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Spartans in the Pros: WNBA Playoff Primer

Aerial Powers would have been the sole Spartan playing this post-season

New York Liberty v Washington Mystics Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

As the NBA makes its way through the conference championship games, the WNBA is primed to start their own playoff series tonight. For those unfamiliar with the WNBA, the format is quite different from the NBA playoffs. The top eight teams made the playoffs with the top two seeds receiving first- and second-round byes, and the third and fourth seeds will receive first-round byes. The first- and second-rounds are also single elimination, while the semi-finals and finals are best-of-five series. The seeds are also adjusted after each round, pairing the lowest seed with the highest.

The teams participating and their current seeding are:

  1. Las Vegas Aces
  2. Seattle Storm
  3. Los Angeles Sparks
  4. Minnesota Lynx
  5. Phoenix Mercury
  6. Chicago Sky
  7. Connecticut Sun
  8. Washington Mystics

Among the rosters, there are players from around the Big Ten for teams in the playoffs. Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Maryland, and Rutgers all feature players on their rosters. Unfortunately for Michigan State, their own Aerial Powers is a member of the playoff bound Washington Mystics, but she suffered a hamstring injury in August and has had to exit the WNBA bubble as a result. Powers finished the season with averages of 16.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals while playing 29.8 minutes in her six games.

Washington plays tonight at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN2, and while the Mystics are the eight seed, they are also the defending champions from last season.