Breaking down women's Final Four
Conventional wisdom went 2-for-4 in the women's NCAA tournament. The story of this year's tournament was supposed to be that any of the No. 1 seeds could win a title, but only two of the top seeds -- the same two that made it to the championship game last year, UConn and Stanford -- are going to get the chance. Both Baylor and Tennessee stumbled in their respective regional finals.
Consequently, the Final Four is robbed of two compelling storylines: the emergence of groundbreaking center Brittney Griner; and a testy and entertaining matchup between Tennessee's Pat Summitt and UConn's Geno Auriemma.
Summitt and Auriemma haven't faced each other since Summitt canceled the season series over her view of the way UConn recruited Maya Moore (who will be making her fourth consecutive Final Four appearance with Auriemma). Summitt might want to rethink her position: It's possible that the early test UConn would provide could toughen her team up for a late season run. (The Lady Vols will miss the Final Four for the third straight year.)
What else have we found out up to this point? That upperclassmen are better than freshmen. An early storyline on the emergence of freshmen point guards has fallen by the wayside: Tennessee's Meighan Simmons, Baylor's Odyssey Sims and UConn's Bria Hartley had their struggles. Meanwhile Stanford senior Jeanette Pohlen, Texas A&M junior Sydney Carter and UConn reserve senior Lorin Dixon shined.
And, beware UConn: It's hard to beat a team four times. Texas A&M finally upended Baylor when it really counted. Notre Dame -- which hasn't beaten the Huskies in six years -- has the chance to take down UConn on Saturday for the first time in four tries this season.