|2021 NCAA Tournament Championship Game|
|National Championship Game|
|Date||April 4, 2021|
|Location||San Antonio, Texas|
|MVP||Haley Jones, Stanford|
|Favorite||Stanford by 7.5|
|National anthem||Spensha Baker|
|United States TV coverage|
The 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Game was the final game of the 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, when the Stanford Cardinal defeated the Arizona Wildcats to become the national champions for the 2020–21 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The game was played on April 4, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The 2021 championship game was the seventh to feature two teams from the same conference.Stanford and Arizona met twice during the regular season, with Stanford winning both meetings. The Cardinal recorded an 81–74 win on the road on January 1, 2021, and defeated the Wildcats again at home, 62–48, on February 22, 2021. This was the 86th meeting all-time between the teams, with Stanford leading the series 71–14. Regardless of the game's result, the winner would have been the first national champion from the Pac-12 Conference since Stanford in 1992.
Arizona, led by fifth-year head coach Adia Barnes, finished the regular season with a record of 15–4, including wins over three ranked teams.The Wildats recorded a 13–4 conference record, earning them the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, where they defeated No. 7 seed Washington State in the quarterfinals but fell in the semifinals to No. 3 seed UCLA. They were awarded an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, and received the No. 3 seed in the Mercado Regional. In the tournament, they defeated No. 14 seed Stony Brook and No. 11 seed BYU to reach their second Sweet Sixteen. With their next win, against No. 2 seed Texas A&M, Arizona advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history, where they then defeated No. 4 seed Indiana to reach the Final Four.
In the Final Four, Arizona led wire-to-wire in an upset of No. 1 UConn to reach their first national championship.
Stanford, led by 35th-year head coach Tara VanDerveer, finished the regular season with a record of 22–2, including wins over five ranked teams.The Cardinal recorded a 19–2 conference record, earning them the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, where they defeated No. 8 seed USC, No. 5 seed Oregon State, and No. 3 seed UCLA en route to their 14th Pac-12 tournament championship. By virtue of winning their conference tournament, they were awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they received a No. 1 seed and were placed into the Alamo Regional. In the tournament, they defeated No. 16 seed Utah Valley and No. 8 seed Oklahoma State to reach the Sweet Sixteen for the 27th time in program history. The Cardinal then defeated No. 5 seed Missouri State and No. 2 seed Louisville to win the Alamo Regional and reach their 14th Final Four.
In the Final Four, Stanford defeated fellow No. 1 seed South Carolina by one point to reach their fifth title game;they entered seeking their third national championship.
|Trinity Baptiste||F||Cameron Brink|
|Sam Thomas||F||G||Anna Wilson|
|Cate Reese||F||G||Lexie Hull|
|Aari McDonald||G||Haley Jones|
|Bendu Yeaney||G||Kiana Williams|
Shortly after tip-off, Stanford quickly took control of the contest. Both teams led briefly early in the first quarter before Lexie Hull took the lead for the Cardinal with 7:57 to play; they would retain that lead for the remainder of the quarter, going on a 12–0 run and forcing the Wildcats to take an early timeout. The teams then traded two-point field goals before Trinity Baptiste scored a three-pointer to cut the Cardinal lead to 16–8; those points would be the last of the quarter.
Arizona started the second quarter well, scoring twice to cut the lead to four before the teams traded shots. The Wildcats went on a run of their own from the late first quarter to the start of the second, a 12–2 span that put Arizona down by just one. Ashten Prechtel's layup with 6:21 on the clock put an end to the run, but a pair of free throws by Shaina Pellington shortly thereafter cut the Cardinal lead to one Some moments later, a Pellington layup gave Arizona their first lead since the game was 3–2 in the first quarter. From there, the remainder of the half was controlled by the Cardinal, as they sparked an 11–0 run that would put them up by ten before an Arizona layup and free throw cut the deficit to seven, where it remained until the buzzer.
The teams played evenly for much of the third quarter; entering up seven, Stanford traded baskets with Arizona before a pair of layups put the Cardinal up by eleven. Aari McDonald quickly made a three-pointer and a pair of free throws to cut the lead to six, but Stanford responded with a couple of two-point baskets of their own to reestablish their double-digit lead. Over the remainder of the quarter, Arizona forced several turnovers on a 9–2 run to bring the margin down to three.
Stanford started the final quarter strongly, making three field goals in the first three minutes to extend their lead to eight. Aari McDonald made a three-pointer, to which Cameron Brink responded with a dunk, before Arizona's offense converted several shots to cut the margin to a single point. With 2:24 to play, Stanford's Haley Jones completed an three-point play to make the score 54–50. From there, the only points scored were three free throws by Aari McDonald; despite a turnover on a shot clock violation by Stanford with six seconds left, the Wildcats were unable to overcome the one-point deficit, giving Stanford their third national title and first since 1992.With Tara VanDerveer having been Stanford's head coach since 1985 (taking the 1995–96 season off to coach the US women's national team at the 1996 Summer Olympics) and thus having coached all three of the program's national title teams, the 29-year gap between her most recent national titles is the longest in NCAA Division I history for a head coach in any sport.
April 4, 2021
5:00 pm CDT
|No. 3 Arizona Wildcats 53, No. 1 Stanford Cardinal54|
|Scoring by quarter: 8–16, 16–15, 16–12, 13–11|
| Pts: A. McDonald – 22|
Rebs: S. Thomas, S. Pellington – 7
Asts: T. Baptiste, A. McDonald – 2
|Pts: H. Jones – 17|
Rebs: Le. Hull – 10
Asts: K. Williams, A. Wilson, A. Prechtel – 3
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Referees: Cheryl Flores, Maj Forsberg, Felicia Grinter
The Championship Game was televised in the United States by ESPN.
The Arizona Wildcats are the athletic teams that represent the University of Arizona, located in Tucson. The Wildcats compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Arizona's chief intercollegiate rival is the Arizona State Sun Devils, and the two universities' athletic departments compete against each other in multiple sports via the State Farm Territorial Cup Series.
The 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2007–08 basketball season. The 70th annual edition of the tournament began on March 18, 2008, and concluded on April 7 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament in which 65 schools competed to determine the national champion of the men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2008–09 basketball season. The tournament began on March 17, 2009, and concluded with the championship game on April 6 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, where the University of North Carolina defeated Michigan State to become the champion. The 2009 tournament marked the first time for a Final Four having a minimum seating capacity of 70,000 and by having most of the tournament in the February Sweeps of the Nielsen Ratings due to the digital television transition in the United States on June 12, 2009, which also made this the last NCAA Basketball Tournament, in all three divisions, to air in analog television. The University of Detroit Mercy hosted the Final Four, which was the 71st edition.
The 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament started Saturday, March 20, 2010 and was completed on Tuesday, April 6 of the same year with University of Connecticut Huskies defending their title from the previous year by defeating Stanford, 53–47.
The Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. They compete in the Pac-12 Conference of NCAA Division I and was most recently coached by Sean Miller.
Sean Edward Miller is a American men's college basketball coach. He was most recently the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats. Miller is a three-time gold medalist as a member of USA Basketball: once as a player, once as an assistant coach, and once as head coach. Miller has won five league Coach of the Year Awards: once in the A10, three in the Pac-12, and once as USA Basketball Coach of the Year.
The 2016 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament was played between March and April 2016, with the Final Four played April 3 & 5. The regional locations were four neutral sites: Bridgeport, Connecticut, Dallas, Lexington, Kentucky, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Final Four was played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Connecticut won their fourth consecutive national championship, defeating Syracuse 82–51.
The 2011 Pacific Life Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament was played on March 9–11, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The tournament champion became the NCAA Tournament automatic qualifier from the conference. The Arizona Wildcats, finish the season atop of the conference with a 14–4 record, and the UCLA Bruins were the two top-seed teams in the tournament. The third-seeded Washington Huskies won the tournament. This was the final tournament ever held under the "Pac-10" name, as Colorado and Utah joined the conference in July, making it the "Pac-12."
The 2017 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament was played from Friday, March 17 to Sunday, April 2, 2017, with the Final Four played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on March 31 and April 2. This was the first time that the women's Final Four was played in Dallas and the first time since 2002 that the Final Four games were played on Friday and Sunday, rather than Sunday and Tuesday. South Carolina defeated Mississippi State to win the championship.
The 2015–16 Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team represented the University of Arizona during the 2015–16 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The team was led by seventh-year head coach Sean Miller, and played their home games at McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. They finished the season 25–9, 12–6 in Pac-12 play to tie with California for third place. They defeated Colorado in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament to advance to the semifinals where they lost to Oregon. Arizona received an at-large bid to the fourth-straight NCAA Tournament, the program's 31st appearance, as a 6-seed in the South Region. They lost in the first round to Wichita State.
The Arizona Wildcats women's basketball program is the official women's basketball program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Basketball is one of eleven women's sports at the University of Arizona. The team is a Division I member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Pac-12 athletic conference. The team's home venue is the McKale Center, which seats 14,545 fans. The official team colors are cardinal red and navy blue. The Wildcats have qualified for eight NCAA Tournaments.
The 2017–18 Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team represented the University of Arizona during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The team was led by ninth-year head coach Sean Miller, and played their home games at McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona as members in the Pac-12 Conference. They finished the season 27–8, 14–4 in Pac-12 play to win the regular season championship. They defeated Colorado, UCLA, and USC to win the Pac-12 Tournament. As a result, they received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where, as a No. 4 seed, they were upset in the First Round by No. 13 seed Buffalo.
The 2018–19 UCLA Bruins women's basketball team represented the University of California, Los Angeles during the 2018–19 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Bruins, led by eighth year head coach Cori Close, played their home games at the Pauley Pavilion. They were members of the Pac-12 Conference.
The 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament was a tournament with 64 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of women's NCAA Division I college basketball. Hosted at venues in the state of Texas, the 39th annual edition of the tournament began on March 21, 2021, and concluded with the championship game on April 4, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, with the University of the Incarnate Word, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and San Antonio Sports serving as hosts.
The 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game was the final game of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
Jonathan Anh Juzang is an American college basketball player for the UCLA Bruins of the Pac-12 Conference. He began his college career playing one season with the Kentucky Wildcats before transferring to UCLA. As a sophomore with the Bruins in 2021, he earned second-team all-conference honors. Juzang was also named to the Final Four all-tournament team and won MOP of the East Regional during the tournament.
The 2020–21 UCLA Bruins men's basketball team represented the University of California, Los Angeles during the 2020–21 NCAA Division I season. The Bruins were led by second-year head coach Mick Cronin and played their home games at Pauley Pavilion as members of the Pac-12 Conference. Tyger Campbell was named first-team all-conference, while Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang were selected second-team All-Pac-12. Jaquez also earned Pac-12 All-Defensive team honors.
The 2020–21 Stanford Cardinal women's basketball team represents Stanford University during the 2020–21 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Cardinal, led by thirty-fifth year head coach Tara VanDerveer, play their home games at the Maples Pavilion and are members of the Pac-12 Conference. As a result of Santa Clara County, California health orders, the Cardinal were unable to play in Palo Alto for much of their season, moving home games to Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz. They finished the season 31–2, 19–2 in Pac-12 play to finish in first place. They won the Pac-12 Women's Tournament by defeating UCLA and earns an automatic the NCAA Women's Tournament where they defeated Utah Valley and Oklahoma State in the first and second rounds, Missouri State in the Sweet Sixteen, Louisville in the Elite Eight, South Carolina in the Final Four and Arizona in the National Championship Game to win its third NCAA title for the first time since 1992. Haley Jones was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
The 2020–21 Arizona Wildcats women's basketball team represented University of Arizona during the 2020–21 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Wildcats, led by fifth-year head coach Adia Barnes, play their home games at the McKale Center and are members of the Pac-12 Conference. The Wildcats finished the season second behind Stanford in the Pacific-12 conference with a 13–4 record. They advanced to the semifinals of the 2021 Pac-12 Women's Tournament where they lost to no. 9 ranked UCLA and As a no. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament where they defeated Stony Brook and BYU in the first and second rounds, no. 4 ranked Texas A&M in the Sweet Sixteen, they won their region with a win over no. 12 ranked Indiana in the first-ever Elite Eight, knocked off no. 1 ranked UConn in the first-ever Final Four. Arizona reached the first-ever National Championship game, losing to no. 2 ranked Stanford 54–53 and finishing the season with a 21–6 record.
Anna Wilson is a collegiate basketball player for the Stanford Cardinal of the Pac-12 Conference. In 2014, Wilson won a gold medal as a part of team USA at the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship for Women. Wilson, who graduated high school in 2016, attended Stanford University, where, as a fifth-year senior, she won the 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Game. She is the sister of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.