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The WNBA plays a 32 game schedule.
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Jackie Stiles was the all-time leading scorer in women's college basketball.
Courtesy of SMSU

The NBA playoffs are almost over but that doesn't mean it's the end of hoops season. The WNBA has tipped off for another summer of great basketball action. The big question? Will this finally be the year the Houston Comets are dethroned as WNBA Champions?

Houston has won the title every year since the WNBA started in 1997. But you can expect the Comets to come crashing down to earth in 2001. The team will be without MVP Sheryl Swoopes who is gone for the season with a knee injury and three-time league MVP Cynthia Cooper who left after last season to become the new coach of the Phoenix Mercury.

So who will be the Champs in 2001? The best bets are on the Los Angeles Sparks. They finished with a 28 - 4 record last season but couldn't get past Houston in the Western Conference finals. In the 2001 season opener, the Sparks showed they're serious about winning the title. They knocked off the Comets 66 - 63 in Houston. The New York Liberty have made it to the finals three of the last four years, only to lose to Houston each time. Look for the Liberty to make a push for championship freedom again in 2001.

WNBA fans will be introduced to some great, new young players this season. Number one pick Lauren Jackson, who was captain of Australia's silver medal Olympic team, will try to lead the Seattle Storm out of the clouds in 2001. The Storm had a less than thunderous season last year - winning just six games. Jackie Styles will see if she can bring the great success she had in college basketball to the WNBA. She'll be expected to run the offence for the Portland Fire who finished a disappointing 7th in the West in 2000.

Who's your favorite player and who do you think will win it all in 2001? what you think of the WNBA.

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