Final Four Set For New Orleans
One game is a grudge match between programs that know each other all too well. The other is a rematch between teams that aren’t used to meeting this often.
The Final Four is set. In one game Saturday, March 31, at the Superdome in New Orleans, Kentucky will play Louisville in an intrastate rivalry that will pit Cardinals coach Rick Pitino against the school he once coached, then later alienated by returning to the Bluegrass to lead its archrival.
In the other semifinal, it will be Ohio State and Kansas, meeting for only the ninth time in their history but for the second time this season. The Jayhawks won the first game 78-67 in Lawrence, Kan., back on Dec. 10. It was the first time the teams had met since 2000.
Baylor Pounds Tennessee 77-58 For Final Four Bid
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Brittney Griner had 23 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks before being ejected with less than a minute left and top-seeded Baylor rolled over Tennessee 77-58 on March 26 to advance to the Final Four.
Shekinna Stricklen had 22 points for Tennessee (27-9), whose seniors became its first four-year class not to reach a Final Four. The Lady Vols now face an uncertain future, as Pat Summitt has yet to say if she’ll return for a 39th season as Tennessee coach. She announced in August she’d been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.
The Bears (38-0) will face either Stanford or Duke on Saturday night in Denver.
Baylor’s Odyssey Sims, who led the Bears with 27 points, tumbled to the floor with 46.8 seconds left, and she and Strickland had to be separated. No punches were thrown, but Griner and teammates Terran Condrey and Jordan Madden were ejected for leaving the bench.
The NCAA says none of the players will be suspended for the Final Four.
No. 1 Stanford Women Beat Duke To Reach FF
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – Nnemkadi Ogwumike will end her sensational senior season right where she has the rest: at the Final Four.
Ogwumike made it happen on both ends of the floor with 29 points and nine rebounds Monday night despite constant double-teams, sending top-seeded Stanford past No. 2 seed Duke 81-69 in the Fresno Regional final for the Cardinal’s fifth straight Final Four berth.
Little sister, Chiney, did plenty to seal the Denver trip, too _ along with everybody else. Chiney Ogwumike grabbed 17 rebounds to go with 12 points and freshman Amber Orrange came through with 13 points and four assists as the Cardinal extended their school-record winning streak to 32 games.
Nneka Ogwumike is headed back to the Final Four in her NCAA tournament farewell with that elusive championship still in reach. Stanford (35-1), looking for the program’s first title since 1992, will play Sunday night against Brittney Griner and unbeaten Baylor (38-0) at the Pepsi Center.
Chelsea Gray had 23 points, four rebounds and four assists and Shay Selby scored 11 in her final college game for Duke (27-6), which fell short of reaching the program’s first Final Four since 2006. The Blue Devils never got clicking on offense the way they had in their three NCAA wins.