WNBA Players Make their 2004 Tournament Picks

Without question, the biggest fans of the Women’s NCAA Tournament and women’s college basketball in general are its former stars. Today’s WNBA stars are knowledgeable and passionate about the game, especially this time of year. So who do they think is going all the way and who has what it takes to stop them?

Katie Smith, Minnesota Lynx

National Champion: UConn.

Finals runner-up: Purdue.

The other two Final Four teams: Ohio State and Stanford.

The best players in the tournament is: Taurasi, Beard, Powell, Mazzante.

Flying under the radar: I’m going O-State all the way, baby! .

Additional thoughts: Ohio State has the players to get it done, it’s just a matter of whether they turn the ball over or not. I think they can make a run as well as anyone in their bracket. To my Ohio State ladies: Play hard, play smart. Be enthusiastic and put the effort forth. We have some young players, so we have to be careful about not turning the ball over. As long as the listen to Coach Foster, they will be alright.

Sue Bird, Seattle Storm

National Champion: UConn.

Finals runner-up: Texas.

The other two Final Four teams: Duke and Tennessee.

The best player in the tournament is: Diana Taurasi, again, when she's healthy.

Flying under the radar: Stanford. I think they are going to come in angry. Also Minnesota and Ohio State.

Additional thoughts: In the women’s Tournament, it is extremely hard for mid-major teams to go very far, but I think teams like the third-seeded Oklahoma and Houston can do some real damage because of the seniors and the leadership on those teams. UC-Santa Barbara may take some people by surprise. They have April McDivitt who transferred from Tennessee and they are playing their own backyard in Santa Barbara. Colorado and Houston need to make sure they are on their game. Georgia also has a very good player named Christi Thomas.

Coming soon:
Swin and Kara Head-to-Head
Sue and Tamika Head-to-Head
WNBA Player NCAA Tournament Memories

full NCAA coverage on ESPN.com
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever

National Champion: Tennessee.

Finals runner-up: Duke.

The other two Final Four teams: UConn and Texas.

The best players in the tournament is: Alana Beard and Diana Taurasi.

Flying under the radar: Houston. I am really excited to watch Chandi Jones and see her game.

Additional thoughts: Come Tournament time, anyone can win. The surprises are what makes it so great. In the NCAA Tournament, like any playoffs really, anything can happen. Every team and not just the top teams bring their best games. For my alma mater, Tennessee, they just need to concentrate on coming out every game and putting forth their best effort. There is not a time now when you can come unprepared to play and that includes watching film, practicing hard, paying attention to what the coaches are saying to you, doing your own homework, and just being ready to play.

Swin Cash, Detroit Shock

National Champion: UConn.

Finals runner-up: Tennessee.

The other two Final Four teams: Duke and Tennessee.

The best players in the tournament is: Diana Taurasi and Alana Beard.

Flying under the radar: Houston. They can be really good.

The most underrated player in the tournament is: Chandi Jones of Houston is the real deal and will only get better.

Additional thoughts: FEAR THE DOGS!

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Sky vs. Shock

Odyssey Sims scores 24 points to lead the Shock to a win over the Sky, 79-69.

Lynx vs. Sun

Maya Moore scores 17 points to help the Lynx beat the Sun, 76-65.

Dream vs. Mystics

Ivory Latta scores 21 points and Kara Lawson adds14 as the surging Mystics beat the Dream, 77-67.

Liberty vs. Mercury

Diana Taurasi records 15 points and 10 assists, Britney Griner adds 18 points as the Mercury roll to their 15th straight win.

Taurasi's Double-double

Diana Taurasi records a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists to lead the Mercury over the Liberty.