NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2021: Elite 8 Scores, Final Four Bracket

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

UConn guard Paige Bueckers , center, drives to the basket against Baylor during the first half of a college basketball game in the Elite Eight round of the women's NCAA tournament at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Monday, March 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

For the 13th straight time, Connecticut punched a ticket to the Final Four of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

The Huskies hung on for a 69-67 victory over Baylor on Monday on the strength of a 28-point performance from Paige Bueckers. They will play Arizona, which dispatched Indiana 66-53.

The Final Four isn't set just yet, with two more games to follow Tuesday.


Elite Eight Scores

No. 1 Connecticut 69, No. 2 Baylor 67

No. 3 Arizona, 66, No. 4 Indiana 53



The full bracket for the 2021 women's NCAA tournament can be viewed at NCAA.com.


UConn 69, Baylor 67

Christyn Williams missed a pair of free throws with a one-point lead and NaLyssa Smith grabbed the defensive rebound, which kept the door open for Baylor.

DiJonai Carrington drove to her left but was met at the edge of the paint by Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Aaliyah Edwards.

ESPN @espn

UConn stops DiJonai Carrington's potential game-winner! 😱 #ncaaW https://t.co/0PYjA7uhVV

Baylor fans will understandably argue Carrington was fouled, but it wasn't a surprise to see the referees swallow their whistles given the circumstances.

LeBron James @KingJames

Cmon man!!! That was a FOUL!! #ncaaW Baylor vs UConn. 🤦🏾‍♂️

Tc2 @TeaCooper2

That was a foul IDC IDC IDC IDC

Ultimately the night belonged to Bueckers. The freshman guard has been stellar all season, and she didn't shy away from the big stage. A number of legendary players have passed through the doors of Gampel Pavilion, and Bueckers looks like the next in line.

Mina Kimes @minakimes

Paige Bueckers, come join the Nets

UConn and Baylor ranked second and third, respectively, in opponent points per 100 possessions entering Monday night, per Her Hoops Stats.

Despite the teams' defensive strength, they set a blistering pace in the first quarter as the Huskies led 26-24 after the opening 10 minutes. The second quarter was a return to normal as they combined to score 26 points.

The slower tempo probably favored Baylor more because the Lady Bears thrive by dominating inside. According to Her Hoops Stats, they were getting just 13.1 percent of their offense from three-pointers, the lowest number in Division I.

Baylor was in firm control in the third quarter and jumped out to a 10-point lead. However, the game turned when DiDi Richards appeared to injure her hamstring. The senior guard is the team's assist leader (6.4), and Baylor's offense ground to a halt in her absence.

Skylar Diggins-Smith @SkyDigg4

Crazy how big of an impact DiDi Richards has

Connecticut took advantage of the situation and went on a 19-0 run across the third and fourth quarters.

ESPN @espn

Paige Bueckers adds to the 19-0 run for UConn with this triple 😯 @espnW | #ncaaW https://t.co/GdiNwNhk9M

Baylor clawed its way back into the game, yet you can't help but wonder whether the result would've been different without Richards' injury.


No. 3 Arizona, 66, No. 4 Indiana 53

Aari McDonald's one-woman show in San Antonio will continue for at least one more round.

The Arizona star dropped 33 points and 11 rebounds as she carried the Wildcats to their first-ever Final Four. McDonald shot 12-of-20 from the field and 5-of-6 from three-point range.

The senior guard also made a quick recovery from what initially looked to be a scary ankle injury in the fourth quarter, putting the finishing touches on a historic victory.

The 2021 Pac-12 Player of the Year and two-time reigning conference Defensive Player of the Year, McDonald was everywhere on the court to wreak havoc against Indiana.

ESPN @espn

Heads-up play by Aari McDonald to give the Wildcats the lead heading into the 4th! See who advances to the Final Four on ESPN 📺 https://t.co/XtB496SQqH

Lexie Brown @lexiekiah_4

Aari McDonald is tough on both ends!!

As much as McDonald's performance will grab the headlines, Arizona's team defense is what won this game. The Wildcats held Indiana to 36.4 percent shooting and prevented the Hoosiers from making a single three-pointer.

Floor-spacing was a problem for Teri Moren's squad all year. Indiana was 258th in three-point percentage (28.6) and 288th in made threes per game (4.3). But by cutting that aspect of the Hoosiers' offense entirely, Arizona left its opponents unable to counter McDonald's singular effect.

Things really cratered for the Hoosiers in the fourth quarter. The score was tied at 48 with 7:20 left on the clock before Arizona proceeded to outscore Indiana 10-2 over the next six minutes.