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Key players for Arizona vs. UConn in Women’s Final Four

We take a look at which players should make an impact in the second semifinal this evening.

Aari McDonald and Trinity Baptiste of the Arizona Wildcats celebrate late in the fourth quarter after McDonald drew the foul against the Indiana Hoosiers during the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Alamodome on March 29, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.The Arizona Wildcats defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 66-53 to advance to the Final Four. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Women’s Final Four gets started this Friday, but if you haven’t been following the game all season, you might not know who the key players are.

We take a look at who to keep an eye on for the second semifinal between the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats and No. 1 UConn Huskies.

Right now at DraftKings Sportsbook the Huskies are a 13.5-point favorite, with the total sitting at 128.5.

Arizona Wildcats

Aari McDonald

She’s been a revelation in the NCAA tournament, scoring over 25 points per game which is above even her season average of 20.3. She’s a volume shooter in every sense of the term, averaging just 41.4% from the field during the season, but is 39-71 in the four games it took to get here, including 14-28 from three-point range.

Sometimes you can ride a hot player this far, but the Wildcats have about no chance tonight if McDonald doesn’t continue to be one of the best players in this tournament.

Trinity Baptiste

She played a season-high 37 minutes against Indiana in the Elite Eight just for the Wildcats to get here, and is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.2 per contest. The difference in this game will be the ability to get some rim protection, and the ACC Sixth Player of The Year last season at Virginia Tech will need to provide it. Arizona struggles on the glass as a unit, and that’s a deadly problem against a Huskies team where everyone can drive the ball.

UConn Huskies

Paige Bueckers

If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know the freshman that is changing women’s college basketball. The freshman averages 20.1 points per game, shoots 52.8% from the field, 45.9% from three, and adds 5.9 often-spectacular assists per game.

She’s a human highlight reel that just happens to make all her teammates better, and does it with a real swag that’s going to get her teammates through the tough games. She at one point missed five in a row in the second half against Baylor, but came back with some huge makes down the stretch.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa

She’s got to play big in a game where the Huskies will likely want to play inside-out. Ododa only plays 26.1 minutes per game, but will need to stay out of foul trouble because the advantage here is in the middle. The 6’ 5” forward has a silky touch around the rim, but it’s her 7.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game that should be needed this evening.