Four Corners: Who will be in the women's Final Four?

March 17, 2010

UConn and … who cares?
Andrea Adelson

Orlando Sentinel

Does it really matter who joins UConn in the women's Final Four? Because nobody is beating the Huskies. Not only are they No. 1, they have won an NCAA-record 72 straight games. They are the most dominant team, winning by an average of 35 points a game. What everybody should root for is Tennessee to come out of its region so the best women's rivalry is renewed in the semifinals.

A frosty relationship between Huskies coach Geno Auriemma and Vols coach Pat Summitt has precluded the two teams from playing every year, something that the women's game has sorely missed. These are the two pre-eminent women's programs in the country, and the two pre-eminent women's coaches in the country. Women's basketball needs them to resume playing.

It's too bad they aren't on a collision course for the final.

aadelson@tribune.com

Huskies, other top seeds
Colleen Kane

Chicago Tribune

There are 72 reasons only one of these four picks matters, but I'll look at the other three anyway.

Aside from already-penciled-in-champion Connecticut, the three other No. 1 seeds - with four losses among them - will reach the semifinals.

Tennessee has the toughest road, with Baylor and Duke in its way, but the motivation from last season's first-round loss and a home-state advantage through the Elite Eight will be enough. Texas A&M could challenge in the Sacramento Region, but Stanford's frontcourt will be too much to handle. And Nebraska's loss in the Big 12 tournament semifinals will be a blessing. The Cornhuskers' renewed focus and a favorable draw will mean that their one-year turnaround from a losing record will continue to the Final Four.

ckane@tribune.com

Let's hope Vols are there
John Altavilla

Hartford Courant

Who will make the Final Four is not the question. Better to ask who will make the Final Three. Will UConn be there? Do bartenders pour margaritas along the Riverwalk in San Antonio?

Not even the Mayans are bold enough to present evidence predicting an upset of the top-ranked Huskies. They have already defeated one No. 1 seed (Stanford), two No. 2s, Duke and Notre Dame (three times), No. 3s Florida State, Oklahoma and West Virginia (twice), No. 5 Georgetown ... you get the point.

As far as the other regions go, we guess Notre Dame has a good chance to knock off No. 1 Nebraska in the Kansas City Region and Texas A&M is athletic enough to stun Stanford in Sacramento.

But do we really want Tennessee to get knocked out in Memphis, ruining the opportunity to meet UConn in the national semifinals? The answer is Ge-no.

jaltavilla@tribune.com

Stanford the real deal
Baxter Holmes

Los Angeles Times

Connecticut to the Final Four: A risky pick, I know, but I can't wait to shout "I told you so" as I dawdle along to the forsaken land of high-hoping Huskies. (Seriously, though, UConn fans should have booked hotels in San Antonio when the season started.)

Stanford meets them there, assuming center Jayne Appel's right ankle is healthy and the Cardinal can get past the tournament's best No. 2 seed, Texas A&M (my sleeper Final Four pick). But they will. This is the best team the Pac-10 has ever produced, and three players average near double-doubles.

Lastly, Tennessee escapes the Memphis Region and the fighting Baylor Bears, led by Ms. Fisticuff Brittney Griner; and Notre Dame advances out of the weak Kansas City Region.

bholmes@tribune.com

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