The No. 3 Arizona Wildcats made history on Friday night in the 2021 Final Four. They knocked off the 14-point favorite UConn Huskies led by Paige Bueckers to advance to the Division I women’s basketball national championship game. It was a phenomenal performance by Aari McDonald, who had 26 points and seven rebounds while playing phenomenal defense on Bueckers.
Making the Final Four was a first in team history, and now they’ll play a conference game against the Stanford Cardinal to win a trophy and the national championship on Monday night in San Antonio.
How did Arizona make the 2021 National Championship Game?
Arizona entered the tournament with an at-large bid following a 19-5 regular season. The Wildcats were awarded a 3 seed in a Mercado region topped by NC State. Arizona beat No. 14 Stony Brook 79-44 in the first round and then No. 11 BYU 52-46 in the second round. In the second weekend, the Wildcats beat No. 2 Texas A&M 74-59 in the Sweet 16 and then No. 4 Indiana 66-53 in the Elite Eight.
When did Arizona last appear in the National Championship Game?
This isn’t men’s basketball, and the answer is never.
This marks the Wildcats first trip to the Final Four. 2021 was Arizona’s first trip to the Elite Eight in program history, but now head coach Adia Barnes, the national coach of the year in women’s college basketball, will play for the title.