Around March Madness: Women’s Basketball, down to the Final Four 

UConn Women’s Basketball triumphs over Baylor University 77-58 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gampel Pavilion on Monday, Mar. 20, 2023. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/Daily Campus.

Key Upsets in the Sweet Sixteen 

No. 9 seeded Miami downed No. 4 seeded Villanova 70-65 

Coming off upsetting No. 1 seeded Indiana in the Round of 32, No. 9 seeded Miami continued that surge against No. 4 seeded Villanova. The Hurricanes had a 13-point lead (46-33) at halftime which gave them room before the Wildcats attempted a comeback late in the game. Maddy Siegrist of Villanova led the offense with 31 points, 13 rebounds and five steals. In her final game of college basketball, Siegrist extended her NCAA-record 20-point streak to 36 games, moving into second place all-time for single-season scoring with 1,081 points. Miami was led by Jasmyne Roberts as she finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Using full court pressure and dissolved half court defense, Villanova chipped away Miami’s lead going on a 14-0 run. With five minutes left in the game, the lead went back and forth until Villanova missed multiple shots down the stretch. Capitalizing on foul shots, Miami pulled away and sealed the 70-65 victory, ending Villanova’s season.  

No. 3 seeded LSU defeated No. 2 seeded Utah 66-63 

Off of a dramatic win, No. 3 seeded LSU advanced to the Elite Eight after an upset win over No. 2 seeded Utah. LSU jumped out to a 11-4 run at the start of the game, but that didn’t last long when Utah responded with a 7-0 run. For the remainder of the game, the lead was pushed back and forth from both teams. With 3:40 left in the game, the Tigers established an eight point lead which was their largest of the game. LaDazhia Williams led the LSU offense with 24 points and six rebounds. However, the Utes did not back down and sparked a 11-1 run to take the 63-61 lead. Although it was looking good for Utah, LSU took advantage of free throws making five out of five attempts to get the 66-63 victory.  

Best Elite Eight Games  

No. 3 seeded LSU defeated No. 9 seeded Miami 54-42 

With a win over No. 9 seeded Miami, No. 3 seeded LSU will take a trip to the Final Four for the first time since 2008. Through the start of the game, the Tigers built up to a 16-point lead before Miami made a last minute push. LSU was led by Alexis Morris who finished with 19 points and Angel Reese who scored 13 points with 18 rebounds. Holding the Tigers scoreless for four minutes, the Hurricanes cut their lead to 43-35. After not being able to capitalize on the offensive end, LSU held on to the lead and sealed the 54-42 win over Miami. Head Coach Kim Mulkey had transformed the program in just her second year as head of it all, and it’s finally paying off with the team’s sixth ever Final Four appearance. 

No. 2 Iowa defeated No. 5 seeded Louisville 97-83 

All eyes were on Cailtin Clark in No. 2 seeded Iowa’s Elite Eight win over No. 5 seeded Louisville. The Cardinals opened up the game with an 8-0 lead. Hailey Van Lith led the offense for Louisville with 27 points but was not able to keep up with the Hawkeyes. After being down, Iowa took a timeout and from that point on Clark took over for the Hawkeyes. Iowa utilized its 30-point third quarter to pull away from Louisville in the second half and eventually sealing the 97-83 win. In almost every aspect of the game, Iowa prevailed and overpowered Louisville. The Hawkeyes shot 54% from the field while Lousville shot 43%. Iowa knocked down 16 3-pointers and the team totalled 20 assists.  It will be the first time that Iowa will play in the Final Four since 1993.  

No. 1 seeded South Carolina defeated Maryland 86-75 

UConn Women’s Basketball triumphs over Baylor University 77-58 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gampel Pavilion on Monday, Mar. 20, 2023. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/Daily Campus.

The defending national champions, No. 1 seeded South Carolina will continue their run to back-to-back titles after a 86-75 win over No. 2 seeded Maryland in the Elite Eight. The Gamecocks performed as their usual undefeated selves although the Terps cut their lead to six on multiple occasions and had the lead 21-15 after the first quarter. Diamond Miller led the offense for Maryland scoring 24 points and adding five rebounds. In the second quarter, South Carolina locked down the game, holding Maryland to nine points on 36.4% shooting. They took the 38-30 lead at halftime and never looked back with their thriving rebounding skills. Aliyah Boston’s dominant performance in addition to Zia Cooke’s 18 points and six rebounds led South Carolina to seal the win, eliminating Maryland from the tournament. Under Coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks will advance to their third consecutive Final Four and their fifth in the past eight NCAA Tournaments. 

No. 1 seeded Virginia Tech defeated No. 3 seeded Ohio State 84-74 

To reach their first Final Four in program history, No. 1 seeded Virginia Tech took down No. 3 seeded Ohio State 84-74. The Hokies had a strong start making their first seven shots with a lead of seven before the Buckeyes took a 25-22 lead. There were five lead changes in the second quarter which led to Virginia Tech gaining a 48-45 lead at halftime. The Hokies protected their lead for the rest of the game and did not let Ohio State get within more than six points after the fourth quarter. Elizabeth Kitley was an offensive machine for the Hokies scoring 25 points with 12 rebounds and three blocks. Georgia Amoore also played a large role scoring 24 points with 4 rebounds. Virginia Tech celebrated by cutting down the net after defeating Ohio State and punching their ticket to Dallas for the Final Four.  

Best Elite Eight Stat Lines  

Angel Reese (No. 3 seeded LSU) vs Miami – 13 points, 18 rebounds, 3 steals 

Leading LSU to return to the Final Four for the first time in 15 years, Angel Reese scored 13 points with 18 rebounds and three steals against Miami. The sophomore transfer from Maryland scored her 32nd double-double of the season, breaking the SEC record for most double-doubles in a single season. Reese’s defensive efforts kept LSU in the game when their offense was not producing at its best level. She is considered a top- five player in the national averaging 23.2 points and 15.7 rebounds per game. Reese is going to be a heavy part of LSU’s campaign, attempting to bring the NCAA National Championship trophy to Louisiana.  

Caitlin Clark (No. 2 seeded Iowa) vs Louisville – 41 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists 

Proving her campaign for NCAA National Player of the Year, Cailtlin Clark exploded in the Elite Eight round against Louisville. She had her fifth triple-double of the season, scoring 41 points, 10 rebounds with 12 assists. In the game, she went on a 7-0 run by herself after Lousville jumped out to an early lead. She continued to light up the Cardinals scoring 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the first 20 minutes, adding eight assists. In the first quarter, Clark scored or assisted on all of Iowa’s 25 points and continued that for the rest of the game. The junior guard will get to continue her incredible season with taking Iowa to an appearance in the Final Four in Dallas, Texas. 

UConn Women’s Basketball triumphs over Baylor University 77-58 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gampel Pavilion on Monday, Mar. 20, 2023. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/Daily Campus.

Aliyah Boston (No. 1 seeded South Carolina) vs Maryland – 21 points, 10 rebounds 

The reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston continued her dominant performances for South Carolina in the Elite Eight against Maryland. The senior forward scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, leading the Gamecocks to advance to the Final Four. These tournament games are nothing that Boston has not experienced before on a hugely physical and deep South Carolina team. Despite her intensity and numbers on the court, her composure is what helped South Carolina stay focused and punch their ticket to Dallas. She stayed steady through the game, finishing 10-14 on shooting. Her double-double performance was the 82nd of her career and will expand her game to the Final Four where South Carolina will face a hot Iowa squad.  

Elizabeth Kitley (No. 1 seeded Virginia Tech) vs Ohio State – 25 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks 

Recording a double-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds, adding three blocks, Elizabeth Kitley led Virginia Tech to advancing to the Final Four for the first time in program history. Kitley had five points in the third quarter which was the time where the Hokies really pulled away from Ohio State. She dominated on all sides of the court from offense to defense, being a surge for the Hokies against an Ohio State team who was coming off an upset of the UConn Huskies in the Sweet Sixteen. Kitley has played a large role for Virginia Tech all season, being a large candidate for National Player of the Year. The senior center got to cut down the net in Seattle and will get the opportunity to take her team to Dallas to compete for a national championship after an unforgettable performance in the Elite Eight.  

The final stretch to the National Championship will begin in Dallas, Texas this weekend, starting with the Final Four games on Friday, March 31 and the championship on Sunday, April 2. The first game of the night will be between the No. 1 seeded Virginia Tech Hokies and the No. 3 seeded LSU Tigers at 7:00 p.m.. The second game of the night will be between the No. 1 seeded South Carolina Gamecocks will face the No. 2 seeded Iowa Hawkeys at 9:00 p.m. all on ESPN. 

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