Tuesday, May 17, 2022

NCAA Women’s Tournament bracket 2021: Final Four is set, here’s what to know about the teams still alive

A preview of what’s ahead as we enter the National Semifinals of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Tournament

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Following the chaos of Monday’s Elite Eight action, the Final Four for the 2022 NCAA Women’s Tournament is here. Just Connecticut, Louisville, South Carolina and Stanford are still alive in the hunt to win the national title.

The Final Four features three of the four No. 1 seeds of the tournament in Louisville, South Carolina and Stanford. No. 2 seed Connecticut secured its place in the Final Four with a heart-pounding 91-87 overtime win over No. 1 seed NC State on Monday.  South Carolina’s triumph over No. 10 seed Creighton was the only Elite Eight matchup that wasn’t closely contested, as the Gamecocks topped the Bluejays 80-50. Meanwhile, Stanford defeated No. 2 Texas 59-50 while Louisville topped No. 3 Michigan to advance.

Now these four historic programs will set their sights on Minneapolis, which is the location for Friday’s Final Four. With three of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament set to be in action, the chaos may have only just begun. 

2022 Women’s Final Four

Friday, April 1

Target Center

Time (ET)

Matchup

TV

7 p.m.

(1) South Carolina vs. (1) Louisville

ESPN (watch live)

9:30 p.m.

(2) Connecticut vs. (1) Stanford

ESPN (watch live)

(1) South Carolina Gamecocks

Greensboro Regional Champion

  • Record: 33-2
  • Final Four appearances: 2015, 2017, 2021
  • NCAA titles: 1 (2017)
  • NCAA Tournament path: First round — Def. No. 16 seed Howard 79-21; Second round — Def. No. 8 seed Miami (Fla.) 49-33; Sweet 16 — Def. No. 5 seed North Carolina 69-61; Elite Eight — Def. No. 10 seed Creighton 80-50
  • Key player: The conversation starts and ends with forward Aliyah Boston. Boston has been one of the most dominant players in the nation this season with averages of 16.8 points and 12.2 rebounds (fifth in the nation). In her four tournament games, Boston has recorded three double-doubles.
  • Key stat: South Carolina has won their four NCAA Tournament games by an average of 28 points

(1) Louisville Cardinals

Wichita Regional Champion

  • Record: 29-4
  • Final Four appearances: 2009, 2013, 2018
  • NCAA titles: None
  • NCAA Tournament path: First round — Def. No. 16 seed Albany 83-51; Second round — Def. No. 9 seed Gonzaga 68-59; Sweet 16 — Def. No. 4 seed Tennessee 76-64; Elite Eight — Def. No. 3 seed Michigan 62-50
  • Key player: Sophomore guard Hailey Van Lith leads the way for the Cardinals with 14.5 points-per-game and is coming off a 22-point performance against the Wolverines in their Elite Eight matchup. Van Lith is also one of three Cardinals that shoots 36.0 percent or better from three.
  • Key stat: Louisville is shooting 45.7 percent from the field this season, which is good for 12th in the country

(1) Stanford Cardinal

Spokane Regional Champion

  • Record: 32-3
  • Final Four appearances: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2021
  • NCAA titles: 1990, 1992, 2021
  • NCAA Tournament path: First round — Def. No. 16 seed Montana State 78-37; Second round — Def. No. 8 seed Kansas 91-65; Sweet 16 — Def. No. 4 seed Maryland 72-66; Elite Eight — Def. No. 2 seed Texas 59-50
  • Key player: Sophomore forward Cameron Brink provides a frontcourt presence for the Cardinal as she averages 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent from the floor. Guard Lexie Hull has also provided a huge lift for Stanford, including a 36-point showing against Kansas in the Round of 32.
  • Key stat: Stanford is averaging 6.3 blocks-per-game, which is the fourth-best mark in the nation.

(2) Connecticut Huskies

Bridgeport Regional Champion

  • Record: 29-5
  • Final Four appearances: 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021
  • NCAA titles: 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • NCAA Tournament path: First round — Def. No. 15 seed Mercer 83-38; Second round — Def. No. 7 seed Central Florida 52-47; Sweet 16 — Def. No. 3 Indiana 75-58; Elite Eight — Def. No. 1 NC State 91-87 (2OT)
  • Key player: Sophomore guard Paige Bueckers missed nearly three months due to knee surgery, but has returned with a vengeance. She carried the Huskies in their double-overtime win over top seed NC State in the Elite Eight to the tune of 27 points — 15 of which came in the overtime sessions. If Bueckers is at the top of her game, there’s few teams in the country that can slow her down. 
  • Key stat: Connecticut has advanced to the Final Four for the 14th consecutive season.

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