Here are five rising stars who could lead their surprise teams to the title
MATEE AJAVON, G, Rutgers
On a team that forces more than 20 turnovers a game, no one makes larceny as fun to watch as the blazingly fast 5'8" freshman, who averages 2.1 steals. Once she strips an opponent at midcourt, there is no catching her. She is also fearless on offense: She totaled 36 points in consecutive upsets of Tennessee and Texas.
JESSICA DAVENPORT, C, Ohio State
The lefthanded 6'5" sophomore has had seven double doubles in her last 10 games--including a 19-point, 13-rebound, 12-block effort in a Feb. 20 loss to Michigan State--and is a big reason why attendance at Buckeyes games has jumped a whopping 82% (from 3,900 to 7,300) this season.
KRISTIN HAYNIE, G, Michigan State
This homegrown 5'8" senior embodies what the Big Ten champion Spartans are all about: intensity and balance. With Radar O'Reilly--like anticipation, she leads the conference in steals (3.4 average) and assists (5.1) and is tops among the league's guards in rebounds (6.5).
IVORY LATTA, G, North Carolina
South Carolina's alltime high school scoring leader (4,619 career points) will captivate fans with her smile and energy and will burn opponents with her speed and perimeter shooting. In the last 10 games the 5'6" sophomore has averaged 3.0 threes. She's not bad from the stripe, either, leading the ACC at 88.3%.
KHARA SMITH, F, DePaul