2022 Women’s Final Four Preview

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It has been a wild couple of weeks. Two seeds Iowa and Baylor got upset early and 10 seed Creighton made it all the way to the Elite Eight. But now we are left with perhaps the best four teams. Three ones and a two. South Carolina, Stanford, Louisville, and UConn. Let’s take a look at the teams and see what’s in store for the Women’s Final Four on Friday night.

2022 Women’s Final Four Preview

(1) Louisville Cardinals vs. (1) South Carolina Gamecocks – Friday, April 1st, 7:00 P.M. ET

Louisville has recovered nicely in the tournament after a shocking loss in the ACC Quarterfinals against Miami (FL.). In the regionals in Wichita, they beat Tennessee and Michigan by a combined 24 points. Haley Van Lith has channeled her inner Kobe Bryant (She trained with him and his daughter Gianna.) during the tournament, averaging 21.5 points per game in their four games. That is almost seven above her season average. Emily Engstler, a transfer from Syracuse, has been great during the tournament as well. She has two double-doubles so far. Kianna Smith has been good too. The Cardinals are very good defensively and do not turn the ball over very much. Those facts will be key in this game.

South Carolina has been #1 in the AP Poll for the entire season. They were vied as the favorite to win the championship at the beginning of the year and that has not changed. This team is loaded. Led by National Player Of The Year frontrunner Aliyah Boston, the Gamecocks are flying high. They are a very deep team but have a clear big three with Destanni Henderson and Zia Cooke. South Carolina has only lost two games all season, and those losses came by a combined three points. They already have wins over the other two teams in this year’s Final Four, Stanford and UConn. The opening game of the 2022 Women’s Final Four will be a great game, but South Carolina is just too good.

(2) Connecticut Huskies vs. (1) Stanford Cardinal – Friday, April 1st, 9:30 P.M. ET

UConn is appearing in their 14th straight Final Four. But this year getting here was no guarantee. They played some pretty good teams and it took double overtime to beat one seed NC State on Monday night in Bridgeport. This season has been a relative “struggle” for the Huskies. They fell out of the top 10 for the first time in 16 years back in December. Superstar Paige Bueckers missed 19 games with a knee injury and had not really looked her full, true self since returning. But that changed on Monday against the Wolfpack. Bueckers had 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field to lead all scorers. UConn has gone four straight tournaments without winning a national championship. The last one came in 2016 at the end of their run of four straight titles. With Christyn WilliamsOlivia Nelson-Ododa, and others, they are more than capable of ending that “drought.” But Dorka Juhász fractured and dislocated her wrist against NC State and is now out for the season. That could potentially be a big loss.

Stanford is coming off of their third national championship. They have been just as good this year. The Cardinal have looked really good against some great teams in this tournament, including Maryland and Texas. They haven’t lost since December 21st when they lost a great one to South Carolina. Last season’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player Haley Jones has double-doubles in each of their last two games. Cameron Brink had a double-double in each of the Cardinal’s first two games of the tournament. Lexie Hull, whose twin sister Lacie is also a key player for Stanford, has averaged 22 points per game in the tournament, including a 36-point performance against Kansas in the second round. This is an incredibly talented team that is looking to repeat. This game will be a great one and could be a Women’s Final Four classic, and I think Stanford just barely comes out on top.

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