The beginning of the 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship is that the better-seeded teams win every game on the first day of the game, but since 201
But now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most unusual game in history has been played entirely in San Antonio and its surrounding areas, and now there are only four teams, it feels more familiar. For the fourth consecutive competition, at least 3 No. 1 seeds have advanced to the women’s semi-finals. Kennedy University, Stanford University and South Carolina are all favorites in their area and have a lot of history at this stage. No. 3 seed Arizona is an outlier in 2021. The Wildcats have reached the Final Four for the fourth time in the past six games.
Can Arizona shock everyone? Is UCon destined to win the 12th NCAA championship? Will South Carolina complete the opportunity it didn’t have when the game was cancelled a year ago? Can Stanford University, ranked number one in the championship, break its first championship in 29 years?
This is how the four teams raise the championship trophy, and then the top four picks in our ESPN group.
Reasons for excitement: UConn entered the semifinals for the 13th consecutive game and ranked among the best. Winning the championship for the first time since 2016-and the ESPN Basketball Strength Index (BPI) provides the Eskimos with a 44% chance of winning-may mark the birth of another UConn dynasty. Just like UConn’s regular season in the final four, this has become a game observer. For only two players on the list, this is brand new. They are juniors Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa. In the 2004 national semifinal match against Notre Dame in 2019. Freshman Paige Bueckers, who has just been selected to the semi-finals, has exceeded already high expectations and can surpass her historical record before the weekend and before her career.
Reasons for attention: Since the 6-foot-3 freshman Aaliyah Edwards entered the starting lineup and played the best basketball of the season with Williams and young Evina Westbrook, it is difficult for this team to become a better team to find a disadvantage. The side. Edwards only became a starter after freshman Nika Muhl was injured. Coupled with the expansion of the scale of the game, the inevitable reduction in rotation time has made UConn’s bench less and less. Sophomore Aubrey Griffin was the only starter to face Baylor in the regional finals. Foul troubles, especially for Nelson Odda and Edwards, who each fouled four times in Monday’s game, which may be a troublesome point.
If…, the Eskimo will win. So far, they have received various contributions from Williams and Westbrook in the NCAA tournament. Both performed very well against Iowa. Westbrook’s game against Baylor had a good start. Williams performed well in the second half. If these two men scored like the Bueckers and defended like they did the whole season, then the 12th championship would have arrived.
X factor: Nelson-Ododa played incredible defensively with Baylor’s defensively. This is exactly what UConn needs her now. At the beginning of the season, as Bueckers still felt his way, and Williams’ jump shot was struggling, Huskies needed more points from Nelson-Ododa. no longer. She is now a defender (5 blocks in the game against Baylor), and believe it or not, she is a facilitator. The 6-5 center has 11 assists in the last two games. This role of Nelson-Ododa makes an already good offense even better.
Reasons for excitement: Aari McDonald (Aari McDonald). The 5-6 year old senior is the best player in the region and he has two 30-point games. She is the basis for the rebirth of the Arizona Plan, which culminated in the first “Final Four” in the history of the plan. The biennial Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is the same as Paige Bueckers, who will get UConn, a near-perfect antidote. McDonald’s is unparalleled in harassing opponents. If a player can disrupt the rhythm of UConn’s offense, it is McDonald’s.
Reasons for attention: When McDonald’s beat Texas A&M and Indiana, second scorer Cate Reese struggled to find his own game. In these two games, she averaged 6.5 points per game, 5 points lower than her average. The 6-2 junior team found other ways to contribute, with a total of 15 rebounds, but a scorer was not enough to conquer UConn. Arizona needs Rees to score.
If…, the Wildcats will win. McDonald’s has been shooting in this way. Normally, the three-point field goal percentage is 30%. In the past two games, the left-handed field goal percentage is 11 of 18 (61%). At an astonishing speed, the force she pushed straight to the basket was enough to stop it. If her defenders also have to worry about the 21-foot distance, there is no answer.
X factor: McDonald’s is both a personal defender and not the only defender. Only Stanford University scored fewer points in the Pac-12, and its shooting percentage was lower than Arizona. The Wildcats need to keep the scores of the Eskimos in the 1960s to get out of the situation. That’s where Trinity Baptiste and Bendu Yeaney can play important roles, such as the matchup between Williams and Westbrook.
Reasons for excitement: Tuesday’s regional final victory is the latest example of how Stanford University can turn to different performances. Ashten Prechtel, a 6-5 year old sophomore, averaged 13.6 minutes per game, scoring 5.6 points, and barely played in the first half. She scored 16 of 16 points off the bench, and did not miss a shot, and was Stanford’s second scorer. Against Missouri, the Cardinal quickly stepped out. The victory over Louisville was hard-won. These are just micro-examples, showing many different ways, and Stanford University has such a large number of participants that they can win regardless of the stakes.
Reasons for attention: So far, the Cardinals have only completed one full game in this game. They jumped into Missouri’s fifth seed early and never let up, but against Utah Valley, Oklahoma and especially Louisville, there was a lot of calm in the Stanford game. Kiana Williams played very badly against Louisville (1 of 11 shots in the first half). Like Stanford University, Williams is an inexchangeable player. Tuesday demonstrated the importance of her role to the success of the cardinal. Against South Carolina, she needs to be a 40-minute influencer.
If…, the cardinal will win. They keep making three-pointers. Stanford University did not think that long-range shooting is the first thing, but this is the main content of this season’s offense. The Cardinals made 50 three-pointers in the NCAA Tournament. They are ranked fifth in the 3-point ranking this season and sixth in percentage (38.3%). Williams, Lexie Hull and Hannah Jump have made 43.2% of their 3-pointers from the bench this season. These are all crucial.
X factor: How to host the game. Stanford University coach Tara VanDerveer (Tara VanDerveer) is distressed by the physical condition of the NCAA tournament. She wants less physical contact and more freedom of movement for the players. The style of South Carolina depends on the actual situation. Any early whistle will tell us the direction of the game. Cameron Brink (Cameron Brink) is a 6-4 year old freshman who has enough power to disrupt the South Carolina frontcourt and act as a rim protector. She is the key to Stanford’s defensive efforts and the reason why the Cardinals ranked second in field goal percentage (32.9%). However, if she is allowed to move around, the effect will be diminished.
Gamecocks in South Carolina
Reasons for excitement: Defense, defense, defense. In the NCAA tournament, a good person gets better. Gamecocks kept their NCAA tournament opponents on a 34% shooting percentage (slightly higher than the 36% in the regular season), and Sweet 16 opponent Georgia Tech was the only one to score more than 60 points. Stanford University will provide Oregon State University, the Yellow Jackets and Texas with this defensive challenge, but like South Carolina against the Longhorns in the final stage of the regional finals, anything can be used in the entire quarter The teams that shut out another game within, are obviously already fully committed at the end of the speech.
Reasons for attention: In a big game, when the team only needs a three-pointer, the moment comes. That’s not a South Carolina game. Gamecocks struggled in halftime to create open shots, especially three-pointers. Compared with Stanford’s 50 points, they only scored 15 three-pointers in the NCAA tournament. In most cases, South Carolina’s living conditions are pretty good, and three-pointers have not become part of the regular offense. Destiny Henderson (41.3%) and Zia Cook (37.7%) can do it. But with the increase in possession in the semi-finals and the slowdown in the fourth quarter, South Carolina may struggle to find a key public vision.
in case… Aliyah Boston received unanimous reviews on the offensive end. This has been the case throughout the season, but when South Carolina’s 6-5 center serves in the low post, the situation is even better. Boston forced the defenders to react more than the other players. Among the most impressive performances in the Gamecocks playoffs, the SEC Championship defeated Georgia, Boston scored 27 points, and the usage rate was 30%. In South Carolina’s four losses this season, the usage rate was less than 21%. Boston won the Gamecocks without extensive involvement in the offense, but they performed better.
X factor: Brea Beal (Brea Beal) has graduated from high school as a scorer and became Gamecock in charge of all the dirty work. She got tough rebounds, won 50-50 goals, and defended with a strong body style. Her task in this game against Stanford University may be to harass Hayley Jones. The versatile Jones is an important part of Stanford’s love of offense. Making opponents uncomfortable is Beal’s specialty. If she can do this to Jones, then South Carolina has much more opportunities.
Final four-round pick
The updated ESPN Basketball Strength Index on Wednesday morning ranked 42% in UConn, followed by Stanford (32%), South Carolina (19%) and Arizona (7%). Our team predicts that this will be the result of the last three games of the season.
South Carolina vs Stanford University
Andrea Adelson: Stanford University
Katie Barnes: Stanford University
Charlie Cream: Stanford University
Darcy Maine: Stanford University
Kevin Pelton: Stanford University
Mechelle Voepel: Stanford University
Royce Young: Stanford University
Arizona vs Uken
Adelson: Kang Kang
Barnes: Kang Kang
cream: Kang Kang
Maine: Kang Kang
Pelton: Kang Kang
flexible: Kang Kang
young: Kang Kang
Expected 2021 championship
Adelson: Stanford University
Barnes: Stanford University
cream: Kang Kang
Maine: Kang Kang
Pelton: Kang Kang
flexible: Stanford University
young: Stanford University