You have to say Maryland, which opens at home, then plays its second weekend in Raleigh, where the Terps play every other year. Point guard Kristi Toliver and forward Marissa Coleman get a chance to go out the way they came in as freshmen, winning a national championship.
Baylor spent the season in Oklahoma's shadow, much like Maryland did with Duke and UNC three years ago. Third-seeded Louisville got a raw deal, having to play sixth-seeded LSU in Baton Rouge in the second round, but could make a run like it did last season. Even fourth-seeded Vanderbilt was the surprise winner of the SEC tournament.
With apologies to Maryland's Toliver and Baylor's Danielle Wilson, it's Louisville senior Angel McCoughtry, who ranked fourth in the nation with 23.5 points per game and led the NCAA in steals, getting 4.4 per game. She'll be a very high pick in the WNBA draft next month.
We have to go with Maryland-Baylor, just because coaches Brenda Frese and Kim Mulkey never mince their words — it'll be worth it for the news conferences alone. Two programs that won national titles in 2005 and '06 have to go through each other to get another crown.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer