Oklahoma City's hottest? Neighbors Texas A&M and SMU

Updated: March 19, 2008, 9:24 PM ET
ESPN.com

ESPN.com breaks down the four regionals. Check out the Greensboro, New Orleans and Spokane analysis.

Graham Hays' 8 vs. 9 breakdown

Utah(8) Utah vs. (9) Purdue (at West Lafayette, Ind., 7 p.m. ET Sunday, ESPN2): Intangibles will be factors, with Purdue playing at home and carrying the momentum of a Big Ten tournament title, and with Utah traveling after a disappointing conference tournament. But to win, Purdue must defend the 3-point line much better than it has thus far.
Pick: Utah

Beth Mowins' 7 vs. 10 breakdown

(7) Syracuse vs. (10) Hartford (at Baton Rouge, La., 2 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN2): It's always fun to watch an attempt at history, and that's the story for the Orange. While the Syracuse men have found plenty of postseason success, the same cannot be said of the women. This will be just the third NCAA tournament game in their program's history. Wouldn't Cuse love to cap off the best season in school history with its first NCAA tournament victory?

Standing in the way will be a familiar foe, former UConn All-American Jen Rizzotti, who now coaches Hartford. She has the Hawks ready to take down a BCS opponent -- and she has the more experienced tournament team. Hartford is playing in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years, and a handful of players were on the team that upset Temple in the first round two years ago.

If you like the 2-3 zone, Syracuse is your team. The Orange try to play it just like Jim Boeheim's Orange men do. But that system can be problematic for a team that must prepare on short notice. Defending Cuse also is challenging because of its balanced attack, led by Chandrea Jones and emerging freshman Erica Morrow.

Hartford senior Danielle Hood is a handful for opponents and will try to utilize her quickness and agility on the low block and in the high post. Hood and Diana Delva will probe the 2-3 zone for weaknesses. While they are at work inside, 3-point threats MaryLynne Schaefer and Jamie McCabe will try to bust the zone from the outside.

Will we be watching history, or will we witness an upset, with the America East champions dismissing a powerhouse Big East opponent?

Charlie Creme's take

Texas A&M Who's Hot: No. 2 seed Texas A&M. The Aggies did not win the Big 12 regular-season title, but they are the best team in the conference heading into the tournament. Something in their chemistry clicked a month ago, and A&M started to take and make better shots.

No. 12 seed SMU. The balanced Mustangs did something no one else in Conference USA could do -- beat UTEP. That got them here and gave SMU confidence it didn't have two weeks ago.

Who's Not: No. 4 seed Oklahoma. Perhaps it's the Nyeshia Stevenson injury. Perhaps the poor outside shooting finally has caught up to the Sooners. Or perhaps they are just out of gas. But whatever the reason, in Oklahoma's three consecutive losses to finish the season, it was obvious something was very wrong.

Possible matchup to watch: Leilani Mitchell versus Shannon Bobbitt. Should Mitchell's Utes and Bobbitt's Lady Vols meet in the second round, the matchup would pit two Lieberman Award (country's best point guard) finalists against each other and would be a chance for more of the country to see Mitchell on the biggest stage.

Possible upset: No. 11 seed Temple over No. 6 seed Arizona State in the first round. The Owls are a stingy defensive team, and Arizona State's offense never played up to expectations this season.