Saturday, March 20, 2004

Team by team in the women's field


1. PENN STATE (25-5)

Comment: G Kelly Mazzante makes the Lady Lions go, scoring better than 20 points per game.


Comment: The Huskies lost four games this season and, at times, showed signs of fraying. But G Diana Taurasi is still great, and there are bench warmers here who are better than some teams' stars.

3. HOUSTON (27-3)

Comment: Not one of the traditional powers, but the Cougars had their best season and are a threat to win this tournament behind G Chandi Jones, who is among the nation's top five scorers.


Comment: The Tar Heels play outstanding defense and have two exceptional freshmen, each of whom score about 14 points per game.

5. NOTRE DAME (19-10)

Comment: The Fighting Irish can boast victories over Connecticut and Boston College but went out early in the conference tournament.

6. COLORADO (22-7)

Comment: C Tera Bjorklund shoots 60 percent overall and G Kate Fagan knocks down 44 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc.

7. AUBURN (21-8)

Comment: The Tigers rode their defense, the toughest to score against in the SEC, to a third-place finish in the league.


Comment: The Hokies are a defensive team, ranking just outside the nation's top 10 in points allowed.

9. IOWA (16-12)

Comment: The Hawkeyes were the Big Ten's highest-scoring team and ranked last in points allowed.


Comment: C Kaayla Chones is the only Wolfpack player who scores in double figures.


Comment: The Gauchos have a good mix of offense and defense.


Comment: This is the best three-point shooting team in the country, making nine per game.


Comment: G Patrice Holmes and F Krystle Horton lead the way in scoring.


Comment: A good foul-shooting team.

15. PENNSYLVANIA (17-10)

Comment: Jewel Clark puts in nearly 20 points per game.

16. HAMPTON (17-12)

Comment: Unbeaten in the past 10 games, the Pirates get by with a defense that allows just 35 percent shooting.


1. DUKE (27-3)

Comment: G Alana Beard averages about 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game.

2. KANSAS STATE (24-5)

Comment: The Wildcats have a terrific 1-2 punch inside, with F Kendra Wecker and C Nicole Ohlde, a two-time Big 12 player of the year, each averaging 17 points and seven rebounds per game.


Comment: The Eagles finished with a flourish, winning nine of their final 10, including a game at Connecticut, en route to the conference tournament title.

4. TEXAS TECH (24-7)

Comment: The Lady Raiders play great defense and don't give up the ball. Offensively, G Alesha Robertson is the leader.


Comment: The Lady Techsters are the second-highest scoring team in the country, with 84 points per game, and they allow less than 60.

6. OHIO STATE (20-9)

Comment: G Caity Matter paces the nation's best team from the field, shooting better than 51 percent.

7. MINNESOTA (21-8)

Comment: The Golden Gophers tapered off after opening with 15 consecutive victories. G Lindsay Whalen's health is key.

8. OLD DOMINION (25-6)

Comment: The Monarchs recorded victories over Penn State and North Carolina before running roughshod over their conference foes.

9. MARQUETTE (21-9)

Comment: The Golden Eagles have a stingy defense and a good floor leader in Carolyn Kieger.

10. UCLA (17-11)

Comment: Very opportunistic defensively, recording 12 steals per game.

11. WEST VIRGINIA (21-10)

Comment: G Yolanda Paige averages almost eight assists per game, drive a Mountaineers team whose biggest strength is three-point shooting.

12. MONTANA (27-4)

Comment: A very good defense is complemented by decent offense.

13. MAINE (25-6)

Comment: The Black Bears' knack is defense, allowing less than 57 points per game.


Comment: G Marion Crandall is the country's sharpest three-point shooter, making 51 percent of her attempts.


15. VALPARAISO (20-11)

Comment: Only F Jenna Stangler averages in double figures in scoring.


How qualified: Southland champion

Comment: G La'Terrica Dobin is the nation's assist leader, at just under 10 per game.


1. TENNESSEE (26-3)

Comment: As always, there is great talent here, and an early exit in the SEC Tournament should not be taken too seriously.

2. VANDERBILT (24-7)

Comment: The Commodores, the top-shooting team in the SEC this season, heated up down the stretch, winning their final eight games and the conference tournament.

3. OKLAHOMA (23-8)

Comment: The Sooners were the surprise winner of the conference tournament.

4. BAYLOR (24-8)

Comment: Sophia Young and Steffanie Blackmon are potent scorers, at better than 15 points per game.

5. FLORIDA (18-10)

Comment: The Gators closed poorly, losing five of their final seven.

6. STANFORD (24-6)

Comment: If life were fair, F Nicole Powell would be as well known nationally as Alana Beard and Diana Taurasi. If the Cardinal is to go far, however, they cannot be a one-woman show.

7. RUTGERS (21-11) Comment: Cappie Pondexter is an explosive guard and was the Big East's second-leading scorer with more than 18 points per game.


Comment: The Colonials disrupt opponents by blocking shots and making steals.

9. DEPAUL (22-6)

Comment: The Blue Demons score more points than any other team, 85.3 per game.

10. CHATTANOOGA (28-2)

Comment: The team with the best winning percentage in the nation has no player ranked in the top 50 in any major statistical category.

11. MISSOURI (17-12)

Comment: F Evan Unrau might have been the best inside player in the Big 12, with 17 points and nine rebounds.

12. NEW MEXICO (23-7)

Comment: The Lobos lead the nation in points allowed (50.8).


Comment: The Lions are ranked among the top 20 in points allowed.

14. MARIST (20-10)

Comment: G/F Stephanie Del Preore paces a lackluster offense.

15. LIPSCOMB (21-10)

Comment: Katie Beth Pate is tough in the post.

16. COLGATE (21-9)

Comment: Offense averages better than 70 points per game.


1. TEXAS (28-4)

Comment: Four players average more than 10 points, led by Tiffany Jackson.

2. PURDUE (27-3)

Comment: F Shereka Wright is the star, scoring more than 20 points per game.

3. GEORGIA (22-9)

Comment: After dismissing their leading scorer, Kara Braxton, for violating team rules, the Lady Bulldogs hit a high when they knocked Tennessee out of the SEC Tournament.


Comment: The Tigers might have the best guards in America in Seimone Augustus, a 19-point scorer, and Temeka Johnson, who hands out nearly eight assists per game.

5. MIAMI (22-6)

Comment: G/F Tamara James and F Chanivia Broussard each average more than 15 points per game.


Comment: F Sandora Irvin averages a double-double.

7. VILLANOVA (22-6)

Comment: The Wildcats are probably the best slow-it-down team in the nation.


Comment: The Spartans are the Big Ten's best defensive team.

9. ARIZONA (24-8)

Comment: The Wildcats are solid offensively, powered by C Shawntinice Polk.

10. MISSISSIPPI (18-13)

Comment: Armintie Price leads the Rebels in scoring.

11. TEMPLE (21-9)

Comment: Any offense Temple musters is fueled by C Candice Dupree.

12. MARYLAND (17-12)

Comment: Good three-point shooting is about all the Terrapins have.

13. AUSTIN PEAY (23-7)

Comment: C Gerlonda Hardin scores 18 points per game.

14. LIBERTY (25-6)

Comment: The Lady Flames are the country's No.1 rebounding team.

15. ST. FRANCIS (PA.) (25-5)

Comment: The Red Flash feature a player in the top 35 in scoring and rebounding (C Beth Swink, 21 and 9).

16. SOUTHERN (17-12)

Comment: G Rolanda Monroe leads four players scoring in double figures.

NCAA TOURNAMENT (Special section)
XU: Musketeers fight back to advance
Patient Sato picks his spots, hits his shots
UC: Bobbitt hits game-winner
Daugherty: Little guy not so little in Tourney
ETSU's Smith plays big
Hicks gets job done as Bearcats' stealth sub
UK: 'Cats pull away in 2nd half to win
Hayes just misses triple-double
Murray St. gets taste of Illini's Big Ten
Cowboys get Sutton's angry halftime message
Wolfpack uses defense to subdue Ragin' Cajuns
Pacific waves goodbye to 5th seed Providence
Maryland sets sights on 'Cuse's sharpshooter
Calhoun could do without matchup
NCAA Tournament at a glance
It's not exactly home, but it's close for the Buckeyes
Tournament chase is all about class
Team by team in the women's field
WNIT: Scoring drought ends MU's season
Victory sends Wilmington to title game

Reds pitcher lost for season
2003 Reds finances may have finished in the black
Inside Reds camp
Lidle in Opening Day hunt
Aching Nixon, Garciaparra out of action for Red Sox

Bengals, Sapp close in on deal
It's official: Keyshawn, Parcells reunited

MND plays nation's top-ranked team for state title
C-J storms into Division I title game
Colonels discover that the 3 is king
Royals win one for the ages
Mason Co. pushed to the 3-OT brink
Prep sports results, schedules

Silver Minister, Bejarano aim to play spoiler

Maruyama moves ahead
Sports digest
Sports this weekend on TV, radio