After a month of watching these women play the most intense basketball of their young careers, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. The NCAA Women’s Final Four is this weekend, and the matchups couldn’t be any better. The first game is a battle of the No.1 seeds, the University of South Carolina vs. the University of Louisville. 

South Carolina has had a pretty great year. The Gamecocks seemed to be unbeatable this year, going 29-2 in the regular season. Junior forward Aliyah Boston has been unstoppable this year, getting it done on both ends of the court. Boston made history this season when she broke the SEC record for the most consecutive games with a double-double with 27. Boston was recently named Naismith Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

The guard play from Carolina has been elite this year as well. Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson have both made big contributions to the team’s success this year and are names to look out for this weekend. Carolina is a team with great depth that can come in and produce when called upon. 

This team has been the best team Coach Dawn Staley has had since 2017, and they are looking to capitalize on an amazing season with a National Championship. Last year the Gamecocks came up short in a tough game against Stanford. This year they are back for revenge, this time against the Louisville Cardinals. 

Louisville is a scrappy young team that can get it going at any time. Their play this season earned them a No.1 seed in the tournament this year, and they’ve been playing as such. Hailey Van Lith leads the charge for the Cardinals. The Sophomore guard has been great for the Cardinals, especially in this tournament. Van Lith has been playing with a chip on her shoulder, showing that she can hang with the other guards in her class.

Another name to look out for is Sophomore forward Olivia Cochran. Cochran’s play has been essential to Louisville’s success. She played through an eye injury in the Sweet Sixteen game vs. Tennessee and made some big plays down the stretch against the University of Michigan in the Elite Eight. Other names to look out for are Chelsie Hall, Kiana Smith, and Emily Engstler too. 

This game has the makings of being one of the better games we see in this tournament. The way both teams match up against each other is very intriguing. I believe that this game could go down to the last few possessions. With that being said, I feel that the Gamecocks will come out on top and be competing for a National Championship. They could have a chance to get a Final Four rematch from last year against Stanford or a shot against a young Connecticut squad. One thing’s for certain; many people will be locked in on this game Friday Night.

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An avid sports fan and journalist who’s main focus is the lovely game of basketball. If I’m not covering the game, I’m either playing ball or watching it.