The Favorite: Connecticut. The top seed overall is going for history and loaded with talent, beginning with Jr. F Maya Moore and Sr. C Tina Charles.
Other contenders: Ohio State (30-4), which won the Big Ten tournament title for a second straight year and is led by Jr. C Jantel Lavender (56 career double doubles); Florida State (26-5), the top 3-point shooting team in the ACC (38.8 percent) with Sr. F Jacinta Monroe back healthy; and St. John's (24-6), which held UConn to 39.1 percent in a hard-fought 66-52 loss in Storrs in mid February.
Best player: No offense to UConn's tandem, but Middle Tennessee Sr. F Alysha Clark, left, averages a nation's best 28.7 ppg. That included scoring 132 points in three Sun Belt Conference tournament wins.
Dream matchup: At the risk of coming off as parochial, you have to like the possibility of FSU and its speedy guards facing the Huskies (33-0), whose guard play can be a bit erratic.
Brian Landman, Times staff writer