Arizona Seeking First NCAA Women’s Championship Title Against Stanford Following Upset Win Over UConn

Sat, 3 April 2021, 3:50 pm

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats are up for a national championship title for the very first time at the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

The No. 3 seed team upset the University of Connecticut, a No. 1 seed, Friday night, beating them 69-59. The Wildcats will now advance to Sunday’s national championship game against Stanford University, another No. 1 seed.

“No one thought we’d win. No one thought we’d be here. We don’t care,” Arizona head coach Adia Barnes, who played for Arizona as a student more than 20 years ago, said after the game, according to CNN.

“We just believed,” added senior guard Aari McDonald, who led her team with 26 points. “We worked hard to get here.”

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

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Previously, the furthest the team had gotten at the NCAA tournament was the Sweet Sixteen in 1998. The year prior, then-senior Barnes led the team to their first-ever tournament appearance.

“I’ve been an underdog all my life,” Barnes told reporters following Friday’s win. “Too small to do this, too this to do that, too inexperienced to do this. We prove it wrong every time. I don’t care. It just motivates me and my team.”

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Fans and celebrities also reacted to the win on social media, including Today anchor Savannah Guthrie, who attended the University of Arizona.

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“So proud!! Go CATS! @arizonawbasketball making history,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the team celebrating.

“What a terrific game by Arizona,” sports reporter Jemele Hill added on Twitter. “No question they were the better team.”

WNBA player Skylar Diggins-Smith wrote, “Congrats to Arizona and Adia Barnes. What a total team effort. That’s why we don’t play on paper!”

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