- Charlie Creme, Women's College Basketball
- 0 Shares
1. With Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson, Marquette's Angel Robinson, Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis, James Madison's Dawn Evans, Miami's Shenise Johnson and Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins, this part of the bracket could just be renamed the PGA: point guard awesomeness.
Four of the six have tallied at least 145 assists this season and, of course, they're all multiple threats. Each of them ranks first or second on her team in scoring. Miami has the added bonus of a backcourt with the 1-2 punch of Johnson and Riquna Williams (21.7 ppg, 2.8 apg).
Here's a closer look at the point guards' numbers:
DAYTON'S ELITE GUARDS
* The guard leads her team in scoring average
2. If Tennessee fails to reach Dayton and win at least a game there, it will mark the first time since the birth of the tournament that the Lady Vols have gone three straight seasons without playing in a regional final.
3. No. 15 seed Utah is the lowest seed ever to host a first-round game. The Utes meet third-seeded Notre Dame in Salt Lake City on Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN3.com, 6:30 p.m. ET).
Three players to watch
Dawn Evans: Seldom seen, the nation's second-leading scorer gets one more run at national exposure in this tournament. The story of her incurable kidney disease is sure to be told, but if James Madison can pull off a first-round upset, so might the story of her incredible career as one of the game's great scoring point guards.
Danielle Robinson: Speaking of all-time great scoring point guards, Oklahoma's Robinson -- widely considered the fastest player in the game today -- will take to the floor as just the third in history (Nancy Lieberman and Dawn Staley) to register 2,000 points, 700 assists and 300 steals in a career. The beautiful part for fans is that Evans and Robinson square off in Round 1.
Jantel Lavender: The Ohio State senior center was white-hot in the Big Ten tournament but will have gone 13 days between games -- plenty of time to cool off. The Buckeyes need every ounce of what the four-time Big Ten player of the year has been providing to reach that illusive Final Four.
No. 8 Marquette versus No. 9 Texas
Many observers feel that the Longhorns should be playing in the WNIT, or at least playing as a lower seed, while Marquette had a somewhat lackluster finish to its season. Both teams are led by their guards. The difference is the Golden Eagles duo of Robinson and Tatiyiana McMorris are seniors, while Texas relies on freshman Chassidy Fussell to score. Neither is a good matchup against Tennessee's overall size in the second round.
Oklahoma. These aren't the dominant Final Four Sooners of two years ago or the veteran group of last season that also earned its way to the national semifinals. But Robinson, Whitney Hand and Carlee Roethlisberger have all been there, and freshman Aaryn Ellenberg adds an additional deep shooting element that even those other Oklahoma editions didn't have. Any run the Sooners make would potentially requires Robinson clashing with Evans, then Miami's great guards, and then Diggins.
Charlie Creme can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter.
11dBonnie D. Ford