Women’s Final Four Guide: Previews, Start Time and More

The last three matches of the 2020–2021 women’s college basketball season will feature some familiar teams as well as a troubled-ready newcomer.

The No. 1 seeds Stanford and South Carolina will repeat their Final Four meet of 2017, with the Cardinals hoping for a different result and the Gamecocks aiming for a second title in the last five years.

No. 1 seed Connecticut, a fixture in the Final Four, will square off with No. 3 seed Arizona, whose star, Ari McDonald, an 11 national title, and owners of a new record, will try to surprise the Hawkeyes. The face of their program, Paige Bookers.

Here are some details to follow in the close matchup starting at 6:00 EST:

Yukon Bookers Was adjudged Associated Press Player of the Year, And McDonald of Arizona is the Pac-12 Player of the Year. The game will challenge them to handle and also test the supporting players in each team. The start of Connecticut, most of which have at least some previous tournament experience, would be an advantage in that regard.

“They are a confident team because this is a charted field. It’s unknown to us. It’s something they’re accustomed to.” But we’ve arrived at the right time, and to win a championship, all you have to do is give that team Have to beat once. “

McDonald has played his best basketball of the season during the tournament, placing the Wildcats with stiff teams. He averaged more than 30 points during his last two tournament games, shooting nearly 60 percent. He is a fast and a skilled bowler with a craftsmanship that helps him find ways to score from anywhere on the court, with almost no one assigned to save him.

The Buchers have not showcased newcomer Jitters – she was the first player to win the top player award – as he played his signature smoothly since the start of the tournament. Her unnatural court vision allows her to establish other shooters on her team, including Christine Williams and Avina Westbrook. They could be the flamboyant Stad Lines on Friday night, if Arizona focused its defense on closing down the Buchers.

The Connecticut and Arizona strongholds are two of the best in the country to have the property to be hampered and the ball to be Noble. The Huskies steal 12 percent of their opponents’ plays, and the Wildcats make takeaways at 13 percent.

Arizona also pressures teams to turn over the ball more than a fifth of their possessions His circle statistics. In the round of 16, Arizona made Texas A&M more agitated by playing on a full-court press, making the Aggies so precarious that they rolled the ball 19 times.

McDonald’s brilliant game and a steal of 2.7 per game earned him a share of Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, but forward Sam Thomas is behind him with a 2.4 average. The Wildcats’ approach is to agitate, not to dominate their opponents. They will need to be as obnoxious as possible against UConn’s well-organized offense, which has been one of the highest scoring in the nation.

UConn’s defense will likely focus on McDonald’s, as he holds the key to stopping Arizona. The problem is that some people have managed to do this season, because you have to be with him first to reduce his shooting percentage.

South Carolina and Stanford have talented young players with very different skill sets. Aliyah Boston, the 6-foot-5 perimeter of the Gamecocks, is listed as a forward, but played more like a traditional center, around the basket and on the glass, with size and strength – as well as feet. For footwork – to prevail. Opponents. The fact that she averages a double-double is almost a footnote in the ways in which she widely shapes South Carolina’s game.

South Carolina coach Don Staley said, “When she’s on the floor, you guard her with one player and maybe half a player.” “So he gave us opportunities.”

Cameron Brink of Stanford, a 6-foot 4-freshman, does not have the same ability to muster the muscles of his fellow players, but he can score early in transition and – sometimes – shoot from behind the arc. Brink has already helped the Cardinal with his volleyball trained vertical leap, which allows him to easily block and rebound. He is not yet effective enough to attract dual teams the way Boston goes, but his range on the floor allows him to stretch defenses and open lanes for the Cardinal’s younger guards, like senior Kaina Williams. She gives.

Boston-Brink calls for face-offs to consider other levels of basketball, where coaches are lax as to whether the traditional big should serve as the center of the offense or if flexibility is more important in the position.

The Cardinals saw that they could be very upset with the 8-round matchup against No. 2 seed Louisville, and they betrayed one of the few weaknesses with too many powerful scorers.

Stanford needs to hit a 3-point shot to win.

The Cardinal hit a 3-pointer in the first half against Lewisville, and fell by 12 points. Stanford hit six sixes in the second half – still fewer than the 14 3-pointers per game it averaged in the first three games of the tournament, but enough to advance to the next level.

South Carolina doesn’t do much shooting from behind the 3-point line, but it defends well against long-range shots, allowing opponents to hit 27 percent of their 3s.

The challenge with Stanford is that most of his players can hit 3 if needed. But if South Carolina can force those shooters to the rim, where they will be greeted by Boston and his eccentric blocking skills, the Gamecocks have a very good chance of silencing one of the most prolific offenses in the tournament so far Will happen.

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