Meet some of NCAA's lesser-known leading ladies
Maya Moore is the top player on the top team, the All-American leading scorer who has helped build Connecticut's record 89-game winning streak and win consecutive national titles.
Brittney Griner is the girl at Baylor who can dunk, and Nnemkadi Ogwumike, another preseason All-American, has already been to two Final Fours with Stanford.
They are standouts, players with games and names that make them widely recognized.
Yet, there are teammates of those stars and players on other teams across the country who are also leading ladies. Here are a few of the unheralded women's college players proving they are invaluable to their teams:
Melissa Jones, Baylor. After Griner had 29 points, seven rebounds and four blocks against Michigan State, coach Suzy Merchant offered her reason why second-ranked Baylor - then coming off a one-point loss at Connecticut - could win the national title.
''To me, Melissa Jones is why they're going to win a championship,'' Merchant said. ''She's just a tough nut. She does everything she can. And she's the glue to that team.''
Jones is the senior captain on a team with Griner among seven sophomores, along with two freshmen. Six of Baylor's seven Big 12 losses last season came when Jones was out with a leg injury before the Lady Bears made it to the Final Four.
''She's a hustle player. She doesn't care about throwing herself on the floor,'' Griner said. ''There could be some nails on the floor, she's diving for the ball .''
Griner said Jones can relate to everybody, on and off the court.
''It's like having a little coach (Kim) Mulkey,'' Griner said.
Victoria Dunlap, Kentucky. In the Bluegrass State, where hoops are king, Dunlap is one of the best players ever at Kentucky. The 6-foot-1 senior forward is averaging a double-double this season, at 18.7 points and 10.1 rebounds, with 35 steals in her nine games.
Dunlap has started every game she has played for the 11th-ranked Wildcats. She is the sister of Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman King Dunlap and daughter of a former NFL player.
Jeanette Pohlen, Stanford. It was Pohlen, not Jayne Appel or Ogwumike, who got the Cardinal got to the Final Four last season. Appel had fouled out in the regional final when Pohlen drove the length of the court to make the winning layup at the buzzer against Xavier.
Pohlen is now one of two senior starters for eighth-ranked Stanford, which is trying to make its fourth consecutive Final Four appearance.
''(Pohlen) wants everyone to be part of the team,'' said freshman Chiney Ogwumike, the younger sister of last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year. Pohlen said that ''keeps me focused, and I have to make sure I know everything so I can tell them.''
Liz Repella, West Virginia. After playing with seven seniors as a freshman, Repella was already considered a veteran leader for the Mountaineers as a sophomore. She led them in scoring then, and again last season, when they had a school-record 29 victories.
Now a senior co-captain, Repella is the most experienced player for West Virginia (12-0), which has its highest ranking ever at No. 6.
On a page in the team's media guide with quotes from teammates about their co-captains, one reads, ''Liz has the experience and is a great example when it comes to leading our team.''
Special Jennings, Xavier. Jennings became a starter for the Musketeers midway through her freshman season. Now a 5-foot-6 senior, she's helped No. 4 Xavier to its highest ranking.
The Musketeers were 10-0 before a one-point loss Tuesday night at third-ranked Duke, when Jennings surpassed 400 career assists.
The guard is among four starters back from the team that lost to Stanford last season, and is averaging 7.5 points and 4.9 assists. She's hit 10 of 22 3-pointers this year and has twice as many assists as turnovers (54-27).
Sam Quigley, DePaul. Seldom was Quigley off the court for the Blue Demons last season, when she averaged a Big East-high 38 minutes and played every minute of 16 games.
When DePaul's top player and fellow guard Deirdre Naughton tore her ACL in the fifth game last year, Quigley emerged as the leader of a youthful team that went on to win 21 games and make its eighth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
The senior has started a team-high 84 consecutive games, and her 3-pointer ignited a game-deciding run when the 16th-ranked Blue Demons beat Stanford as part of a 10-game winning streak earlier this season.
Kayla Tetschlag, Wisconsin-Green Bay. Tetschlag is like a coach on the court for Wisconsin-Green Bay, which had a 17-game regular-season winning streak and was ranked before a three-point loss at Marquette.
''We're not the same team when she's not on the floor taking charge and being who she is,'' coach Matt Bollant said of the senior guard/forward.
Tetschlag is averaging 10.5 points and a team-leading 6.8 rebounds for Green Bay (10-1), and scored 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting with four 3-pointers in the second round of last season's NCAA tournament.
Among others to watch: Porsha Phillips, Georgia; Jence Rhoads, Vanderbilt; Jaclyn Thoman, Boston College; Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga; Courtney Ward, Florida State.