Following victory over Notre Dame, Miami to face North Carolina State for first ACC title
March 6, 2022
This weekend's events have produced upsets in the women's basketball tournament. Miami's close victories over Notre Dame and Louisville were not what fans predicted.
From both Miami's victories, the upcoming conference championship will host several conference first-timers. Those teams are the Miami Hurricanes, the Utah Utes, the Indiana Hoosiers, and the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Hurricanes and Wildcats are seeded seventh in their respective conferences. Meanwhile, the Utes are seeded sixth and the Hoosiers fifth. Standing in their way are the league's top seeds: Stanford, South Carolina, North Carolina State, and Iowa.
Miami to face North Carolina State
This weekend, the championship game of the ACC tournament had the Hurricanes, who joined the league in 2004, upset Louisville during the tournament with a 61-59 buzzer-beater victory. Miami also upset Notre Dame with a 57-54 victory.
Miami coach Katie Meier was pleased with how the tournament played out. "I thought it was a great representation of what college athletics is supposed to be," she said. "I thought it was a lot of fun. We came into this tournament being sick of the 'almosts.' There was not going to be an 'almost' today."
NCAA tournament contender North Carolina State has won its last nine games. The only loss it suffered was against Notre Dame in February. Moreover, the Wolfpack defeated Miami 76-64 in January.
Kentucky to challenge South Carolina State
During the start of the season, Kentucky started the SEC play with a 2-8 record. The Wildcats also went 1-8 in February. Since then, the team has won nine straight games and is in the finals of the league tournament for the first time since 2014.
In the SEC tournament semifinals, Kentucky defeated Tennessee with an 83-74 victory. The game was won by the Wildcats' senior guard Rhyne Howard, who finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Contender South Carolina defeated Ole Miss with a score of 61-51. The two teams will meet again for the championship match of the SEC tournament.
"I think we have a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence in ourselves," Howard said on playing South Carolina. "So just stay tuned. It's gonna be a great one."
Indiana to face Iowa
The Big Ten final will feature the second-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes against the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana won their games against No. 1 Ohio State with a 70-62 upset. Meanwhile, Iowa defeated the No. 6 Nebraska with an 83-66 to advance in the tournament.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have won the Big Ten tournament three times since 1997. The Indiana Hoosiers have only played in the final once since 2002, where they defeated Penn State.
Utah to face Stanford
After joining the league in 2011, the Utah Utes became the first team to reach the conference finals. They earned their first winning record in the league at 8-7 following their victory over No. 3 Washington State and No. 2 Oregon.
The Stanford Cardinal are the only Power 5 team that went undefeated in the conference season. They will play for the 15th title on Sunday against Utah.