Home-court advantage to the extreme?
Many teams will be playing first-round games in their home states. Notre Dame and Maryland are among several squads that will be playing on their home court. The NCAA has made an effort to increase attendance, but should Maryland, a No. 2 seed, get to play in College Park? Texas A & M, a third seed, plays Albany in College Station, but St. John's, also a No. 3, has to play Creighton in Norman, Okla.
How far can Elena Delle Donne take Delaware?
The 6-5 junior led the nation in scoring (27.5) and averaged 10.5 rebounds. Junior guard Lauren Carra was the only other Delaware player to average double figures in scoring. Delle Donne's dominance should be enough to get the third-seeded Blue Hens past Arkansas-Little Rock and the winner of Nebraska-Kansas and into the Sweet 16. Anything past that will require a team effort.
The major-conference teams have dominated women's college basketball all season. Delaware (CAA) and Wisconsin-Green Bay (Horizon) are the only schools in the top 10 not from one of the power six conferences. Is there a mid-major capable of making a miracle run to the Final Four? Watch out for Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders have a great inside-out combo with guard Kortni Jones (17 ppg, 4.8 apg) and forwards Ebony Rowe (16.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg) and Icelyn Ellie (13.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg). If MTU can get by Vanderbilt, a possible second-round matchup with Duke looms.
Local players in the tourney
Kristine Best, Marist (Commack, St. Anthony's HS)
Kate Cronin, Albany (Amityville, St. John the Baptist HS)
Ariel Edwards, Penn State (Elmont, Christ the King HS)
Julie Forster, Albany (Huntington, Huntington HS)
Tesia Harris, St. John's (Dix Hills, Half Hollow Hills West HS)
Stephanie Leon, Delaware (Northport, Northport HS)
Eugeneia McPherson, St. John's (North Babylon, North Babylon HS)
Emma O'Connor, Marist (Lynbrook, Kellenberg HS)
Sammy Prahalis, Ohio State (Commack, Commack HS)