NCAA women’s basketball Final Four power rankings: Who is the best team left in the tournament?

April 3, 2024
2,088 Views


It’s nearly time for the NCAA women’s basketball Final Four.

No. 1 South Carolina will take on No. 3 N.C. State, and No. 1 Iowa will take on No. 3 UConn in Cleveland Friday night.

The Gamecocks and Wolfpack will tip off at 7 p.m. ET, and the Hawkeyes play the Huskies at 9:30 p.m. ET.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Read below to see how the teams stack up.

4. N.C. State Wolfpack

Aziaha James celebrates

North Carolina State guard Aziaha James celebrates after a Sweet 16 game against Stanford in the NCAA Tournament March 29, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Howard Lao)

N.C. State was the No. 3 seed coming out of its region and had to get through not only No. 1 Texas but No. 2 Stanford to reach the Final Four. The team stunned the college basketball world with 10-point upsets of each team.

Now, the Wolfpack find themselves in a David vs. Goliath matchup against South Carolina.

N.C. State has five players who average at least 10 points per game — Aziaha James (16.7), Saniya Rivers (12.7), Mimi Collins (10.7), River Baldwin (10.6) and Madison Hayes (10.4).

But they’re going up against a defense that only allows 56 points per game and scores about 85 per game. N.C. State scores 73.8 points per game and allows 60.3 points per game.

It will be an uphill battle for N.C. State in Cleveland.

3. Iowa Hawkeyes

Caitlin Clark frustrated

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark reacts during the third quarter of an Elite Eight game against LSU Monday, April 1, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Iowa Hawkeyes have a high-octane scoring offense led by Caitlin Clark, the leading scorer in the nation and the all-time scoring leader in all of college basketball. But the concern for Iowa will be matching up with a team that has a player as good as any in the nation in Paige Bueckers.

The Hawkeyes allow 71.5 points per game. It’s the most among the Final Four teams, and their defense has come up short for them in big games this season, including on the road against Nebraska, where the team allowed 82 points.

In their four losses, the team has allowed at least 82 points. In the win against LSU in the Elite Eight, the Hawkeyes allowed 87 points.

It’s not going to get any easier against UConn, which only allows 56.8 points per game with Bueckers and Aaliyah Edwards averaging at least 17 points per game.

2. UConn Huskies

Paige Bueckers looks on

Paige Bueckers of the Connecticut Huskies during the second half against the USC Trojans in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament at Moda Center April 1, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Iowa will have to expect a coach like UConn’s Geno Auriemma to come up with a master plan to contain Clark and aggravate her as she attempts 3-pointers. LSU had Clark contained for the first half of their game, but she broke out in the second half and the Hawkeyes pulled away.

JuJu Watkins scored 29 points and McKenzie Forbes scored 24 points for USC in their loss to UConn. Rayah Marshall added 11. Those three were the only players in double-figures. Watkins needed 25 shots and Forbes took 22 while USC was only 32.9% from the floor.

Injuries hurt the Huskies last season, but it appears they are back to form and looking to send Iowa home early.

“I think our coaching staff had to deal with an enormous amount of things this year that we never had to deal with before. I’m really proud of our staff,” Auriemma said.

1. South Carolina Gamecocks

Kamilla Cardoso takes a free throw

Kamilla Cardoso of the South Carolina Gamecocks prepares to take a free throw against the Indiana Hoosiers during the second half in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at MVP Arena March 29, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

South Carolina is the last undefeated team left standing in women’s basketball, and it is carrying a full load of momentum into the Final Four. It’s clear — at least on paper — South Carolina is the best team of the last four.

“I’m shocked,” Staley said. “I’m shocked that we’re undefeated. I’m shocked that we’re here at the Final Four competing for a national championship. Our coaching staff put in a lot of work, and sometimes when you put the work in, it’s returned in this fashion.

“It’s caught us off guard, but I’m super happy for our players because they started from the bottom, and then they’re here.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Gamecocks are top 5 as a team in key categories, including points (85.6 per game), field goal percentage (49.2%), points differential (plus-29.6), rebounds (46.2) and blocks (7.9).

Kamilla Cardoso is nearly unstoppable. She’s averaging 14.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. She has, at most, two more games before she turns pro.

If South Carolina wins, another great foe will possibly present herself – Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.





Source link

You may be interested

Memorial Day travel breaks records, deadly storms cause delays
Top Stories
shares3,725 views
Top Stories
shares3,725 views

Memorial Day travel breaks records, deadly storms cause delays

new admin - May 27, 2024

Memorial Day travel breaks records, deadly storms cause delays - CBS News Watch CBS News Tens of millions of Americans…

Bill Walton’s former colleague, Jim Gray, ‘heartbroken’ over death of ‘best friend’: ‘A national treasure’
Sports
shares3,810 views
Sports
shares3,810 views

Bill Walton’s former colleague, Jim Gray, ‘heartbroken’ over death of ‘best friend’: ‘A national treasure’

new admin - May 27, 2024

[ad_1] Join Fox News for access to this content You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or…

House used in Home Alone film on sale for over $5m | US News
Entertainment
shares3,880 views
Entertainment
shares3,880 views

House used in Home Alone film on sale for over $5m | US News

new admin - May 27, 2024

The house famously used when Kevin McCallister was left Home Alone at Christmas is on sale.The five-bed, six-bathroom mansion in…