Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images
The Final Four of the NCAA women’s tournament is set with three No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 set to face off for the chance to play in the national championship game.
The Stanford Cardinal and South Carolina Gamecocks punched their tickets to the Final Four with wins over Texas and Creighton on Sunday, while the UConn Huskies and Louisville Cardinals punched their tickets Monday with wins over NC State and Michigan.
Here is a look at the Elite Eight scores, Final Four bracket and a deeper dive into each team and how it reached the Final Four.
No. 1 Stanford 59, No. 2 Texas 50
No. 1 South Carolina 80, No. 10 Creighton 50
No. 2 UConn 91, No. 1 NC State 87, 2OT
No 1. Louisville 62, No. 3 Michigan 50
The bracket for the 2022 NCAA women’s tournament can be found at NCAA.com.
The Cardinal are the reigning national champions, and they have been playing like it.
Stanford kicked things off with a 78-37 win over 16th-seeded Montana State in the first round and followed it up with a 91-65 win over the No. 8 seed Kansas Jayhawks.
The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight caused more problems for the Cardinal, however. The fourth-seeded Maryland Terrapins scored 30 points in the fourth quarter of their Sweet 16 matchup to give Stanford a scare, but the Cardinal escaped with a 72-66 win.
The Elite Eight featured an even larger battle, as Texas held Stanford to 59 points, one of its lowest outputs of the season.
Stanford has received key contributions from Cameron Brink, Haley Jones and Lexie Hull, and Hannah Jump and Francesca Belibi have been reliable as well.
Jump, a junior guard, is averaging 9.3 points per game while shooting 40.2 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from deep. Belibi, a junior forward, is averaging 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 58.9 percent from the floor.
If the Cardinal can continue to spread the wealth in the Final Four, they could be headed to the championship game for the second straight season.
Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are looking to reach the championship game for the first time since the 2016-17 season, when they won it all.
Staley’s squad has been dominant after losing the SEC championship game to Kentucky. It opened things with a 79-21 win over the 16th-seeded Howard Bison and followed that with a 49-33 win over No. 8 Miami.
South Carolina faced its first challenged in the Sweet 16 when it met No. 5 UNC, but the Gamecocks used a 17-8 second quarter to win 69-61. The Elite Eight featured another easy matchup, as they won by 30 to advance to the Final Four.
South Carolina has been led by junior forward Aliyah Boston, who is a force to be reckoned with. She’s averaging 16.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the floor and 28.3 percent from deep.
The Gamecocks are also led by senior guard Destanni Henderson and junior guard Zia Cooke, who are averaging 11.1 and 10.7 points per game.
Geno Auriemma and the UConn Huskies are headed to the Final Four for the 14th straight season following their double overtime win over the No. 1 seed NC State Wolfpack on Monday in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The Huskies had defeated No. 15 Mercer 83-38 in the first round before taking down No. 7 UCF 52-47 and No. 3 Indiana 75-58.
On Monday, Paige Bueckers took over in the second half and overtime. The superstar sophomore notched just four points in the first half before going off for 23 points the rest of the way, including 10 in the first overtime.
It was Bueckers’ best game of the tournament, though she has been UConn’s best player all season, averaging 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 55.1 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from deep. Bueckers has played only 15 games this season because of a knee injury.
In addition to Bueckers, senior Christyn Williams and freshman Azzi Fudd have been among the Huskies’ top scorers, averaging 14.7 and 12.7 points per game. They’ll need the trio to be at its best against Stanford on Friday.
For the first time since the 2017-18 season, the Louisville Cardinals are headed to the Final Four.
Louisville has had a dominant NCAA tournament, kicking things off with an 83-51 win over No. 16 Albany. It then downed No. 9 Gonzaga 68-59 and No. 4 Tennessee 76-64.
Monday’s game between Louisville and Michigan was close through three quarters, but the Cardinals outscored the Wolverines 17-7 in the fourth to clinch a spot in the Final Four.
Hailey Van Lith, who leads the team with 14.5 points per game, finished Monday’s game with 22 points. She was the best player on the court, while Chelsie Hall and Kianna Smith chipped in 15 and 11 points and Emily Engstler grabbed 16 rebounds.
If Louisville hopes to reach the championship game, it will need those three players to have similarly strong efforts against South Carolina and for Engstler, who had five points on 1-of-9 shooting against Michigan, to score closer to her average of 11.8 points per game.