Stanford seeks a fourth straight Final Four, Xavier wouldn't mind a second shot at the Cardinal, and Gonzaga has been tabbed as Spokane's Cinderella in the making.
The past two seasons, there was a sense of inevitability about the Huskies. So Stanford's win Thursday over UConn gave the rest of the country what it needed: proof that the Huskies can be beaten.
As practice officially opens Friday, one thing is certain: Until UConn loses -- like Geno Auriemma swears it will -- they Huskies are still standing at the front of the pack.
Third-seeded Xavier did about everything right against Stanford -- except hit its final two shots. Now, the Cardinal are bound for their third straight Final Four.
After a summertime coaching stint, senior April Phillips and junior Special Jennings are able to see things from a different perspective this season.