If Sunday night’s women’s NCAA Tournament final (6 p.m. EST, ESPN) is something just like the pair of semifinal video games that preceded it, we’re all in for one ultimate deal with.
Prime-seeded Stanford will face upstart No. 3 seed Arizona, led by coach Adia Barnes and senior guard Aari McDonald. Arizona knocked off powerhouse Connecticut with a decisive victory Friday night time.
A ultimate Goliath stands of their manner of pulling off one of many extra exceptional turnarounds in ladies’s basketball historical past (the Wildcats went 6-24 in 2017-18).
In fact, Stanford is coached by the legendary Tara VanDerveer. Sophomore ahead Haley Jones, “the unicorn,” is a drive on each ends of the courtroom. The Cardinal escaped fellow No. 1 seed South Carolina within the semifinals and try to finish a championship drought that extends again to 1992. Arizona has by no means performed for the ladies’s championship, and this system snapped a 16-year event drought in 2021.
The sport will cap a event that has been as thrilling on the courtroom because it was important — gamers and coaches have highlighted the inequities that stay in school athletics (and the sports activities world at giant) all month lengthy.
Comply with together with USA TODAY Sports activities as Stanford and Arizona battle for the 2021 ladies’s NCAA Match title.
For viewing, betting, matchup guides: GO HERE.
Stanford’s Kiana Williams soaks in pregame scene
ESPN’s Holly Rowe posted a tweet of Cardinal guard Kiana Williams stretching alone on the courtroom greater than an hour earlier than the sport.
Predictions for ladies’s championship sport
Three employees members have made their greatest guesses how tonight will go. Here’s how they see it going down:
Lindsay Schnell: Stanford 84, Arizona 73
Heather Tucker: Stanford 77, Arizona 70
Nancy Armour: Arizona 63, Stanford 60
Adia Barnes not apologizing
Within the moments after the UConn upset, ESPN cameras captured Barnes main her staff in an “enthusiastic” celebration featuring a finger.
Here is was she needed to say about all of it (from Saturday morning):
“I truthfully had a second with my staff, and I assumed it was a extra intimate huddle,” Barnes mentioned. “I mentioned to my staff one thing that I actually felt and I do know they felt, and it simply appeared totally different on TV, however I’m not apologizing for it as a result of I don’t really feel like I have to apologize. It’s what I felt with my staff in the meanwhile. I wouldn’t take it again. We’ve gone to conflict collectively. We imagine in one another. So I’m in these moments, and that’s how I’m, so I don’t apologize for doing that. I’m simply me, and I’ve to only be me.”
In spite of everything, the Wildcats entered the Final Four matchup feeling slighted by the NCAA.