Arizona's Aari McDonald reacts after making a three-point basket during the the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 round of the Women's NCAA tournament Saturday, March 27, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Elite 8 Matchup- Arizona v. Indiana

Both No. 3 seed Arizona and No. 4 seed Indiana are feeling elite for the first time in each program’s history. The two teams will face off in the final game of the Mercado Region bracket on Monday night. A spot in the final four is on the line for both teams who have thrived in the month of march and in the tournament in San Antonio. Each with their own passion and tenacity plus a little fun has amounted to both teams playing their best quality basketball at the right time.

How They Got Here:

Both teams locked down their tickets to the Elite 8 on Saturday. Arizona put together a rather convincing win against Texas A&M. In the 74-59 victory, the Wildcats closed out the Aggies who had a bit of a home state advantage. The Wildcats made a season-high 13 three-pointers in beating Texas A&M, an Arizona NCAA Tournament record. This is the first time Arizona has been in the tournament since 2006. Indiana followed suit with a close margin victory over top seeded North Carolina State. In the 73-70 win over NC State, the Hoosiers capitalized from the free-throw line late in the game to seal the win. The Hoosiers are now 21-5 and winners of 12 of their last 13 games

 

Who To Watch:

Each team’s last outing pressured big time performances from both the Hoosiers and Wildcats. Aarion McDonald’s  contributed 31 point of Arizona’s  74 points in the win against Texas A&M .McDonald is the current Pac-12 Player of the Year  who averages 19.8 points and 5.2 rebounds along with a team-leading 103 assists. Aari’s 31 points are now the most in an NCAA Tournament game by an Arizona player since 2000. She leads the team in made threes per game, making 2.1 three-pointers per game with a 33 percent shooting percentage from the arc.

In the Hoosiers last performance senior Ali Patberg led the team with 17 points, but more than anything represents an unselfish leader for Indiana. Patberg began at Notre Dame after her acclaimed Indiana Miss Basketball prep career at Columbus North High School. An injury led to her transfer where she now thrives in her home state for here hometown team.  The Hoosiers also being led in tournament play by junior guard Grace Berger who is averaging 16 points per game as well as sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes with 14.

Tune in at 9 p.m. on ESPN as the two teams square off for the chance to clinch their first final four berth in either program’s history.

About Ellory Fuqua

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