1st-timer Arizona joins mainstays in women’s NCAA Final Four | College Sports | #sports | #elderly | #seniors
There will be a matchup of standout guards with UConn freshman phenom and first-team All-American Paige Bueckers (22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds a game) and Arizona second-team All-American Aari McDonald (25.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg), who is coming off consecutive 30-point games.
McDonald was looking at Facebook on Sunday, the day before No. 3 seed Arizona’s win over Indiana in the Mercardo Region final, when the 5-6-foot guard saw her post from exactly a year earlier. McDonald said then that she was coming back for her senior season for just such an opportunity.
“It’s just crazy how things come full circle,” McDonald said. “You make goals, to see yourself and your team achieve them like this, it’s crazy. I’m just so excited.”
With Stanford third-team All-American guard Kiana Williams getting to play the NCAA tourney in her hometown, the Cardinal overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to beat 2018 Final Four team Louisville 78-63 for the final spot. Stanford is in its 34th consecutive women’s NCAA Tournament, with Tara VanDerveer in her record 35th overall as a coach.
South Carolina, which has now made it to three of six Final Fours and won the last title decided in Texas four years ago in Dallas, likely would have been the No. 1 overall seed last year had been there been an NCAA tourney. The Gamecocks went 32-1 last season, spent the final 10 weeks at No. 1 and Staley was the AP coach of the year, but they didn’t get a chance to win another title because of the pandemic.