The Favorite: Stanford. The Cardinal has one loss this season, to UConn. Stanford has one of the breakout stars in the Pac-10 in sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who leads the league with 18.3 points and a 63.5 shooting percentage. But a lack of solid guard play is a concern for Stanford, should it advance far enough to meet UConn.
Other contenders: Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Xavier. The Aggies might have what it takes to make it to the Final Four. Always known for their defense under coach Gary Blair, the Aggies finally have some offensive firepower. Vandy doesn't have a ton of stars but a solid core of players who can score. Xavier has won 18 straight games and is led by 6-foot-6 F Amber Harris and 6-6 C Ta'Shia Phillips.
Best Player: Texas A&M junior center/forward Danielle Adams (16 points, 5.7 rebounds) is the Big 12 newcomer of the year and is dominating, primarily coming off the bench. She is also the team's best shot blocker.
Dream matchup: Texas A&M vs. Stanford. Both are solid defensively but can score. Stanford is averaging 77 points while the Aggies average 75.4. But both are holding opponents to less than 28 percent 3-point shooting and an average of 60 points.
Antonya English, Times staff writer