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SheWired's Look at the Top 10 NCAA Women�s Basketball Teams: Road to the Final Four

SheWired's Look at the Top 10 NCAA Women�s Basketball Teams: Road to the Final Four

March Madness is here!This year’s women's basketball tournament bracket is set to be announced at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST on ESPN tonight (March 15).  And in anticipation, for your lesbian viewing,  we’d like to highlight the top 10 teams in the country, including Uconn, The Lady Vols, Stanford, Duke and West Virginia.

March Madness is here! 

This year’s tournament bracket is set to be announced at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST on ESPN tonight (March 15).  And in anticipation, we’d like to highlight the top 10 teams in the country.   

10)Duke (27-5) – Number 1 in the ACC, Duke’s only losses this season were to teams like Texas A&M, Stanford and Connecticut.  They run the table with other opponents but that doesn’t matter in March.  What matters is if you can get the job done against the best.  And Duke stands a pretty good shot. 

9)Ohio State (30-4)Ohio St. has one weapon,Jantel Lavender.  Lavender is the three-time Big 10 player of the year.  Also, Ohio St. finished as Big 10 Champion and they are the first team to win back-to-back tourney titles since Penn State in 1995 and 1996.  Not a bad resume for the Buckeyes. 

8) Notre Dame (27-4) – Even though the Fighting Irish were eliminated by Connecticut in the Big East semifinals, I wouldn’t count them out.   They finished 4th in the Big East and their only losses this season were at the hands of Connecticut (twice), St. John’s and Georgetown. 

7)West Virginia (24-7) – Coming off a loss in the Big East Final against UConn, the Mountaineers are looking forward to their shot at redemption.  The Big East is a tough division, which gives the Mountaineers an advantage over most teams. 

6)Texas A&M (22-7) - Finishing off three hard-fought wins against Top 20 opponents, the Aggies finished the year as Big 12 champions.  They knocked off No. 20 Texas in the quarterfinal, handed No. 3 Nebraska its first loss of the season and closed out the grueling three-day stretch with a win over Oklahoma to take the title.   Their weakness is inconsistency, their strength….perseverance. 

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5)Xavier (27-3) - Xavier finished fifth and became the first non-BCS conference team to finish in the top five.  The Atlantic 10 isn’t a large conference but Xavier gained some pretty good experience by playing teams like Michigan St. and LSU.  They also have one of the best collections of post players in the country. 

4)Nebraska (30-1) The Cornhuskers only loss was at the hands of Texas A&M in the Big 12 championship game.  Losing a conference final can be a big hit to team morale but Nebraska will make a run.  The key is leadership….will Kelsey Griffin (Big 12 player of the year), Cory Montgomery (All-Big 12 first-team selection) and Yvonne Turner (All-Big 12 first-team selection) be able to motivate their team after the improbable win by the Aggies?

3)Stanford (31-1)The Cardinals held on to theNo. 2 spot all year and as a result, they are going to appear in the tourney for the 23rd consecutive year.  However, they have history to compete with.  They lost to Connecticut in the national semifinals last year and to Tennessee in the championship game in 2008.  They last won a national title in 1992, 18 years is a long wait.  The big question is…..can they forget about the past and focus on getting it done?

2)Tennessee (30-2) - Tennessee, a mainstay in the spring classic is second all-time with five No. 1 finishes.  The Lady Vols have finished in the top 10 in 23 of the last 24 seasons, and they have a lot of tournament experience.  If anyone can beat the Huskies, it’s Pat Summit’s Lady Vols. 

1) Connecticut (33-0) – Coming off a stellar season, UConn is the favorite to win this year’s tourney. The Huskies hold a record breaking 72-game winning streak, and they are just the second team to run through two straight seasons as the No. 1 seed.  They won their 16th Big East tournament championship last week and are ready to make a run for the NCAA championship. 

The Regionals (First and Second rounds) are set to begin on March 20 at four sites; Dayton, Memphis, Kansas City and Sacramento.Thirty-two teams meet at regionals and from there; they are weeded down to the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four and the championship.The Alamodome is where 32 teams want to be, but unfortunately, there is room for only four. 

Anyone familiar with the bracket knows that there is always the possibility of an upset.  The dark horses for 2010 include Georgetown (25-6), Gonzaga (27-4), Florida St. (26-5), Oklahoma (21-9) and Hartford (27-4).  Hartford is a small school compared to the others, but you can’t count out the invaluable experience you gain by being so close to Storrs. 

Remember, anything can happen during March Madness.  It’s definitely going to be a wild ride.  

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Leslie Dobbins