Stanford Tops Arizona to Win Women’s National Championship; Gonzaga vs. Baylor Monday for Men’s Name
Two powerhouse apps squared off at the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament, together with Stanford attracting the Pac-12 convention its first championship since 1992. On Monday, the men’s college basketball season will end with two juggernaut school programs battling for the title.
What You Will Need To Know
The Cardinals bested the Wildcats 54-53, attracting hall of fame coach Tara VanDerveer her first title in almost 30 years
Undefeated Gonzaga kept their streak alive after defeating No. 11 UCLA to a buzzer-beater in overtime
Sunday saw No. 1 Stanford beat No. 3 Arizona at a game that came down to the last moments, using the Wildcats missing their final shot of the game.
The Cardinals bested the Wildcats 54-53, attracting hall of fame coach Tara VanDerveer her first title in almost 30 decades.
On the men’s side, following a gorgeous buzzer-beating, barn-burner win Saturday over No. 11 UCLA to continue to keep their undefeated season alive, No. 1 Gonzaga will take on No. 1 Baylor, that routed No. 2 Houston to advance with their first national title game since 1948.
It’s not often the most affluent two best teams face off against one another in the NCAA tournament — within the previous two seasons, Baylor has lost just six games; Gonzaga, just two.
After a lengthy wait, enthusiasts will be treated to the powerhouse matchup they were refused in December on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, but using the highest stakes in the game on the line.
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. Gonzaga won 93-90. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
How near did that premiere powerhouse matchup come to not happening? A buzzer-beater with greater than 1 second on the clock in overtime.
In the conclusion 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 up the game at 90 with a bit more than 3 minutes to go.
Gonzaga improved the ball to freshman sensation Jalen Suggs, that pulled up from beyond half-court — and he called game.
The shot banked in, the Gonzaga players and coaches cleared the seat and stormed the courtroom, 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 finest — including”that the King” LeBron James himself.
I still can’t speak,” Suggs said. “I’ve got a million things happening in my head. I just can not think that it occurred.”
“We’re lucky enough to strike a 50-footer,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “So it helps when you’ve got a magical, unique man like Jalen, unique at the conclusion of games.”
However UCLA, together with Juzang, that would be the NBA’s first Asian American lottery selection, obtained his fair share of flames also from notable alumni, as well as rival USC.
Many fans – like the King himself called it the greatest game ever.
“By the conclusion of it, you could tell how both staffs and the players reacted that it was a all-timer,” Few additional.
But not everybody felt the same way.
“I would say no because we didn’t triumph,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said.
Gonzaga’s undefeated bid to win the title, the first since Indiana in 1976, is still in play Monday.
It was not a pretty game, with all missed shots and layups abound, however, if the smoke cleared, the Stanford Cardinals stood victorious, bringing the app, their Hall of Fame coach, and the Pac-12 summit its original title since 1992.
Stanford (31-2) constructed a nine-point lead to the fourth quarter earlier Arizona (21-6) cut it to 51-50 on star protector Aari McDonald’s 3-pointer.
Following a timeout, Jones answered using a jelqing play 2:24 left. That could be Stanford’s final basket of the sport. McDonald got the Wildcats using 54-53 with 36.6 minutes left converting three of four free throws.
Stanford also became the first group in 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 could not actually get a shot off, giving Arizona one final opportunity with 6.1 seconds left, but McDonald’s contested shot from the top of the primary at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
It has been quite a journey for VanDerveer and the Cardinal this year. The group was driven to the street for almost 10 months due to the coronavirus, spending 86 times in hotels during this nomadic season.
The team didn’t whine and moved about their company and now have a different NCAA championship. Along the way the Hall of Fame coach earned her 1,099th career victory to pass Pat Summitt for the most time in women’s football history.
The 67-year-old coach has a third national title to go together with the ones that she acquired in 1990 and 1992. That moved her to a tie by Baylor’s Kim Mulkey for third most time behind Geno Auriemma and Summitt.
“I am really pleased with the Pac-12 to have 2 teams at the national championship game,” that the VanDerveer said prior to the game. “You realize, this is hardly something that a lot of people might have imagined… 10 decades ago, 15 decades ago, 20 decades ago. And it’s really, really fascinating.”
Stanford was last at the title game in 2010, losing to UConn in the Alamodome — the exact same building the Cardinal will probably be playing on Sunday night. The convention became the Pac-12 annually after after expansion. The league has had six distinct schools at the Final Four since 2013, but none reached the title game until Friday night when both Stanford and Arizona advanced.
“From the Pac-12 we have been saying all along we’ve the finest teams in the country and also to have 2 Pac-12 teams speaks for itself,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes stated. “Stanford won the Pac-12 championship and we were second. We all in the Final Four and championship game, it means that a great deal for our seminar.”
Barnes and VanDerveer are near, using the Arizona coach thinking of that the Stanford stalwart a mentor relationship back back to when she was a participant for the Wildcats.
“She is someone who will always be fair, and it’s never honesty to benefit Stanford,” Barnes, who won a WNBA championship with an Seattle Storm in 2004, stated. “She is someone who would like to encourage you. She is very secure and would like to help girls develop and would like to increase the game.”
“She is an advocate for women’s basketball and now I have the most respect for her,” Barnes said of VanDerveer.
For to Sunday night’s game the Cardinal held on to beat South Carolina 66-65 to a basket by Haley Jones with 32 minutes left Friday night. Following Jones’ shot however, the Cardinal upward, Stanford survived two last-second overlooks the Gamecocks.
Arizona didn’t require any last-second karma to beat the Huskies 69-59. Wildcats All-America Aari McDonald scored 26 points and the staff played with stifling defense to put the clamps on UConn
“No one thought we would win, nobody thought we would be here,” Barnes explained. “We don’t care. We believed, our staff believed.”
McDonald has been a massive reason why. The 5-foot-6 guard, who’s lightning quick, is one of those rare two-way gamers in the sport who will influence competitions on the ends of the court.
Barnes became the fourth largest Black woman to direct a team into the championship game, joining C. Vivian Stringer, Carolyn Peck and Dawn Staley.
Pokey Chatman led LSU into the Final Four in 2005 and 2006.
“It only means the world. I think I represent a lot of different things, but representation matters, chances matter. After we’re given chance, we could flourish,” Barnes explained. “I was given an opportunity by an (athletic director) that believed in a young coach that had just been training five decades. I had been a five-year assistant, a 13-year specialist.
“Someone felt in me, found something in me that maybe I didn’t even see myself at the time.”
There have also been two Black guys to have guide teams into the women’s Final Four. Quentin Hillsman led Syracuse to the title game in 2016 and Winthrop McGriff took Cheney into the national semifinals at 1984.
Only 13 Black girls were head coaches at Power Five apps this year. Barnes said there’s an understanding that feminine Black tutors are simply recruiters since the majority of their players are still Black.
“We can amuse but we’re not just co workers,” Barnes stated before offering guidance to other Dark female trainers”Don’t let yourself as a female, as a black female, to become pigeonholed into one thing. Learn, focus in your commerce, research, pull someone else and a woman, as a woman of colour. Aspire large, do large things. Don’t be pigeonholed in 1 thing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.