The WNBA regular season is over and now only the eight best teams are left standing. The playoffs are ripe with former UConn players, as only two postseason competitors do not have a former Husky on the roster.
The WNBA postseason has a unique format. The top two seeds get an automatic bye into the semi-finals, the next two seeds get a bye into the second round and the bottom four teams have to play in the first round. The first two rounds are single elimination while the semi-finals and finals are best of five series. The teams are also reseeded after the first two rounds.
In the first round, the No. 5 Phoenix Mercury face the No. 8 Seattle Storm. The Mercury are led by Diana Taurasi, who became the WNBA’s all-time leader in both points and three-pointers made this season.
The Storm feature Sue Bird, who captured the league’s all-time assists mark last weekend, as well as Breanna Stewart and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. The reining Rookie of the Year averaged 19.9 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game and 2.7 assists per game in her sophomore campaign. Mosqueda-Lewis, meanwhile, saw action in just 18 games due to knee surgery.
The other opening matchup is between the No. 6 Washington Mystics and No. 7 Dallas Wings. Dallas is home to Saniya Chong, who just finished up her rookie season. She played 11 minutes per game, averaging 2.7 points per game and 1.0 assist per contest.
Moving to teams with a first-round bye, the hometown Connecticut Sun are the No. 4 seed and have Morgan Tuck on their squad. She played in just 22 games this season due to knee issues, scoring 5.4 points per game while grabbing 2.2 rebounds per game.
The New York Liberty, led by Tina Charles, Bria Harltey and Kiah Stokes, are the No. 3 seed. Charles was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for August. She also received attention after a defibrillator from Hopey’s Heart Foundation, a charity which Charles frequently donates to, saved a Texas man’s life.
Finally, the top-seeded Minnesota Lynx are the team to beat in large part due to Maya Moore. The former UConn superstar is averaging 17.3 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game and 1.9 steals per game. Moore is joined by Renee Montgomery, who averaged 8.0 points per game.
The action kicks off Wednesday night with the Mystics and Wings tipping off at 8 pm while the Storm and Mercury begin at 10 pm. All the games will be broadcast on ESPN 2.