Predicting who wins the championship

The Seattle Storm started out as the preseason favorite before basketball even tipped off in the WNBA bubble in Bradenton, Florida, in late July.

And though the Las Vegas Aces edged the Storm in the regular-season finale to clinch the No. 1 seed in the 2020 WNBA playoffs, Seattle remains the favorite.

ESPN’s Katie Barnes, Melanie Jackson, Kevin Pelton, Ramona Shelburne and Mechelle Voepel and The Undefeated’s Sean Hurd unanimously predict the Storm to win their fourth WNBA championship, and second in three seasons after hoisting the trophy in 2018.

The playoffs open Tuesday (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET) with a pair of first-round, single-elimination games. Seattle and Las Vegas have double byes and don’t play again until Sunday, when the best-of-five WNBA semifinals open.

A look at our panel’s predictions:

Who wins their first-round matchup: No. 6 Chicago Sky or No. 7 Connecticut Sun?

Barnes: Connecticut Sun
Hurd: Connecticut Sun
Jackson: Chicago Sky
Pelton: Chicago Sky
Shelburne: Connecticut Sun
Voepel: Chicago Sky

Who wins their first-round matchup: No. 5 Phoenix Mercury or No. 8 Washington Mystics?

Barnes: Phoenix Mercury
Hurd: Phoenix Mercury
Jackson: Phoenix Mercury
Pelton: Phoenix Mercury
Shelburne: Phoenix Mercury
Voepel: Phoenix Mercury

Which team playing in the first round has the best chance of reaching the WNBA Finals?

Barnes: Phoenix Mercury
Hurd: Connecticut Sun
Jackson: Phoenix Mercury
Pelton: Phoenix Mercury
Shelburne: Phoenix Mercury
Voepel: Phoenix Mercury

Which teams will meet in the semifinals?

Barnes: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 5 Phoenix Mercury and No. 2 Seattle Storm vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Sparks
Hurd: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 4 Minnesota Lynx and No. 2 Seattle Storm vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Sparks
Jackson: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 5 Phoenix Mercury and No. 2 Seattle Storm vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Sparks
Pelton: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 5 Phoenix Mercury and No. 2 Seattle Storm vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Sparks
Shelburne: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 5 Phoenix Mercury and No. 2 Seattle Storm vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Sparks
Voepel: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 5 Phoenix Mercury and No. 2 Seattle Storm vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Sparks

Which teams will meet in the WNBA Finals?

Barnes: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 2 Seattle Storm
Hurd: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 2 Seattle Storm
Jackson: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 2 Seattle Storm
Pelton: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 2 Seattle Storm
Shelburne: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 2 Seattle Storm
Voepel: No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 2 Seattle Storm

Which team will win the 2020 WNBA title?

Barnes: Seattle Storm
Hurd: Seattle Storm
Jackson: Seattle Storm
Pelton: Seattle Storm
Shelburne: Seattle Storm
Voepel: Seattle Storm