Arizona advanced to the first women’s Final Four in program history on Monday with a 66-53 victory over Indiana in the Elite Eight.
The Wildcats entered the 2021 women’s tournament as a No. 3 seed in the Mercado region. They beat BYU 52-46 in the second round before a blowout win over No. 2 Texas A&M in the Sweet 16. And while Monday’s contest was relatively close throughout, a stifling defensive effort vaulted Arizona to the Final Four.
Arizona held Indiana to just 36.4 percent shooting on Monday night, including an ugly 0-9 mark from three. And as Indiana struggled, Arizona guard Aari McDonald shined. McDonald tallied 33 points on 12-20 shooting in Monday’s win, continuing her dominant senior season. McDonald was named the 2021 Pac-12 Player of the Year, and she was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. If McDonald can replicate Monday’s performance in the Final Four, perhaps a national title is in store.
The Wildcats face a tall task ahead in the Final Four. They will face No. 1 UConn in the national semifinal, looking to knock off a Huskies squad that has reached 13 straight Final Fours.
2021 marks Arizona’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005. The Wildcats previously logged just one Sweet 16 appearance in 1998.
More March Madness Content: