The Women’s Final Four this weekend is set to be a historic event, with an undefeated South Carolina team leading the way. The Gamecocks are being led by star player Aliyah Boston and coached by Dawn Staley, and they hope to become the 10th team in history to go through a season unbeaten. They also hope to become the first team to repeat as champions since UConn won four in a row from 2013-16.
Iowa is also in the Final Four, and they’re being led by high-scoring Caitlin Clark. The Hawkeyes reached their first Final Four in 30 years with a game for the ages in the regional semifinals, where Clark had the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA history in the win over Louisville.
LSU is another team to watch out for, with flashy coach Kim Mulkey leading the way. Their opponent, Virginia Tech, is a newcomer to the Final Four, making their first appearance in the national semifinals. Kenny Brooks, Virginia Tech’s coach, became the third Black male coach to lead a team to the women’s basketball Final Four.
The games will take place in Dallas, marking the second time that all three divisions will have their title games in the same place. South Carolina advanced to its third consecutive national semifinals with another superb effort by Boston, who had 22 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Maryland on Monday night.
The Gamecocks have the experience edge, having reached the Final Four so often with this group, and no one on Iowa’s roster was alive the last time the team advanced to the game’s biggest stage. This could give South Carolina the upper hand, but Iowa’s high-scoring offense led by Clark cannot be overlooked.
LSU will be facing off against Virginia Tech, who has had the best season in school history. The Hokies won the ACC crown under Brooks and are led by star post Elizabeth Kitley and sharpshooter Georgia Amoore. The duo combined for 49 points in the win over Ohio State in the Elite Eight.
For Virginia Tech, this run to the national semifinals has been about more than just basketball. They hope to inspire other Black male coaches to get more opportunities in the sport, and Brooks hopes to lead the way. Becoming just the third Black male coach to lead a team to the Final Four is a significant accomplishment, and Brooks and his team will be looking to make an impact on and off the court.
The Women’s Final Four is always an exciting event, but this year’s tournament is shaping up to be one of the most historic yet. With South Carolina looking to make history and Iowa’s high-scoring offense, there’s sure to be plenty of excitement on the court. And with Virginia Tech’s historic run and their commitment to promoting diversity in the sport, this year’s Final Four could be a turning point for women’s basketball.