. Angel Reese against A’ja Wilson is something everyone wants to see. 

Indiana Fever vs. Phoenix Mercury

Sunday, June 30, 3 PM (ET), ESPN

One and a half months in and we finally get one of the most hyped matchups of the season — Clark and the Fever versus Taurasi and the Mercury. Potential new GOAT versus old GOAT. Budding new star versus perennial All-Star. There’s a definitive sense that the WNBA is in the midst of a changing of the guard. There was so much talk leading up to the season about the new class of rookies coming in, particularly Clark, and how the veterans, particularly Taurasi, were “welcoming” them into the league. Fans of both players have gone back and forth about it on social media. Now, we finally get to see it play out on the court.

About Lyndsey D'Arcangelo

Lyndsey D’Arcangelo is a seasoned sports writer, author and women’s sports advocate. She previously wrote about women’s basketball for The Athletic and is the co-author of Hail Mary: The Rise and Fall of the National Women’s Football League.