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

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. (Photo: Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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