NCAA / U Sports

Preview: Historic NCAA Final Four showdown

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The 2021 NCAA Final Four is set and before any of these incredible athletes set foot on the court, history is being made as the first ever Final Four featuring two black women as head coaches at the same time.

Dawn Staley with South Carolina is making her third appearance in the Final Four while Adia Barnes with Arizona is making her debut appearance.

South Carolina and Stanford face off Friday at 6 p.m. ET, followed by Arizona and Connecticut at 9:30 p.m. Both games are on TSN5 and ESPN.

No. 1 Stanford Cardinal

Despite Stanford making their 14th Final Four appearance this year, their last NCAA title was in 1992. Their matchup in the Elite Eight against Louisville proved they can come back from a deficit even when utilizing their reserve player, Ashten Prechtel, who came off the bench and recorded of 16 points in the second half. With Prechtel being able to perform at a moment’s notice, along with powerhouse junior, Lexie Hull, who walked away with 21 points and nine rebounds against Louisville, will measure up well against South Carolina. 

No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina’s last appearance in Final Four was when they won overall in 2017. Their Elite Eight performance showed their true dominance as they defeated Texas 62-34. Throughout the tournament, South Carolina has won each game by double digits; in their game against Texas, four different players scored double digits in points. Their momentum truly gained ground in their Elite Eight match and with multiple players racking up points, Stanford is going to need to play aggressive defence. Especially against standout sophomore Zia Cooke, who is making waves in her first NCAA Tournament appearance. She has managed to score in double digits the entire tournament and has been a strong asset to the team overall.

No. 1 UConn Huskies

It is no surprise that UCONN has found themselves in their 13th straight Final Four and their 21stappearance overall. With outstanding freshman, Page Bueckers, the first freshman to be awarded AP Player of the year, is certainly going to be one of the biggest threats to Arizona. 

Despite her Elite Eight performance where she only tallied four points, freshman forward Aaliyah Edwards is no stranger to scoring double-digit points throughout the entire tournament. 

Again, UConn has multiple sources for points which will create a significant challenge for Arizona. 

No. 3 Arizona Wildcats

Making history by appearing in their first ever Final Four, Arizona may be the underdogs and the only non-No.1 seed, but don’t count them out yet. Their performances in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight have certainly turned heads, especially star guard Aari McDonald. Her performance in the Elite Eight game against Indiana was spectacular as she scored 33 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Don’t be fooled, Mcdonald is not the only player who can perform. Teammate Trinity Baptiste can sink shots as well and collect rebounds, averaging double-digit figures. 

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