Update on the latest sports
NCAA TOURNAMENT-WOMEN’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Stanford and Arizona carry Pac-12 banner in women’s title game Sunday
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The last time Tara VanDerveer and Stanford were playing for a national championship, the Pac-12 had just 10 schools and the Cardinal were the standard bearer for the conference.
Now, 11 years later, the Pac-12 is on top of the women’s basketball world with the Cardinal facing Arizona on Sunday night for the title. The conference is guaranteed its first champion since the Hall of Fame coach and the Cardinal won their last title in 1992.
Stanford was last in the title game in 2010, losing to UConn in the Alamodome — the same building the Cardinal will be playing in on Sunday night. The conference became the Pac-12 a year later, after expansion.
The league has had six different schools in the Final Four since 2013, but none reached the title game until Friday night when both Stanford and Arizona advanced.
To get to Sunday night’s game the Cardinal held on to beat South Carolina 66-65 on a basket by Haley Jones with 32 seconds left Friday night. Stanford survived two last-second misses by the Gamecocks.
Arizona didn’t need any last-second karma to beat the Huskies 69-59. Wildcats All-America Aari McDonald scored 26 points and the team played stifling defense to put the clamps on UConn.
Arizona lost twice to Stanford during the regular season, but both teams are much improved from their last meeting on Feb. 22 which the Cardinal won 62-48.
NCAA TOURNAMENT-MEN’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Gonzaga and Baylor to battle for the national championship Monday
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The showdown between Baylor and Gonzaga that was called off in December because of the coronavirus pandemic is finally back on, with the biggest stakes of all: The two best teams all season will play for the national championship Monday night.
The wait was worth it.
The Bears opened the first Final Four in two years Friday by overwhelming Houston, 78-59, cruising to their first national championship game since 1948. Undefeated Gonzaga’s free-flowing offense was struck down in the nightcap by UCLA, which slogged the game down enough to get it to overtime. Freshman Jalen Suggs came to the Bulldogs’ rescue, banking in a 3-pointer from just inside the half-court line at the buzzer for a 93-90 win, giving Gonzaga a shot at becoming the first undefeated team since Indiana in 1976.
COLLEGE SPORTS SURVEY-NIL
AP survey: ADs concerned NIL will skew competitive balance
UNDATED (AP) — An Associated Press survey of Division I athletic directors found that nearly 73% believe allowing athletes to be compensated for use of their name, image or likeness will decrease the number of schools that have a chance to be competitive in college sports. Nearly 28% said many fewer schools would be competitive.
Most of those surveyed were from smaller schools and not in the Power Five conferences. One participant says NIL rights are a game changer for college athletics. Others say the concerns are overblown.
The NCAA is trying to change its rules regarding NIL and compensation for athletes, but the process has bogged down under scrutiny from the Justice Department.
The clock is ticking on the NCAA. Dozens of states are forcing the issue with bills that will grant college athletes NIL rights as early as July. Efforts to put a federal law in place and avoid that situation seem on the slow track in Congress.