March Madness: UConn, Louisville round out women’s Final Four

First Thoughts on the Final Four

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Stanford’s Haley Jones, Louisville Cardinals team celebration and UConn’s Paige Bueckers

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer has instructed junior guard Haley Jones a lot over the her first three seasons with the Cardinal. So it was only fitting that over the weekend, Jones elected to return the favor. Playing the role of Dance Teacher Jones, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, with help from fifth-year guard Jordan Hamilton and freshman forward Kiki Iriafen, taught VanDerveer the “Electric Slide” in preparation for a celebratory performance after their Elite Eight matchup with Texas.

“She was very receptive,” Jones said of her coach. “She was great to constructive criticism.”

After one full team rehearsal—making it two practice sessions for VanDerveer—the Cardinal broke out their moves Sunday night. They had reason to celebrate, of course, having punched a ticket to their second consecutive Final Four after defeating the Longhorns, 59–50.

The reigning national champions will face off against UConn on Friday night, while No. 1 overall seed South Carolina will meet Louisville in the other national semifinal. But before any of these teams arrive in Minneapolis, here’s one early thought for each program still vying for a title.

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