Women’s sports has long been underappreciated and the NCAA tournament is no exception. As a result, many women-only tournaments have sprung up in recent years to give female athletes an opportunity to compete at their highest level of competition for teams like Stanford, UCONN, and Harvard.
The “women’s ncaa basketball tournament schedule 2022” is the women’s NCAA tournament. The first two rounds of the tournament will be held on March 16-17, with the final four being held on April 6-7.
25th of March, 2022
Philippou, Alexa ESPN
- Covers WNBA and women’s collegiate basketball.
- For the Hartford Courant, he formerly covered UConn and the WNBA Connecticut Sun.
- Stanford graduate with further experience at the Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times, and Cincinnati Enquirer.
With fewer than 90 seconds left on the shot clock and the ball in Paige Bueckers’ hands, the UConn Huskies lead UCF by five points in the second round of the 2022 women’s NCAA tournament. At the top of the arc, the reigning national player of the year got a screen from teammate Dorka Juhász and drove left, but she was stopped by a UCF defender. Bueckers took up her dribble, faked a pass to fool the defender, and sank a three-pointer.
The ball made its way to Bueckers in the same area on the left wing on the next UConn possession, with the Huskies now leading by only three points. UCF’s zone gave her a good look, so she hit another three-pointer.
It had a ring around it.
Christyn Williams and Azzi Fudd sealed No. 2 seed UConn’s 52-47 victory on Monday, shooting 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the last 19 seconds to assure the Huskies’ 28th consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. The conclusion mirrored UConn’s more balanced squad this year, as the Huskies didn’t rely on Bueckers’ heroics as much as they did last season, when she had probably the best freshman season in school history. That, if anything, was the fatal fault of last season’s squad, which fell in the Final Four semifinals to Arizona.
Now that the women’s NCAA tournament games have begun, check your bracket. Challenge yourself to a Tournament
UConn coach Geno Auriemma remarked at the time, “Paige is another proof that you’re only as good as your teammates.” “You’re just as good as the people you work with. You’ll need guys that are that good, who can soar above the competition. Arizona demonstrated that without a shadow of a doubt.”
The Huskies have become more diversified as a result of Bueckers’ knee injury, which forced her to miss 19 games. In at least one game this season, seven of their nine rotation players topped the club in scoring. Even when Bueckers returned, the team’s performance was so well-balanced that they coined the phrase “everyone eats.” And it’s a maxim the Huskies will have to live by in the coming weeks, beginning with Saturday’s regional semifinal against No. 3 seed Indiana (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).
“I don’t anticipate Paige to play well,” Auriemma remarked after the UCF game, not in the best of spirits after his team’s 12-point lead dwindled to three with five minutes left. “Given how much time she sat out and what she’s coming off of, I think the expectation level for me is very, really low.”
The version of Bueckers in this year’s NCAA tournament isn’t the same guy that led the Huskies to their 13th straight Final Four last season, as the last few weeks and two games have shown. Even if she isn’t exceptional, the Huskies have a chance to win their first national title since 2016. Because even if everyone eats and select individuals come up at the proper moment, this bunch of players might still go farther than they have ever gone before.
Last year, Paige Bueckers had one of the finest freshmen seasons in UConn history. Can the reigning national player of the year have the same type of impact after returning from a 12-week layoff due to injury? Is it really necessary for her to go to UConn? Paige Bueckers is a model and actress.
Auriemma stated he wasn’t sure what Bueckers’ role will be in March Madness when the NCAA tournament began. Between winning the Big East tournament and the NCAA first round, the Huskies enjoyed a 12-day rest, while Bueckers had only played five games after returning from a medically repaired tibial plateau fracture and torn meniscus.
“Right now, we’re in a fairly nice scenario,” Auriemma said, “so how much do we want to disrupt that and what’s best for our team and Paige?”
Bueckers was re-inserted into the starting lineup for UConn’s first-round game after largely coming off the bench and playing limited minutes since her comeback Feb. 25 against St. John’s. She played 24 minutes against Mercer and 32 minutes against UCF on Monday, the most she’s played since Dec. 5.
After the win against Mercer, Bueckers remarked, “I think just a whole lot of confidence and moving better and the preparation has helped me be better on the court.”
Bueckers’ shooting has stayed consistent, but one of the most noticeable changes is that she isn’t as dominant offensively as she was before to the injury. She’s taken approximately half as many shot attempts (8.0) in the first two rounds of the tournament as she did in the entire 2021 NCAA tournament (15.8). Since her comeback, she hasn’t attempted more than nine shots in a game; last year, she attempted at least 13 shots in each of UConn’s five tournament games.
Given UConn’s improved depth and scoring balance this season, this isn’t entirely shocking. Against UCF, Bueckers’ backcourt partner Fudd attempted the most shots of any Husky (13), however nothing came easy against the Knights’ tight defense. And just because Bueckers isn’t a high-volume shooter doesn’t mean she can’t have an influence. Against Mercer, the sophomore had 12 points on seven shots, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals to go along with his five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Bueckers’ court vision and ability to run the offense set her apart from the rest of the field.
“There’s still a lot going on out on the court,” Auriemma said, “and you can tell that it’s not the same guy we saw all last year.” “However, having her on the court clearly advantages us in a variety of ways. And, you know, the fact that I had her on the court for 32 minutes [against UCF] says something.”
UConn would need to win four more games to win its 12th NCAA championship, and Bueckers may still have a huge night or make critical jumpers for the Huskies. Still, expecting Bueckers to make 22 shots, like she did in UConn’s Elite Eight triumph over Baylor in 2021 or 26 in the Huskies’ regular-season overtime victory over South Carolina in February 2021, doesn’t seem reasonable. And after being out for three months, it may be unrealistic to expect her to repeat the feats she accomplished not just before to the injury, but also in historic form last season.
And that may be OK for the Huskies if others step up.
The leading possibilities are Fudd and Williams, who combined for nearly half of UConn’s scoring versus UCF. On Monday, neither Williams nor Fudd were very efficient (Williams went 3-for-9 from the field, while Fudd went 4-for-10 from three but 0-for-3 inside the arc), but they made key plays late in the game when UConn needed them.
Last year, Williams had a tremendous postseason, scoring 20 points in three straight games from the Sweet 16 on. As a senior, she will be counted upon more than rookie Fudd to get the Huskies’ offense going in the NCAA tournament. However, Fudd, the No. 1 overall recruit from 2021, should not be overlooked. Following an 11-game layoff due to a foot injury, the guard demonstrated her ability to rise to the occasion throughout the regular season, helping the Huskies beat DePaul and Marquette in close games, propelling them to a rout of Tennessee, and sparking a comeback attempt in their loss to Villanova. Bueckers will be relieved of a lot of the strain if Fudd can play beyond her years in the future, particularly if she can keep hitting 3-pointers.
Last year, Christyn Williams came through with 27 points (Paige Bueckers had 18) in the Sweet 16 versus Iowa. Can the senior guard repeat the feat against Indiana on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)? USA TODAY Sports’ David Butler II
Any assistance from redshirt senior guard Evina Westbrook or freshman guard Caroline Ducharme would be much appreciated. When Bueckers was out, Ducharme, a large guard who can get to the basket with relative ease and knock down jumpers from long range, led UConn in scoring six times (together with Williams). However, with Ducharme just getting four minutes on the floor versus UCF, it’s uncertain how Auriemma sees her role in the future.
UConn’s attack must stay balanced, not only in terms of scoring distribution, but also in terms of where and how it scores. The Huskies’ three-big rotation (senior Olivia Nelson-Ododa, sophomore Aaliyah Edwards, and graduate transfer Juhász) has struggled to open the tournament, scoring only 10 points in the paint against UCF’s powerful post players. To relieve pressure on the guards, that trio will need to be more productive on the interior.
The Huskies will face balanced assaults from Indiana and, if they progress, either NC State or Notre Dame. UConn, on the other hand, will continue to depend on its defense, which surrenders 53.4 points per game. From the second quarter till the middle of the fourth, the Huskies kept Mercer scoreless in the third quarter and essentially shut down UCF, restricting the Knights to 18 points in 25 minutes.
UConn freshman Azzi Fudd is averaging 12.4 points per game after missing 11 games due to her own injury. Icon Sportswire/M. Anthony Nesmith
UConn’s offense has struggled at times this season, both with and without Bueckers on the court. However, without Bueckers at 100 percent and unable to take over games on his own, the Huskies’ margin of error narrows. That’s why, in addition to making just 6-of-20 uncontested shots against UCF, their 2-for-12 layup performance harmed them the most. It was frighteningly similar to UConn’s 7-for-22 layup performance in the Final Four versus Arizona. Despite the fact that UConn beat UCF despite those stats, the Huskies may not have the same luck against Indiana, who, like UCF, prides itself on staunch defense but isn’t as physical as the Knights.
“We need to improve our ability to complete simple buckets. Also, if we have a lead, we must maintain it and not allow the team to catch up “After UCF’s victory, Williams remarked. “We need to improve our defense as well as certain aspects of our attack. However, the bulk of it is spent completing simple baskets.”
Before Bueckers ever arrived in Storrs in the spring of 2020, she was expected to be the silver bullet that would return UConn to national championship glory. She and her teammates weren’t ready last season. Things went wrong this season due to injury, sickness, and outright unreliability.
Whether they have Bueckers or not, the Huskies have learned that there is no silver bullet when it comes to winning titles. They had to learn how to win regardless of who was on the court after losing Bueckers and seven others to injury or sickness at some time this season. Now, even without Bueckers at 100 percent, they have a chance to prove their point on the greatest of venues — as long as everyone eats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the NCAA Womens Basketball tournament 2022?
A: The 2022 NCAA Womens Basketball tournament will take place in Dallas, TX from March 4-10.
Where is Elite 8 Played 2022?
A: The Elite 8 is played on Saturday, April 20th, 2022.
Where is the Final Four this year 2022?
A: The Final Four is in Phoenix, AZ.
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