First impressions on the bracket

March, 13, 2012
03/13/12
3:28
PM ET

Rebecca Lobo gives a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the set of the Selection Show.

Hardest regional: Des Moines. For Tennessee to be the 2-seed there (with No. 1 Baylor) after playing really well in the past week or so, that was the one that stuck out to me.

Easiest regional: Kingston. Connecticut's path to a potential Final Four might be the least difficult. Kentucky is probably seen as the fourth No. 2 seed, and Connecticut -- which opens in Bridgeport -- doesn't have to get on an airplane.

Best first-round game: No. 7 seed Green Bay versus 10th-seeded Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. Both teams have players who can shoot the 3 and it's a lower seed playing on its home floor.

Best potential second-round matchup: Top-seeded Baylor against No. 8 seed Ohio State. The consensus on the Buckeyes is that they deserved a better seed.

Team better than its seed: Sticking with 8-seed Ohio State on this one.

Team worse than its seed: No. 6 Nebraska. That is not meant as any disrespect to Nebraska. But in relation to Ohio State and both teams being from the Big Ten, it's just an interesting thing to look at those two seeds side by side.

Biggest snub: No. 2 seed Duke in Nashville. The Blue Devils were probably expecting to be in Chapel Hill. Instead, they have to potentially play a second-round meeting with Vanderbilt in the Commodores' town.

Biggest surprise: That No. 2 seed Kentucky and third-seeded Miami are in the same region in Kingston. That could be a pretty amazing matchup if it happens in the regional semifinal.

Possible Cinderella: Green Bay. The Phoenix play an interesting system, and most teams don't play against a team like Green Bay in the regular season. The Phoenix could get to the Elite Eight. A team that could get to the Final Four is Maryland. The Terps have depth at the post, a star in Alyssa Thomas, an experienced backcourt, and Maryland has bodies to match up with most teams. The Terps are the team that best matches up with Baylor. Of course, they have to reach the national championship to even get a shot.

Most talent in one region: Des Moines. Just looking at Baylor's and Tennessee's rosters, they're loaded with talent. Ohio State has Samantha Prahalis. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne has real star power.

Under-the-radar player: Point guard Jasmine Lister from Vanderbilt. I really like her game. I just watched (video of) her playing in a win against Tennessee at Vanderbilt, and Lister was absolutely outstanding.

Final Four: I'm going with the chalk and sticking with all the No. 1 seeds: Baylor, Stanford, Notre Dame and Connecticut.

Who wins? Baylor is still the team to beat. If it goes chalk, the Lady Bears will have beaten two of the three other No. 1 seeds that could be there. I'm picking Baylor as my champ over Notre Dame.

Rebecca Lobo

Women's Basketball
    Lobo won the 1995 National Player of the Year Award after leading the UConn women's basketball team to its first national championship. She was the youngest member of the 1996 gold-medal-winning Olympic team, and now, after seven seasons in the WNBA, covers basketball for ESPN.

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