By Michael Shapiro | Sports Illustrated
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.