2. Tennessee can win ugly.
The Lady Vols play the toughest schedule in the country to prepare for March and April. By the time they reach the NCAAs they've seen every kind of defense and style the game offers. They can win when they play pretty and they can win when they play ugly -- just as they did against North Carolina. In that game they shot a horrific, historic 27 percent (the lowest shooting percentage ever in a national semifinal) and still pulled out a victory. Rutgers' vaunted pressure defense will make for a hard night's slogging on the offensive end, but the Scarlet Knights won't have much fun trying to score, either, as the Lady Vols are even more disruptive, getting nearly 12 steals and forcing 22.1 turnovers a game.
3. The Lady Vols have superior size and depth.
The Rutgers starting lineup goes 5-8, 5-9, 6-0, 6-1 and 6-4, while Tennessee goes 5-2, 5-11, 6-3, 6-4 and 6-4. The only position where Rutgers has a size advantage is at point, where 5-9 Epiphanny Prince will tower over Tennessee's 5-2 Shannon Bobbitt. Rutgers will need to box out aggressively to keep up the pace on the boards. Depthwise, the Lady Vols have nine players who average 10 or more minutes a game (no one averages more than 30) while Rutgers has seven who average 13 or more. Also worth noting: Tennessee has almost as many McDonald's All-Americas (two) on the bench as they do in the starting lineup (3)
4. Sidney Spencer will not have another dreadful night from the arc.
Against North Carolina, Spencer, a 6-3 senior guard who is the third-best three-point shooter in the SEC (41 percent), was 0 for 5 from the three-point line. In this, her last collegiate game, she will find her groove.
5. Tennessee is 4-0 against upstarts.
The Lady Vols destroyed the hopes and dreams of four would-be Cinderellas on the way to the national title game, mercilessly knocking off 16-seed Drake, 8-seed Pitt, 13-seed Marist, and 7-seed Ole Miss before arriving in Cleveland. (Said Parker after she led her team to a brutally efficient victory over Marist, the tournament darlings: "We wanted to give them no hope.") This young Rutgers team, for all its talent and willpower, will be one more Tennessee victim to leave the tournament empty-handed.