Stanford Shirts Arizona to Win Women’s National Championship; Gonzaga vs. Baylor Monday for Men’s Title
Two powerhouse apps squared off at the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament, with Stanford attracting the Pac-12 summit its first tournament since 1992. On Monday, the men’s college basketball season will finish with just two juggernaut college programs fighting for the title.
What You Will Need To Know
On Sunday, Stanford won its third NCAA Women’s Basketball championship, beating Arizona 54-53
The Cardinals bested the Wildcats 54-53, attracting hall of fame coach Tara VanDerveer her first title in nearly 30 years
Gonzaga and Baylor will battle for the NCAA Men’s Basketball championship on Monday
Undefeated Gonzaga kept their streak alive after defeating No. 11 UCLA on a buzzer-beater in overtime
Sunday saw No. 1 Stanford beat No. 3 Arizona at a game that came down to the last seconds, using the Wildcats lost their final shot of this game.
The Cardinals bested the Wildcats 54-53, attracting hall of fame coach Tara VanDerveer her very first title in nearly 30 years.
On the men’s side, after a gorgeous buzzer-beating, barn-burner win Saturday over No. 11 UCLA to keep their undefeated season alive, No. 1 Gonzaga will take on No. 1 Baylor, that sent No. 2 Houston to progress with their first national title game since 1948.
It’s not often the undisputed two best teams face off against one another in the NCAA tournament — over the previous two seasons, Baylor has lost just six matches; Gonzaga, just two.
After a very long wait, fans will be treated to the powerhouse matchup they had been denied in December due to this COVID-19 pandemic, but using the greatest stakes in the sport on the line.
Men’s National Championship: Gonzaga vs. Baylor
Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs (1) shoots over UCLA guard David Singleton (34) to win the game through overtime in a men’s Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game, Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Lucas Oil Stadium at Indianapolis.
How long did this premiere powerhouse matchup come to not happening? A buzzer-beater with less than 1 minute on the clock in overtime.
At the end of overtime in a game that featured 15 ties and 19 lead changes down — two things, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang missed a floater, got his own rebound, and tied the game up at 90 using a bit over 3 seconds to go.
Gonzaga advanced the ball to freshman sensation Jalen Suggs, that pulled up from just beyond half-court — he predicted game.
The shot banked in, the Gonzaga players and coaches cleared the seat and stormed the court, and UCLA’s Cinderella run to the Final Four ended right then and there.
The shooter, and the game itself, received accolades from basketball’s greatest — including”that the King” LeBron James himself.
“It was nuts. I can’t speak,” Suggs said. “I’ve got a thousand things happening in my head. I just can’t believe it occurred.”
“We were lucky enough to hit on a 50-footer,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “Therefore it will help when you’ve got a magical, special guy like Jalen, special at the end of matches.”
However, UCLA, along with Juzang, that could be the NBA’s first Asian American lottery pick, obtained his fair share of flames as well from noteworthy alumni, as well as rival USC.
Many lovers – like the King himself called it the best game ever.
“By the end of it, you could tell how the two staffs and all the players responded it had been a all-timer,” couple added.
However, not everyone felt the same manner.
“I would say no because we did not win,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin explained.
Gonzaga’s undefeated bid to acquire the title, the earliest since Indiana in 1976, is still in play Monday.
Women’s NCAA Championship: Arizona vs. Stanford
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
It wasn’t a pretty game, with missed shots and layups abound, but when the smoke cleared, the Stanford Cardinals stood victorious, bringing the program, their Hall of Fame coach, and the Pac-12 summit its original title since 1992.
Stanford (31-2) built a nine-point lead to the fourth quarter before Arizona (21-6) cut it to 51-50 on star protector Aari McDonald’s 3-pointer.
Following a timeout, Jones answered with a three-point play 2:24 left. That might be Stanford’s final basket of the sport. McDonald obtained the Wildcats using 54-53 with 36.6 seconds left switching three of four free throws.
Stanford also became the first team in either the Women’s or Men’s NCAA Championship to win both their semifinal and final games by 1 point in each game, according to ESPN.
The Cardinal, after another timeout couldn’t even get a shot away, giving Arizona you final opportunity with 6.1 seconds left, but McDonald’s contested shot in the surface of the key at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
It has been quite a trip for VanDerveer and the Cardinal this season. The team was forced on the road for nearly 10 weeks due to the coronavirus, spending 86 times in hotels in this season.
The team did not complain and went about their business and now have another NCAA championship. Along the way the Hall of Fame coach made her 1,099th career victory to pass Pat Summitt for the most all time in women’s football history.
Now the 67-year-old coach has a third national title to go along with the ones she acquired in 1990 and 1992. That moved her to a tie by Baylor’s Kim Mulkey for third most all time supporting Geno Auriemma and Summitt.
“I’m really proud of this Pac-12 to have two teams at the championship game,” that the VanDerveer said prior to the game. “You understand, this is not something which a good deal of people could have imagined… 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago. And it is really, really fascinating.”
Stanford was last at the title game in 2010, dropping to UConn in the Alamodome — the same construction the Cardinal will likely be playing in on Sunday night. The conference became the Pac-12 annually later after expansion. The league has had six distinct schools at the Final Four since 2013, but not one reached the title game until Friday night after both Stanford and Arizona innovative.
“From the Pac-12 we’ve been saying all together we have the finest teams in the country and to have two Pac-12 teams speaks for itself,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said. Both of us in the Final Four and championship game, it means that a great deal for our seminar.”
Barnes and VanDerveer are near, together using the Arizona coach contemplating that the Stanford stalwart a mentor relationship back to when she had been a player for the Wildcats.
“She is somebody who will remain honest, and it is never honesty to benefit Stanford,” Barnes, who won a WNBA championship with an Seattle Storm in 2004, stated. “She is somebody who wants to encourage you. She is very secure and wants to help women develop and wants to grow the game.”
“She is an advocate for women’s basketball and now that I have the most admiration for her,” Barnes said of VanDerveer.
Following Jones’ shot but the Cardinal upward, Stanford survived two last-second overlooks the Gamecocks.
Arizona did not need any last-second karma to beat the Huskies 69-59.
“No one believed we would win, nobody thought we would be here,” Barnes said. “We don’t care. We believed in each other. We believed, our team believed.”
McDonald has been a enormous reason why. The 5-foot-6 guard, who is lightning quick, is one of the rare two-way gamers in the game who can impact contests on the two ends of the court.
Barnes became the fourth Black woman to direct a team to the championship game, linking C. Vivian Stringer,” Carolyn Peck and Dawn Staley.
Pokey Chatman led LSU to the Final Four in 2005 and 2006.
“It just means the entire world. I believe I represent a whole lot of different items, but representation matters, opportunities matter. After we’re given chance, we can prosper,” Barnes said. “I had been given an opportunity by an (athletic director) that believed in a young coach that had just been coaching five years. I had been a five-year assistant, a 13-year pro.
“Someone believed in me, noticed something in me that perhaps I did not even see in myself at the time.”
There have also been two Black men to have guide teams to the women’s Final Four. Quentin Hillsman led Syracuse to the title game in 2016 and Winthrop McGriff took Cheney to the national semifinals at 1984.
Only 13 Black women had been head coaches at Power Five apps this past season. Barnes said there is an understanding that female Black tutors are only recruiters since a majority of their players are Black.
“We can recruit but we are not just co workers,” Barnes stated before offering information to other Dark female coaches”Don’t let yourself as a lady, as a black female, to be pigeonholed into one thing. Learn, focus on your commerce, research, pull somebody else along as a girl, as a girl of colour. Aspire large, do large things. Don’t be pigeonholed in one thing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.