Women's Tournament 2013: Highlighting This Year's Best Potential Sleeper Picks

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 4, 2013

Mar 18, 2012; Little Rock, AR, USA; Delaware Blue Hens guard Elena Delle Donne (11) looks for an opening against the UALR Trojans during the second half in the first round of the 2012 NCAA women's basketball tournament at Jack Stephens Center.  Delaware defeated UALR 73-42.  Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The state of women's college basketball is far more top-heavy than the men's side, but this is March. The top seeds are never completely safe, no matter who sits at the peak of the sport.

Sure, it's going to take a heroine effort to best Brittney Griner and Baylor, Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Connecticut or even Chiney Ogwumike and Stanford.

But, again, this is March, the best time for heroes and heroines to take center stage and topple the Griner Goliaths of the world.  

Let's take a look at teams outside the top 10 worth advancing a long way in your office pool. 


Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens

Three words:

Elena Delle Donne. 

Griner, Diggins, Mosqueda-Lewis and Ogwumike deservedly command a lot of attention as the best players in the nation, but Delle Donne needs to be right in the thick of that conversation. 

The talented 6'5" senior can do it all. She can score from anywhere on the court (50 percent shooting from inside the arc, 47.7 percent on 3.8 attempts per game from deep, 92.2 percent from the line), and as a result, is second in the nation with 25.6 points per contest. 

More than Ogwumike, more than Griner, more than everyone except for FIU's Jerica Coley.

Throw in 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.5 blocks, and it's not surprising Delle Donne has the Fightin' Blue Hens at 26-3 with a scorching-hot 21 straight wins. 

The Hens are going to be a tough out if Delle Donne is at the top of her game. 


Dayton Flyers

The Flyers are No. 11 in the country thanks to a 26-1 record, but many are ignoring Jim Jabir's squad because of a weak Atlantic-10 schedule. 

That's a mistake. 

Dayton has knocked off DePaul (on the road), Vanderbilt and Michigan State, all teams that received votes in last week's Top-25 AP poll. 

Not only has it handled some of America's best, but Dayton passes the eye test. It has a balanced attack that features four players in double-digit scoring—three of which are guards, including one of the best floor generals in the nation in Samantha MacKay. 

Guard play is crucial in March, and Dayton has that in bunches. 


Florida State Seminoles

Listen, the Seminoles are struggling. They have lost four of their last six and have had a difficult time winning on the road all season.

But this team can light it up, and if you don't think that's an important attribute in women's college basketball, check out the nation's leaders. Notice a trend?

The top-five teams in points per game are ranked No.1, 2, 3, 7 and 9 in America. 

Well, Florida State, behind five different players capable of lighting up the scoreboard, is seventh in the nation with an average of 76.8 points per contest. 

The Seminoles are a risky pick, but Leonor Rodriguez and Alexa Deluzio's outside shooting combined with Natasha Howard and Chelsea Davis' inside presence can take them a long way.