No, Tennessee is not the number 1 team in the country entering the tournament. That honor belongs to Purdue, who just recorded their finest season in team history at 28-1. After losing to Stanford in late November, the Boilermakers have rattled off 26 consecutive wins. Included in their 28 wins are triumphs over fellow No. 1 seeds Tennessee and Louisiana Tech.
They have perhaps the finest backcourt in the nation, with guards Ukari Figgs and Katie Douglas, and are led by Player of the Year candidate Stephanie White-McCarty and her 21 points per game. Big-12 Champion Texas Tech should provide a stiff challenge to Purdue in the regional semifinals, but after being ousted in the Final Eight by Louisiana Tech last year, Purdue wants more. If they aren't in San Jose at the end of March, their amazing regular season and Big Ten championship will feel empty.
They're here every year. Sure, they've got famous alumni like Karl Malone and Terry Bradshaw, but Louisiana Tech has always been a women's basketball school. Head coach Leon Barmore has turned this small school in rural Ruston, Louisiana into a perennial powerhouse which has been invited to every NCAA tournament in history.
With a 26-2 mark, the Lady Techsters blasted through the Sun Belt Conference as they usually do, losing only to Purdue and Tennessee. Monica Maxwell, Amanda Wilson and Tamicha Jackson, three starters from last year's championship game against Tennessee, are back and are running Barmore's system to near perfection.
Colorado State, with first-team All-American Becky Hammon, may be the best No. 2 seed in the tournament. The Rams (31-2) were well on their way to a No. 1 seed until a pesky SMU squad bumped them off in the finals of the WAC tournament.
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