After a long break for the Olympics, the WNBA heads into the Playoffs today. More than a few of these women have a gold medal under their belts and they're hungry for more success. I'll be watching the Seattle Storm pretty closely this year. They lost star player (and Aussie) Lauren Jackson to bone-spur surgery right after the Olympics, but she's on track to recover by the time the Finals rolls around--if all goes well. Sheryl Swoopes is back from a concussion and Swin Cash is battling through her back pain, but things are looking up. Sue Bird, one of the leading league MVP candidates this year, will lead the Storm through the Playoffs.
You should also keep your eye on the LA Sparks. The Candace Parker-Lisa Leslie duo is incredible to witness. They're the only two women who have dunked in regulation WNBA games. Leslie is now a four-time Olympic gold medalist and Parker left the Tennessee Lady Vols a year early (yep, first woman to skip the degree and dive right into the pros) and she is undoubtedly the league's rookie of the year.
Unlike collegiate March Madness, with 64 teams crashing onto the national bracket and clawing their way forward, the WNBA Playoffs features only the top 4 teams from each conference. In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Stars take on the Sacramento Monarchs, while the LA Sparks battle with the Seattle Storm. On the Eastern side of the bracket, the Indiana Fever face the Detroit Shock, and the Connecticut Sun will duke it out with the New York Liberty.
Check out the WNBA website for all the juicy details.