Last season: 33-5, 13-3

Coach: Geno Auriemma, 28th season

Top Players: G Bria Hartley, F Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, C Stefanie Dolson

Keep an eye on: C Breanna Stewart

The skinny: The Huskies have assembled one of the deepest rosters in their history and seem intent on avenging back-to-back national semifinal defeats to Notre Dame. The freshman class – Stewart, F Morgan Tuck and G Moriah Jefferson – has the potential to be game-changing almost immediately

Notre Dame

Last season: 35-4, 15-1

Coach: Muffet McGraw, 26th season

Top Players: G Skylar Diggins, C Natalie Achonwa, G Kayla McBride

Keep an eye on: G Jewell Loyd

The skinny: This could be Notre Dame's final season in the Big East before its departure to the ACC. The Irish have played – and lost – the past two national championship games, but are buoyed by Diggins, their first-team All-American. Watch freshmen guards Michaela Mabrey and Jewell Loyd.


Last season: 23-10, 10-6

Coach: Jeff Walz, 6th season

Top Players: G Shoni Schimmel, G Monique Reid, F Asia Taylor

Keep an eye on: F Sara Hammond

The skinny: Injuries have plagued the Cardinals in the preseason, but Walz remains confident. Schimmel was a Big East first-team pick last season and Bria Smith made the rookie team. Hammond, a Kentucky native, is very highly regarded.

St. John's

Last season: 24-10, 13-3