espnW's Final Four picks

Before the Final Four tips off in Tampa on Sunday(ESPN/WatchESPN, 6:30 p.m. ET), we predict which teams will advance to play for the 2015 NCAA championship on Tuesday.

(1) Notre Dame vs. (1) South Carolina

ESPN/WatchESPN, 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday

Charlie Creme: These two teams are evenly matched despite achieving their success in distinctly different ways. This one could come down to individual matchups -- such as Tiffany Mitchell versus Jewell Loyd -- or to which team can maximize its strength the best -- the Irish's perimeter-oriented offense or South Carolina's control of the paint. Both teams are loaded with quality veterans and talented youth. The difference in what should be a tight affair could be that Notre Dame's veterans have done this before and South Carolina's haven't. Pick: Notre Dame

Graham Hays: Notre Dame is in the Final Four and hasn't seen the best of Jewell Loyd through the first four rounds. Change your inflection when you speak that sentence, and it might change your pick. Is it a sign of strength or a sign of weakness? In ways both big (Lindsay Allen) and small (Madison Cable, Hannah Hufman), wins against DePaul, Stanford and Baylor the past three rounds showed the depth that Notre Dame will need against South Carolina's size and defense. The Fighting Irish have to get good performances from the members of a front line whose production and presence was much improved in the second half of the season, but they will count on experience and balance to carry the day. Or scrap all that and let Loyd finally go off. Pick: Notre Dame

Michelle Smith: The Irish will win this game, and set up another championship game showdown with Connecticut, because they have superior offensive players -- as they demonstrated against Baylor with four players scoring in double figures. South Carolina's last two games have been decided by a total of eight points. On one hand, the Gamecocks are battle-tested. On the other, they might not be up for taking out the Irish. Pick: Notre Dame

Mechelle Voepel: Notre Dame has been here before -- a lot, in fact -- and South Carolina hasn't. Also, the Gamecocks got off to slow starts in both of their regional games, played from behind a lot, and depended on big shots in the final minutes to win. Thus, it's oh-so-tempting to go with the Irish. So why am I not doing that? Maybe a feeling that the Gamecocks are going to put together a stronger performance start-to-finish Sunday than in the regional. Also, South Carolina has the guard depth to at least try to slow Jewell Loyd and Lindsay Allen. And the Gamecocks' A'ja Wilson could prove a particularly difficult matchup when she comes in off the bench. Pick: South Carolina

(1) Connecticut vs. (1) Maryland

8:30 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN/WatchESPN

Charlie Creme: The Huskies aren't quite clicking on all cylinders, but they are close. Remove the first half against Dayton in the Albany Regional final and there isn't anything to point to in the tournament that would give any opponent much optimism. UConn has dominated not just games or halves, but possession after possession. Maryland has accomplished plenty, cruising through its first season in the Big Ten unblemished, winning 28 in a row, and navigating a difficult Spokane Regional to reach a second straight Final Four. However, near perfection on Sunday is too much for which to ask and that is likely what it would take to pull the upset. Pick: UConn

Graham Hays: Maryland is intriguing. A team that is methodical, that plays at something close to 100 percent efficiency and relies on execution probably isn't going to beat Connecticut because there is no higher level to which it can take its game against an opponent that is also a model of efficiency, only with better players. Maryland is not methodical and there are nights when it is maddeningly inefficient. But it has shooters, speed and the size to such an extent that if these teams played 10 times, it might push Connecticut once or maybe even twice -- about the best any team can hope for against Geno Auriemma's squad these days. But with the way Moriah Jefferson and Breanna Stewart are playing, and all the other assets Connecticut brings to bear, the Huskies might even be able to outlast a perfect challenge. Pick: UConn

Michelle Smith: The Huskies are almost unstoppable offensively. It takes a team that can score with them to keep it close. While Maryland has a variety of weapons, the Terrapins can be held down by a stout defensive effort -- as their game with second-seeded Tennessee illustrated. And that's just not going to be good enough to deny Connecticut another appearance in the national championship game. Pick: UConn

Mechelle Voepel: Wish there was something more original to say here than UConn just has more weapons and does everything well, but that's about the size of it. Maryland's terrific guards will run into a UConn defense that makes penetration very difficult. And even if they get through the first line of defense, the great erasers -- led by Breanna Stewart and reserve Kiah Stokes with a combined 241 blocked shots this season -- are waiting for them. Offensively, UConn is nightmarish to guard with Stewart so big and nimble around the basket, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis such a dead-eye, and Moriah Jefferson so good at scoring and facilitating. Pick: UConn