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


It’s practically time for the NCAA girls’s basketball Final Four.

No. 1 South Carolina will tackle No. 3 N.C. State, and No. 1 Iowa will tackle No. 3 UConn in Cleveland Friday evening.

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

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Learn under to see how the groups stack up.

4. N.C. State Wolfpack

North Carolina State guard Aziaha James celebrates after a Candy 16 recreation in opposition to Stanford within the NCAA Event March 29, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photograph/Howard Lao)

N.C. State was the No. 3 seed popping out of its area and needed to get by means of not solely No. 1 Texas however No. 2 Stanford to succeed in the Last 4. The workforce surprised the school basketball world with 10-point upsets of every workforce.

Now, the Wolfpack discover themselves in a David vs. Goliath matchup in opposition to South Carolina.

N.C. State has 5 gamers who common at the very least 10 factors per recreation — Aziaha James (16.7), Saniya Rivers (12.7), Mimi Collins (10.7), River Baldwin (10.6) and Madison Hayes (10.4).

However they’re going up in opposition to a protection that solely permits 56 factors per recreation and scores about 85 per recreation. N.C. State scores 73.8 factors per recreation and permits 60.3 factors per recreation.

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

3. Iowa Hawkeyes

Caitlin Clark frustrated

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark reacts in the course of the third quarter of an Elite Eight recreation in opposition to LSU Monday, April 1, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photograph/Mary Altaffer)

The Iowa Hawkeyes have a high-octane scoring offense led by Caitlin Clark, the main scorer within the nation and the all-time scoring chief in all of faculty basketball. However the concern for Iowa shall be matching up with a workforce that has a participant pretty much as good as any within the nation in Paige Bueckers.

The Hawkeyes enable 71.5 factors per recreation. It’s probably the most among the many Last 4 groups, and their protection has come up quick for them in large video games this season, together with on the highway in opposition to Nebraska, the place the workforce allowed 82 factors.

Of their 4 losses, the workforce has allowed at the very least 82 factors. Within the win in opposition to LSU within the Elite Eight, the Hawkeyes allowed 87 factors.

It’s not going to get any simpler in opposition to UConn, which solely permits 56.8 factors per recreation with Bueckers and Aaliyah Edwards averaging at the very least 17 factors per recreation.

2. UConn Huskies

Paige Bueckers looks on

Paige Bueckers of the Connecticut Huskies in the course of the second half in opposition to the USC Trojans within the Elite Eight of the NCAA Event at Moda Heart April 1, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (Steph Chambers/Getty Photos)

Iowa should count on a coach like UConn’s Geno Auriemma to provide you with a grasp plan to comprise Clark and worsen her as she makes an attempt 3-pointers. LSU had Clark contained for the primary half of their recreation, however she broke out within the second half and the Hawkeyes pulled away.

JuJu Watkins scored 29 factors and McKenzie Forbes scored 24 factors for USC of their loss to UConn. Rayah Marshall added 11. These three had been the one gamers in double-figures. Watkins wanted 25 photographs and Forbes took 22 whereas USC was solely 32.9% from the ground.

Accidents damage the Huskies final season, however it seems they’re again to kind and trying to ship Iowa dwelling early.

“I feel our teaching employees needed to cope with an infinite quantity of issues this yr that we by no means needed to cope with earlier than. I’m actually happy with our employees,” Auriemma stated.

1. South Carolina Gamecocks

Kamilla Cardoso takes a free throw

Kamilla Cardoso of the South Carolina Gamecocks prepares to take a free throw in opposition to the Indiana Hoosiers in the course of the second half within the Candy 16 of the NCAA Event at MVP Enviornment March 29, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. (Andy Lyons/Getty Photos)

South Carolina is the final undefeated workforce left standing in girls’s basketball, and it’s carrying a full load of momentum into the Last 4. It is clear — at the very least on paper — South Carolina is the perfect workforce of the final 4.

“I am shocked,” Staley stated. “I’m shocked that we’re undefeated. I’m shocked that we’re right here on the Last 4 competing for a nationwide championship. Our teaching employees put in a number of work, and generally if you put the work in, it’s returned on this vogue.

“It’s caught us off guard, however I’m tremendous glad for our gamers as a result of they began from the underside, after which they’re right here.”

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The Gamecocks are prime 5 as a workforce in key classes, together with factors (85.6 per recreation), area objective proportion (49.2%), factors differential (plus-29.6), rebounds (46.2) and blocks (7.9).

Kamilla Cardoso is sort of unstoppable. She’s averaging 14.1 factors and 9.4 rebounds per recreation. She has, at most, two extra video games earlier than she turns professional.

If South Carolina wins, one other nice foe will presumably current herself – Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.

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