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Women’s NCAA Basketball Update And UCLA “Semis” Notes

April 3, 2021

Yesterday, 7 plus to 1 underdog, Arizona advanced to its first Women’s NCAA Basketball final, toppling Connecticut, a 4th straight “semis” loss for the latter. They won their 11th title in 2016 and have been “semi’d” out since that point.

It is an all Pacific 12 final (couple that with the great success of that conference in the men’s tournament) as Stanford, a 9 point favorite, will be U of A’s opponent. Stanford minus 6 won (66-65) vs South Carolina.

The lone Pac 12 team to make the men’s semis is the once glory program, U.C.L.A. which has the most titles (11) and will be in their 19th semi-final game.

They are (11-2) in title tilts, (10-0) under the great coach John Wooden. Wooden was (10-2) in semis, losing to eventual champions, Cincinnati in 1962 and North Carolina State in 1974. Each was a very close game. Paul Hogue led Cincy to the ’62 crown and the great player, David Thompson led the ’74 Wolfpack crown.

U.C.L.A. is (13-5) in previous semis and only in ’08 when Kansas and Mario Chalmers/poor free toss shooting (ode to Joe Tait) and terrible down the stretch play and Calipari coaching took the title from Memphis, (this year’s NIT winner, in an NIT, not in New York. First time?) did the team that “semi’d” UCLA NOT win the crown.

Top heavy 14 plus point(s) favorite Gonzaga is over a 2 to 1 favorite to make it 5 of 6 times that the team to “semi” U.C.L.A. wins the crown. We shall see. That and of course money is why they play the games.

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