South Carolina women beat Stanford 62-53, head to championship

Maybe those names aren't as big as those of the freshman you've spent all season hearing about, or the guys that National Basketball Association fans are impatiently waiting to see in their league.

The Tar Heels steadily have climbed the national championship odds since opening the campaign at +1600, entering this year's tournament alongside the Duke Blue Devils at +600.

The Pac-12 ended one lengthy drought when OR became the first conference representative in the Final Four since UCLA in 2008.

Roy Williams, North Carolina. They have been pointing to these next two games since the final buzzer sounded on last year's title game.

The Gamecocks, like Gonzaga, will be appearing in their first Final Four when the game tips off Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET in Glendale, Ariz.

However, despite outscoring opponents by a combined margin of 60 points in four tournament wins, the Tar Heels have been a shaky bet, covering just twice in those outings, and a middling 10 times in their past 21 overall contests. He does a great job staying vertical, because he's not a great shot blocker, he stays vertical and contests. They do have a little bit of a Big 3 with (Duane) Notice, (Sindarius) Thornwell and (PJ) Dozier.

OR (33-5) provides a contrast. Kennedy Meeks is the third double-digit scorer and Isaiah Hicks is grabbing 5.4 rebounds. No. 7 seed SC has been the surprise of the tournament, notching their first trip to the Final Four in school history.

OR played great defense against Kansas in their 74-60 Elite Eight takedown of the Jayhawks. "He has developed unbelievable bonds with his high school coaches". But Oregon has done it with a major adjustment along the way as the Ducks have found a way to move forward without Chris Boucher, their leading shot blocker and energy guy off the bench.

Sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey has scored at least 20 points in seven consecutive games. One way or another, expect Williiams-Goss to have his fingerprints on this game with his play.

Keep an eye on how he matches up with Pac-12 player of the year Brooks of Oregon.

It didn't help the Stanford cause that Karlie Samuelson, Stanford's "glue" as Vanderveer called her after the game, suffered a right ankle injury in the second quarter with her team leading 21-15. I've scrimmaged Mark Few and those guys for years when we were at Texas.

They have the best record from this season in comparison to the other Final Four teams with 29-1 Overall, 15-1 in conference. Once they believe, then we can teach them the technique. Forward Maik Kotsar said his parents would arrive from Estonia in time for South Carolina's game against Gonzaga on Saturday.

"We talked about all the stuff that kind of prevents you from focusing on basketball and how they managed it, the mistakes they made their first time through and how they tried to adjust it every single time", Martin said.

SC trailed 29-20 at halftime after a six-point second quarter but took control in the third quarter when it outscored poor-shooting Stanford 21-8.

Through the tournament, he is averaging 19.8 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor. He has averaged 24.5 points per game on 66.7 percent shooting in the NCAA Tournament and is lethal from beyond the arch. His jumper with 0.3 seconds left beat Kentucky 75-73. He holds the distinction this year as the only coach to face North Carolina, Gonzaga, South Carolina and Oregon. The Cardinal won the NCAA title both seasons.

"The biggest adjustment was speeding up the game", Staley said.

  • Julie Sanders