In the chaos that is March Madness, treat yourself to some of the year's best basketball by tuning in to the NCAA Women's basketball tournament for what should be an exhilarating event.
The field of 64 will feature its fair share of elite teams, but just two squads have risen to the top throughout the season and are the obvious favorites to cut down the nets in New Orleans.
It's no surprise that the first of the two is the defending national champion. Led by senior Brittney Griner, who could go down as one of the best ever, the Baylor Lady Bears have cruised to a 32-1 record and are set to land the No. 1 overall seed.
But right on their heels are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They have their own star power in the form of Skylar Diggins, a sharp-shooting senior who also could go down as an all-time women's hoops great.
Here's everything you need to know about this year's women's tournament.
TV Info: This will be the 11th straight year that ESPN has full rights to the women's tourney. Note: Games will be on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, WatchESPN and more.
Streaming Info: WatchESPN
Selection Monday: The bracket will be announced Monday, March 18, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Extended coverage on ESPNU starting at 8 p.m.
First- and Second-Round Action
March 23 and 25, 2013
Coors Events Center - Boulder, Colorado
Comcast Center - College Park, Maryland
Reed Arena - College Station, Texas
St. John Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Thompson-Boling Arena - Knoxville, Tennessee
United Spirit Arena - Lubbock, Texas
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, Washington
Gampel Pavilion - Storrs, Connecticut
March 24 and 26, 2013
Pete Maravich Assembly Center - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Cameron Indoor Stadium - Durham, North Carolina
Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, Iowa
KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, Kentucky
Bob Carpenter Center - Newark, Delaware
Carnesecca Arena - Queens, New York
Maples Pavilion - Stanford, California
Ferrell Center - Waco, Texas
March 30 and April 1, 2013
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena - Spokane, Washington
Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard - Bridgeport, Connecticut
March 31 and April 2, 2013
Ted Constant Convocation Center - Norfolk, Virginia
Chesapeake Energy Arena - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
April 7, 2013
New Orleans Arena - New Orleans, Louisiana
5:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET
April 9, 2013
New Orleans Arena - New Orleans, Louisiana
7:30 p.m. ET
Top Teams to Watch
Baylor Lady Bears
The Lady Bears are in the midst of one of the most dominating runs through women's college hoops that we've ever seen, going undefeated for the national title last year and only having one blemish (early-season loss at Stanford) this season as they head into the tournament as the obvious best team.
There's no doubt Brittney Griner is the heart and soul of this roster. With 23.5 points and nine rebounds to go along with 4.2 blocks per game, she's an unstoppable force on both ends of the court.
But that's far from the only thing Baylor has going. Guard Odyssey Sims, who averages more than 12 points per game to go along with 5.7 assists, would be an All-American on any other team. Her .342 percentage from long range helps the Lady Bears stretch the court.
With Brooklyn Pope and Destiny Williams—who average almost 19 points combined—anchoring the frontcourt behind Griner, the Lady Bears are in good hands even when their star is off the court or tending to another player.
Baylor has star power and a deep, talented team. It's the perfect recipe for a championship.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The national runner-ups last season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish only have one blemish on the 2012-13 regular season as well. In fact, Baylor is the only team Notre Dame has lost to since the 2012 Big East Championship, where it fell to UConn.
The Fighting Irish are the real deal, led by Skylar Diggins, who's putting up a solid 17 points to go along with six dishes per game. Not only is she a threat from the perimeter as one of the game's best shooters, but she can also drive the lane and elude defenders as she attacks the rim despite her 5'9" frame.
It also doesn't hurt that she's one of the best defenders in the game, picking up more than three steals per contest.
But there are a wide range of scorers on this Notre Dame squad, and that's what has separated them from the pack. Four players average in double figures. That includes guard Kayla McBride with 15.4 points, who completes one of the scariest backcourts in the nation.
They also have help down low in the form of Natalie Achonwa, who puts up 13.8 points to go along with 9.3 rebounds.
Notre Dame has all of the pieces necessary to win a national championship. Their only obstacle is a 6'8" star forward from Baylor.
Lost in the shadow of great seasons from Baylor and Notre Dame lie the Stanford Cardinal, with a record of 31-2.
Two losses? Cue the yawns.
Not so fast. The Cardinal have blistered through a tough Pac-12 schedule and haven't lost since January.
Not to be outdone by their superiors, they also have star power. Elusive forward Chiney Ogwumike has been incredible this season, averaging 22.4 points per game to go along with more than 13 rebounds. You don't see those type of stats very often, if at all.
Perhaps the biggest strength Stanford has is it toppled Baylor earlier this season in the Lady Bears' only loss in more than two years. They have the frontcourt talent to irk Griner and could use that to their advantage in the tournament.
Don't sleep on Stanford. The Cardinal could run away with the whole thing.
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