Sunday, November 28News That Matters

Tag: NCAA Basketball Championships (Women)

NCAA Expands Women’s Basketball Tournament to 68 Teams

NCAA Expands Women’s Basketball Tournament to 68 Teams

Sports
The N.C.A.A. Division I women’s basketball tournament will expand its field to 68 teams beginning this season, the association announced on Wednesday, about three months after investigators concluded that college sports executives had long prioritized the men’s competition.The decision represents the association’s latest effort to atone for — and move beyond — a self-inflicted debacle this year, when the N.C.A.A. faced condemnation for disparities in amenities between its Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.Although the N.C.A.A. had agreed to make some changes in recent months, such as using its March Madness branding for the women’s tournament, the expansion of the women’s tournament will directly affect the course of competition and the experiences of players and coaches....
5 W.N.B.A. Draft Hopefuls to Watch

5 W.N.B.A. Draft Hopefuls to Watch

Sports
W.N.B.A. teams covet versatile, two-way play, and scores of players in the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament displayed the skill, basketball I.Q. and strength to thrive in the professional ranks on both ends of the floor.Several players who hope to be picked in the W.N.B.A. draft on Thursday night made deep tournament runs and had the big stages of the later rounds to prove their readiness. The players whose teams made early exits, however, were left to hope that their individual performances were strong enough to be remembered — or that one subpar outing would not overshadow an otherwise impressive collegiate career.Here’s a look at five players who either didn’t make or didn’t last long in this year’s tournament but may still be one of the 36 drafted Thursday night. With the league’...
Stanford Wins NCAA Women’s Basketball Title for First Time in 29 Years

Stanford Wins NCAA Women’s Basketball Title for First Time in 29 Years

Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Stanford snapped a 29-year title drought to end a season that at points seemed uncertain to be completed during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball championship with a tight win Sunday over Arizona, 54-53.Stanford led for much of the game and started the fourth quarter up 3 points. But Arizona guard Aari McDonald, who had scored the most points by any player in the tournament before Sunday’s game, started beating Stanford’s defenses and closed Arizona’s deficit to 1 on a step-back jumper with 3 minutes 35 seconds left.Haley Jones, whose game-winning shot helped the Cardinal defeat top-seeded South Carolina in the Final Four and who led them with 17 points Sunday, added a free throw to offer the Cardinal a cushion, but McDonald was hot. She got c...
Arizona Shocks UConn and Storms to the N.C.A.A. Title Game

Arizona Shocks UConn and Storms to the N.C.A.A. Title Game

Sports
From the very first possession on Friday night, Arizona’s national semifinal game against Connecticut was an exercise in slow, grind-it-out basketball, with a lot of missed shots and long, labored possessions. It was exactly what Arizona wanted.The Wildcats immediately established their strategy: suffocating defense with the steals to show for it, energetic rebounding and lots of 3-point shots. They pestered the No. 1 seed Huskies possession after possession, racking up a few more fouls than was optimal but ultimately throttling their heavily favored opponent from start to finish to secure a 69-59 victory and their first trip to the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball title game.“We shocked the world tonight,” said Aari McDonald, a senior whose game-high 26 points seemed to come at exactly the mom...
Stanford Holds Off South Carolina to Reach Title Game

Stanford Holds Off South Carolina to Reach Title Game

Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Stanford is back in the N.C.A.A. women’s tournament title game for the first time since 2010 after sneaking past South Carolina on Friday night, 66-65, in a back-and-forth battle that came down to two missed shots by the Gamecocks on the final possession.Haley Jones grabbed an offensive rebound and put up a running shot with 32 seconds left to give Stanford a 1-point lead. Then, as the Cardinal tried to run out the clock, Aliyah Boston stole the ball with six seconds left, starting a fast break with a clear chance to win. But Brea Beal missed a layup from the left side while running at a full sprint, and Boston missed a short follow-up chance off the back of the rim.“It was in our hands, but we just came up short,” South Carolina guard Zia Cooke told reporters after the game....
The Women’s Final Four Guide: Preview, Start Time and More

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

Sports
The last three games of the 2020-2021 women’s college basketball season will feature a few familiar teams, as well as one upset-ready newcomer.The No. 1 seeds Stanford and South Carolina will repeat their Final Four meeting of 2017, with the Cardinal hoping for a different result and the Gamecocks aiming toward a second title in the past five years.The No. 1 seed Connecticut, a fixture in the Final Four, will square off with the No. 3 seed Arizona, whose star, Aari McDonald, will try to surprise the Huskies, the owners of a record 11 national titles, and the new face of their program, Paige Bueckers.Here are a few details to follow in the close matchups that start at 6pm EST:How do you contain Bueckers and McDonald?UConn’s Bueckers was voted the Associated Press Player of the Year, and Ari...
UConn-Baylor: Was It a Foul?

UConn-Baylor: Was It a Foul?

Sports
DiJonai Carrington, resting on one knee near the baseline, spoke for many.“What?” she mouthed.Seconds earlier, Carrington had held Baylor’s season in her hands as it tried to beat Connecticut and claim a spot in the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament’s Final Four. Taking a pass near midcourt, Carrington faked a drive to her right and then curled, left, around the elbow at the foul line and down the left side of the lane. Met near the baseline by UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards and Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Carrington spun and rose for a shot with four seconds left.And this is where opinions begin to differ.The shot never reached the rim. Carrington crashed to the floor. No whistle blew.UConn’s players raced upcourt, celebrating. Baylor’s players and coaches pointed to the spot of the collision, exa...
UConn Reaches Final Four With Tight Win Over Baylor

UConn Reaches Final Four With Tight Win Over Baylor

Sports
SAN ANTONIO — The Final Four of the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament, it seems, came early — UConn sneaking past Baylor, 69-67, in a game between championship pedigrees that looked much more like a title slugfest than a test in the round of 8.The Huskies used a 19-point run that started late in the third quarter to surge ahead, then held on for their tournament life until the final possession, when their freshman star Paige Bueckers snagged the Bears’ final inbound pass to seal the win, securing UConn’s 13th consecutive trip to the Final Four.UConn has won the championship 11 times under Coach Geno Auriemma, who was mobbed by his team with paper confetti as he gave a postgame interview following the win.Bueckers scored 28 points, asserting her presence early and then taking over agai...
Texas Upsets Maryland for Spot in the Round of 8

Texas Upsets Maryland for Spot in the Round of 8

Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Sixth-seeded Texas came back for a 64-61 win over No. 2 seed Maryland in a tight thriller that sent the Alamodome into a resounding roar, becoming the lowest seed of this year’s N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament to make it to the round of 8.Maryland had a 7-point lead at halftime before Texas figured out how to pass around their guards. After the teams went back and forth on the scoreboard, a 3-point jumper by Celeste Taylor put Texas up by 2 points going into the fourth quarter.Texas and Maryland continued to trade baskets, with Maryland’s Chloe Bibby putting the Terrapins up by 2 points on a second-chance layup with one minute, 28 seconds remaining.But Texas answered with a step-back jumper by Taylor and then a layup by Kyra Lambert off a turnover.Maryland missed its n...
Indiana Upsets No. 1 Seed NC State in NCAA Women’s Tournament

Indiana Upsets No. 1 Seed NC State in NCAA Women’s Tournament

Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Indiana knocked top-seeded North Carolina State out of the N.C.A.A. women’s tournament on Saturday in the round of 16, 73-70, making the Wolfpack the first No. 1 seed to fall from the field.North Carolina State, down 10 points with less than three minutes left, stormed back after fourth-seeded Indiana had all but appeared to put the game away in the third quarter. The Wolfpack pulled within 2 points of the Hoosiers with less than 90 seconds to play.But Indiana stopped N.C. State from tying the game several times in the final minute — including twice on one possession with a 2-point lead. After the teams traded points, Elissa Cunane, N.C. State’s leading scorer this season, missed a desperate 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.“I’m proud of them, the way t...