The two games of the Final Four will both be played on Friday night, with Stanford-South Carolina for the first game, and UConn-Mississippi State being the second. "But if you can't score it's really hard to win". All four teams have it. "That's a big step to go from riding in the backseat on a trip you're going to, to all of a sudden you're in charge of driving the bus you're responsible for getting us there".
UConn's 60-point win against MSU a year ago was a record for the final four rounds of play.
UConn won the game by 60 points, prompting plenty of recycled conversations about how Coach Geno Auriemma and his Huskies are bad for women's basketball as a whole, bad for a game still waging the long-range fight for relevancy in a crowded sports calendar, bad for a casual fan who won't engage if they already know who's going to win.
They're basically the underdog going into the weekend, but not really, because the Bulldogs are a very good basketball team that just happened to be placed on the same side of the bracket as the Huskies. On both sides of the court, the Huskies will have to account for them, whether it's defending them in the paint and kicking to an open teammate on the perimeter or moving around them on offense.
"Mississippi State has, if I'm not mistaken, nearly their entire team back". But when you look at the dominance of other teams like UConn and Tennessee, it's fairly understandable.
The Gamecocks will fly straight to Dallas from Stockton, California, because the NCAA decided this year to move the Final Four back to a Friday-Sunday format for the first time since 2002 to try bolster attendance. To remind them that the inconsequential possession doesn't exist for UConn, they do nothing casually, ever, and they take advantage of every lackadaisical moment by their opponent. She knocked down floaters and used a great backdoor cut to get open for a go-ahead shot late.
UConn senior guard Saniya Chong sums up what she expects from the game. From my experience, California basketball players, they're like Italian vehicle drivers in Italy: red lights, stop signs, whatever, they're just a suggestion.
"It's just a blessing in itself to be here", junior Gabby Williams said. That's far from the case with Chong. UConn dominated MSU, winning 98-38 and went on to claim the national title for the fourth championship in a row.
"When you bring back as many players as they did - Vivians, William, (Teaira) McCowan. Again, for some reason, I've kind of been known throughout my career as the defensive guy", Schaefer said.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, meanwhile, has a history of players coming from the East Coast, too, including former Norwich Free Academy great Krista Rapphahn, a 2006 graduate.
Texas coach Karen Aston faced each of the women's Final Four participants this season. The victor of this game will advance to the National Championship and will face the victor of SC and Stanford.
Finally, the X-factors to me will be Stanford's Brittany McPhee and South Carolina's Kaela Davis. Its unique. You dont see that generally anywhere, much less in a Final Four.. He used to work her out and be her coach and trainer. As for the Cardinal, for as dynamic as they can be, they needed every bit of the second half to pull themselves from the brink and a 16-point deficit to Notre Dame. "That's one game. You've got to go do it again".
The Bulldogs have put all that on display during the first four games of the NCAA Tournament. "That is the biggest thing that kind of made this possible, we really learned how to take each game and focus on it specifically because we knew it was completely possible for us to lose that game". This season, she is fully healthy and a 5-foot-5 little giant who had 41 points and seven assists in taking down Baylor to get to Friday's meeting with Goliath. No. 2 Stanford from the Stockton and Lexington regions.
"When you talked to her there was something", Dailey said.
The Huskies are 11-6 overall in national semifinal games.
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