1 LSU

SEC champion

Record: 27-3 (11-3).

Coach: Sue Gunter.

Top Players: G Temeka Johnson, 5-3, Jr. (9.6 ppg, 5.7 apg, 3.2 rpg); G Seimone Augustus, 6-1, Fr. (15.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 55.4 FG%); F Aiysha Smith, 6-2, Sr. (12.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 44.4 FG%).

Data: Gunter, a Hall of Famer, is the third-winningest coach in women's basketball but has never been to the Final Four, an anomaly this year's Lady Tigers look poised to correct. They head into the NCAAs on a high after routing Tennessee to win the SEC tournament, in the process avenging all three of their defeats. Augustus, LSU's first SEC freshman of the year, led the team in scoring and minutes and adds a superstar element to a squad that went a school-record 8-3 against top 25 teams and was ranked in the top six all season. Johnson directs a balanced attack, aided by the savvy play of identical twins Doneeka and Roneeka Hodges, that makes it hard for defenses to know what -- or whom -- to stop first.

2 Texas

Big 12 champion

Record: 25-5 (15-1).

Coach: Jody Conradt.

Top Players: F Stacy Stephens, 6-1, Jr. (14.8 ppg, 9 rpg, 50.6 FG%); F-G Heather Schreiber, 6-2, Soph. (13.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 48.7 FG%); G Jamie Carey, 5-6, Jr. (10.7 ppg, 3.5 apg).

Data: It seems hard to believe, but this season marked Texas's first Big 12 regular season title and first undefeated home record since its national title in 1985-86. The Longhorns did it by winning their final 10 regular season games, including completing their first sweep of Texas Tech since 1990-91 with a dramatic 70-67 win in Lubbock. Then they defeated the Lady Raiders, 67-57, in the tournament final. The Longhorns shoot well (43.7 percent overall and 40.9 percent behind the arc) and play tough defense (Big 12-high 55.8 points per game). Carey, a transfer from Stanford, was selected the conference's newcomer of the year.

3 Stanford

Pacific-10 champion

Record: 26-4 (15-3).

Coach: Tara VanDerveer.

Top Players: F Nicole Powell, 6-2, Jr. (18.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 87.2 FT%); G Kelley Suminski, 5-9, Soph. (11.7 ppg, 3.1 apg, 37.4 3-pt.%); C Chelsea Trotter, 6-3, Soph. (9.4 ppg, 6 rpg, 54.1 FG%).

Data: Powell, the leading rebounder per game in school history, has scored in double figures in 14 of her 16 games since returning from a bulging disk in her lower back, and scored 26 points on a sore ankle in the regular season finale. Stanford has a chance to extend its 14-0 home record when it hosts a subregional as well as the West regional at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal averages 17.1 turnovers per game, but ranks second in the country in free throw percentage (78.6 percent), making more foul shots (412 of 524) than their opponents attempted (254 of 391).

4 Ohio State

Big Ten at-large

Record: 21-9 (10-6).

Coach: Jim Foster.

Top Players: G Caity Matter, 5-8, Soph. (15.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 46 3-pt.%); F Courtney Coleman, 6-1, Sr. (14.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 apg); F LaToya Turner, 6-3, Jr. (8.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.6 bpg).

Data: Turner's speedy recovery from a broken left arm Feb. 6 helped the Buckeyes earn a tourney berth. She sat out just four games and then led her team to a 4-1 record. In that stretch they beat the Big Ten's top two teams (Purdue and Penn State), then nearly beat the Boilermakers in the conference final. The Buckeyes often build leads early in games, allowing an average of just 26 points in the first half. They are also one of the best shooting teams in the country (49 percent), led by Coleman, who is tough to stop when she gets the ball in the lane (172-252, 68 FG%).

5 Louisiana Tech

WAC champion

Record: 29-2 (18-0).

Coach: Kurt Budke.

Top Players: C Cheryl Ford, 6-3, Sr. (15.3 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 1.9 bpg); F Trina Frierson, 6-2, Jr. (14.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 51.3 FG%); G Amber Obaze, 5-9, Jr. (12 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.3 apg).

Data: This season featured a couple firsts for the Lady Techsters: their first in short-sleeved uniforms and their first in 20 years without legendary coach Leon Barmore, who retired in August with the highest career winning percentage (.869) of any men's or women's college coach. The Lady Techsters responded by making their 22nd consecutive NCAA tournament -- a streak equaled only by Tennessee, to whom they lost, 60-35, in early December -- with the nation's 11th-ranked scoring offense (77.9 ppg). Lone senior Ford, whose father is Utah Jazz star Karl Malone, is the nation's fourth-leading rebounder.

6 Minnesota

Big Ten at-large

Record: 23-5 (12-4).

Coach: Pam Borton.

Top Players: G Lindsay Whalen, 5-8, Jr. (21.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.2 apg); G Corrin Von Wald, 5-9, Sr. (15.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.7 spg); C Janel McCarville, 6-2, Soph. (13.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 68% FG).

Data: The Golden Gophers feature one of the nation's most prolific offenses -- they score 79.2 ppg (fourth in nation), lead the country in field goal percentage (51.7 percent) and scored 116 points in a regulation game this season. Von Wald doesn't take many three-pointers, but she is very accurate beyond the arc -- she has hit 37 of 59 attempts (63 percent). While the offense was consistently superb all season, the Gophers only started playing solid defense late in the season -- they gave up an average of 58 points in the last nine regular season games.

7 Arkansas

SEC at-large

Record: 21-10 (7-7).

Coach: Gary Blair.

Top Players: G Lakishia Harper, 5-10, Sr. (5.2 ppg, 4.5 apg, 1.6 spg); G India Lewis, 5-8, Sr. (13.7 ppg, 2.3 apg, 2.1 spg); F Shameka Christon, 6-1, Jr. (15.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg).

Data: Arkansas starts three guards, but that includes at the point converted forward Harper, a team leader who causes matchup problems because of her size and versatility. The alignment provides the ballhandling and ball-hawking ability that is key to the team's success, as it finished second in the SEC in turnover margin but has struggled to score for much of the past two months. The Lady Razorbacks look to their "Big Three" -- Christon, Lewis and guard Dana Cherry -- for points, but when they're cold, there isn't much on the bench besides promising freshman Ruby Vaden to pick up the slack. A possible good omen for Arkansas' tournament hopes is that Christon is a player whose career scoring average steadily rises when playing top 25 foes, on TV and in front of crowds of 10,000 or more, respectively.

8 Wisconsin-Green Bay

Horizon champion

Record: 27-3 (15-1).

Coach: Kevin Borseth.

Top Players: G Kristy Loiselle, 5-10, Sr. (14.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.5 apg); C Chandra Johnson, 6-3, Sr. (13.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 55 FG%); G Sara Boyer, 5-9, Sr. (11.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 40 3-pt.%).

Data: The Phoenix earned its fifth NCAA berth in six years but is still in search of its first tourney victory. Green Bay was among the nation's leaders in scoring margin (19.3 ppg), likely a result of weak opponents (192nd in strength of schedule). In two of its tougher games, in December, the Phoenix had good results -- it beat Ohio State by 10 and lost to Kansas State by five. Green Bay does take care of lesser opponents, however: The team hasn't lost since Jan. 25. Four players shoot better than 40 percent from three-point range, as the squad led the nation in that category (44 percent).

9 Washington

Pacific-10 at-large

Record: 22-7 (13-5).

Coach: June Daugherty.

Top Players: G Giuliana Mendiola, 5-11, Jr. (17.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.4 apg); G Loree Payne, 6-0, Sr. (14.8 ppg, 2.3 apg, 85.7 FT%); F Andrea Lalum, 6-4, Jr. (11.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 43.1 FG%).

Data: The Huskies relied on fast starts and perimeter shooting to surpass the 20-win mark -- including a 92-68 rout of then-No. 6 Stanford on Feb. 13 -- for the first time in eight years. Mendiola leads in points, rebounds and assists and is the team's first conference player of the year. She was second in the conference in three-pointers (44.7 percent) and free throws (84.3 percent and fourth in field goals (45.2 percent). Four starters average 35 percent or better from three-point range as the team made the third-most three pointers in the country (8.3) and had the fifth-most assists (18.8).

10 Cincinnati

Conference USA at-large

Record: 23-7 (11-3).

Coach: Laurie Pirtle.

Top Players: C Debbie Merrill, 6-3, Soph. (18.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3 apg); G Valerie King, 5-10, Jr. (16.5 ppg, 36 3-pt.%, 2.8 rpg); G K.B. Sharp, 5-9, Sr. (13.9 ppg, 6 apg, 5.8 rpg).

Data: An overtime loss to TCU in the Conference USA tournament final should not derail the Bearcats. Cincinnati has outscored opponents by an average of 11 points this season, mainly through its rebounding. The Bearcats have outrebounded opponents by an average of 4.5 per game this season and shot 44 percent. Problems with three-point shooting (30 percent) and at the foul line (71 percent) could prove critical, however.

11 Tulane

Conference USA at-large

Record: 19-9 (10-4).

Coach: Lisa Stockton.

Top Players: C Teana McKiver, 6-3, Sr. (13 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 57 FG%); G Delacey Joseph, 6-2, Jr. (10 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 71 FT%); F Gwen Slaughter, 6-3, Sr. (8.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg).

Data: Tulane's regular season ended with a loss at Charlotte and the Green Wave was ousted by eventual champion TCU in the Conference USA quarterfinals. Tulane moves the ball well, with nearly two-thirds of its baskets coming off assists. But the Green Wave also has a penchant for losing control, averaging 21 turnovers.

12 Pepperdine

West Coast champion

Record: 22-7 (12-2).

Coach: Mark Trakh.

Top Players: G Tamara McDonald, 5-7, Sr. (9.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg); G Shanell Law, 5-9, Soph., (9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg); G Nicole Funn, 6-0, Jr. (9.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg).

Data: The Waves, who are making their third NCAA appearance in four years, are a deep team. Only two players average more than 25 minutes per game. None averages more than 29 minutes. No player averages more than 10 points per game, but four of the five starters average at least nine. McDonald, the WCC player of the year, became the starting point guard when Shandrika Lee suffered a season-ending knee injury just prior to conference play. F Keani Christianson has been playing well lately, averaging 16.5 ppg over her last four games.

13 Weber State

Big Sky champion

Record: 21-8 (11-3).

Coach: Carla Taylor.

Top Players: G Julie Gjertsen, 5-10, Soph. (16.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.5 apg); F-C Crystal Howe, 6-4, Sr. (12.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1 apg); G Sheila Robertson, 5-6, Fr. (11.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.3 apg).

Data: Spurred on by a fire-and-brimstone speech from the coach in the Big Sky final -- Taylor called it a "come to Jesus" meeting -- Robertson scored 14 points in the final 14 minutes, finishing with 21 and earning tournament most valuable player honors, and the Wildcats outscored Montana State 32-11 in the same time span to earn the NCAA bid, 63-52. It is Weber State's second straight Big Sky title, marking the first two NCAA appearances in school history. Gjertsen was the conference's co-player of the year.

14 Western Michigan

Mid-American champion

Record: 20-11 (10-6).

Coach: Ron Stewart.

Top Players: G Casey Rost, 5-9, Soph. (19.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 90 FT%); F Kristin Koetsier, 6-3, Jr. (17.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 82 FT%); G Curleta Harris, 5-11, Sr. (12.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2 apg).

Data: All five starters average at least nine points. The team won its first conference title since 1985 and won 20 games for the first time since 1977-78. It also made its first MAC tournament championship game appearance since 1988. Koetsier went 32 for 33 from the foul line in the three MAC tournament games.

15 Hampton

MEAC champion

Record: 23-8 (17-1).

Coach: Patricia Bibbs.

Top Players: G LaShondra Dixon, 5-5 Sr. (17.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 31 3-pt.%); F Nicole Brathwaite, 6-1, Jr. (12.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 57 FG%); G Lynnetta Sullivan, 5-10, Sr. (10.9 ppg, 47 FG%, 6 rpg).

Data: Hampton heads to the NCAA tournament on a six-game winning streak. The Lady Pirates dominated the MEAC, losing only to Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla., and had perhaps the league's premier player in Dixon. She had 25 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists in MEAC title game against Delaware State.

16 Southwest Texas St.

Southland champion

Record: 18-13 (14-6).

Coach: Suzanne Fox.

Top Players: C Tori Talbert, 6-2, Soph. (15.7 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 51.4 FG%); G Julie Brooks, 5-8, Jr. (9.6 ppg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 spg); F Aleise Johnson, 5-10, Jr. (8.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.4 spg).

Data: The Bobcats topped Texas-San Antonio, 68-56, to earn the Southland's automatic berth, but nearly as significant was how they advanced to the conference title game. In the semifinals, the Bobcats ended Stephen F. Austin's run of 15 straight NCAA appearances with just their second win at Stephen F. Austin in the program's history. In that game, Talbert, the Southland player of the year and in the top five nationally in rebounding, scored 20 points and single-handedly outrebounded the Ladyjacks, 25-24.