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NCAA women's Final Four: UConn vs. Arizona and South Carolina vs. Stanford

Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY
·3 min read
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A look at the women’s Final Four teams:

Connecticut (28-1) vs. Arizona (20-5)

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN)

The Huskies remain Final Four fixtures, as they have been for two-plus decades. It might come as a surprise, however, that they’re seeking their first title since 2016. They needed a major rally against Baylor to extend their string of semifinal appearances to 13, but freshman sensation Paige Bueckers has already introduced herself to the world as next in a long line of UConn superstars.

Team stats

Scoring: 82.7; Scoring defense: 52.0; Field goal percentage: 51.6; Three-point percentage: 35.4; Free throw percentage: 71.4; Rebounding margin: 11.7; Assist/turnover ratio: 1.5.

UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) helped her team reach the women's Final Four during her freshman season.
UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) helped her team reach the women's Final Four during her freshman season.

Individual leaders

Points: Paige Bueckers, 20.1; Rebounds: Olivia Nelson-Ododa, 7.9; Assists: Bueckers, 5.9.

Arizona

The Wildcats are the newcomers of the foursome as Adia Barnes has her alma mater in the Final Four for the first time – and probably not the last. Aari McDonald, one of several freshmen who have already left indelible marks in this year’s tournament, is the driving force for U-of-A. The Wildcats can be a little loose with the basketball, relying on hustle to overcome miscues and shortcomings on the boards.

Team stats

Scoring: 66.8; Scoring defense: 55.2; Field goal percentage: 41.4; Three-point percentage: 33.8; Free throw percentage: 68.8; Rebounding margin: -0.2; Assist/turnover ratio: 1.0

Individual leaders

Points: Aari McDonald, 20.3; Rebounds: Trinity Baptiste, 6.2; Assists: McDonald, 4.3.

South Carolina (26-4) vs. Stanford (29-2)

TV: 6 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN)

Dawn Staley has the Gamecocks in the Final Four for the third time seeking a second national championship. She has a veteran team with numerous scoring options that knows how to lock down on defense, pitching a fourth-quarter shutout in the Elite Eight victory against Texas. The Gamecocks can be turnover-prone, which could become an issue against a deep and disciplined Stanford squad.

Team stats

Scoring: 75.8; Scoring defense: 57.9; Field goal percentage: 44.1; Three-point percentage: 33.2; Free throw percentage: 68.3; Rebounding margin: 14.7; Assist/turnover ratio: 0.9.

Individual leaders

Points: Zia Cooke, 15.6; Rebounds: Aliyah Boston, 11.4; Assists: Destanni Henderson, 5.1.

Stanford (29-2)

Stanford’s last national championship in women’s basketball came in 1992, but that is more a function of how competitive the sport has become. The program has hardly fallen off the map, and hall-of-fame coach Tara VanDerveer has arguably the deepest and most talented team in this year’s semifinals. This doesn’t guarantee a title for the Cardinal, of course, but it would not be a shock if the drought ends here in San Antonio. Senior Kiana Williams is the floor leader, and five other Cardinal players average at least seven points a game.

Team stats

Scoring: 78.9; Scoring defense: 53.4; Field goal percentage: 46.8; Three-point percentage: 38.3; Free throw percentage: 70.6; Rebounding margin: 10.4; Assist/turnover ratio: 1.3.

Individual leaders

Points: Kiana Williams, 14.5; Rebounds: Haley Jones, 7.5; Assists: Williams, 3.1.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Women's Final Four: UConn vs. Arizona and South Carolina vs. Stanford