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Stanford Wins N.C.A.A. Ladies’s Basketball Title for First Time in 29 Years


McDonald, the Pac-12 participant of the yr, fought her approach via Stanford’s protection to earn 22 factors on 5 of 20 capturing from the sector and 4 of 9 from 3-point vary.

“For me to always see the Pac-12 haven’t any respect, have zero respect — and that exhibits up in Aari being second-team all American, this exhibits in that Aari not being defensive participant of the yr — it’s repeatedly and it’s at all times taking place within the Pac 12,” Arizona Coach Adia Barnes instructed reporters on Saturday.

The matchup with Arizona marked the primary time that two Pac-12 groups confronted one another within the finals; out of six in-conference championships for the nationwide title, three have been between Southeastern Convention groups, two have been inside the Huge East and one was within the Atlantic Coast Convention.

The final time the Cardinal performed within the nationwide championship — 2010 within the Alamodome, when it fell to UConn — was the final time {that a} Pac-12 crew did as nicely. At that time, the league was nonetheless the Pac-10, and Stanford was largely the nationwide face it. Since welcoming the College of Utah and College of Colorado, Boulder, in 2011, Pac-12 groups emerged as a staple of the ladies’s Ultimate 4 with appearances by Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, the College of California, Berkeley and Stanford.

“I’m hoping with each of us within the championship sport, the Pac-12 will get some respect and the East Coast bias will cease,” Barnes instructed reporters on Saturday.

Barnes, in the meantime, was combating to change into the third Black feminine coach to assert the N.C.A.A. title. She is considered one of 5 Black ladies to have coached in a ladies’s Ultimate 4, following within the footsteps of C. Vivian Stringer, Carolyn Peck, Pokey Chatman and Daybreak Staley; the nationwide semifinals this yr was the primary time that two Black head coaches led groups concurrently.

“Our historical past right here in ladies’s basketball is so crammed with so many Black our bodies that for this to be taking place in 2021, to me, is lengthy overdue,” Staley, the South Carolina coach and considered one of two Black ladies to win a nationwide championship, mentioned in a postgame interview this week about being considered one of two Black head coaches on this yr’s Ultimate 4.



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