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In this Feb. 19, 2014, photo, Connecticut's Breanna Stewart smiles during an NCAA college basketball game against Central Florida in Hartford, Conn. Stewart says she's not cocky heading into the NCAA tournament, where she earned MVP honors a year ago in leading the Huskies to their eighth national title. But after a more consistent regular season as a sophomore, she is very confident. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
NCAA women’s basketball tournament guide
First Published Mar 20 2014 09:08 am • Last Updated Mar 21 2014 04:39 pm

Two undefeated teams, talented players and record-setting performances.

Get ready for March Madness in the women’s tournament.

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History could be made in Nashville on April 8 with unbeaten Notre Dame and Connecticut potentially squaring off for a national championship.

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TOP TEAMS

UConn. No. 1 overall seed, 34-0, defending national champions. Nuff said.

Notre Dame. Oh, by the way, they also entered the tournament undefeated at 32-0. With all the hype surrounding Connecticut you almost wouldn’t know it.

Tennessee. The Lady Vols are trying to end a Final Four drought — by their standards. Would be something for them to end that five-year skid and make it to Nashville. Stanford was the last team to win a national championship in its home state and that was back in 1992.

Louisville. The Cardinals shocked the basketball world by upsetting Baylor in the regional semifinals last season en route to an appearance in the national championship game. Now to get back to the Final Four, Louisville would just need to win two home games if the Cardinals can make it to the Sweet 16.

South Carolina. Dawn Staley has led the Gamecocks to their first No. 1 seed in school history. They’ll be out west for the first four rounds of the tournament playing in Seattle and Stanford if they can last that long.


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TOP PLAYERS

Breanna Stewart, Connecticut. The sensational sophomore is the hardest player in the country to guard. Her wingspan is nearly 7-feet making her a factor on both ends of the court.

Samantha Logic, Iowa. The Hawkeyes’ stellar point guard is a triple-double waiting to happen. She had three on the season and will have the benefit of a home crowd in the first two rounds.

Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford. She’s put up video game-like numbers this season, averaging 26.8 points and 12.3 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field.

Odyssey Sims, Baylor. She’s got a chance to take down Jackie Stiles’ record for points in a season. She’s increased her scoring average by nearly 16 points a game and can almost single-handedly win a game for the Lady Bears.

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TOP OPENING MATCHUPS

Middle Tennessee vs. Oregon State, Stanford Regional. The ninth-seeded Beavers rode an 11-game winning streak, the second-longest in school history and best since 1982-83, into the Pac-12 championship game before losing to USC. They hope to keep it going against Ebony Rowe and Middle Tennessee.

St. John’s vs. Southern California, Louisville Regional. Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has gotten her alma mater back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006 after winning the Pac-12 championship. They’ll get a first-round test against eighth-seeded St. John’s, which has had an up-and-down season.

UConn vs. Prairie View A&M, Lincoln Regional. Sure it won’t be close, but any time you can watch UConn execute on offense it’s a treat. The Lady Panthers became the ninth team with a losing record to make the NCAA tournament.

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