This is one championship game that doesn’t need much hype. South Carolina is currently the top team in the country and will face the 11-time national champions from Connecticut.
UConn is 11-0 in national championship games but this will be one of the few times that the Huskies will enter the game as the underdog. UConn had the services of the National Player of the Year the last time it played for the national title but that won’t be the case on Sunday.
It will be the first time that the last two Naismith National Players of the Year will be on opposing teams in the championship game as UConn’s Paige Buecker was the 2021 winner and South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston swept the 2022 award.
Based on how the semifinals played out and the past histories of the two programs, don’t be looking for a high-scoring title game.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and WNCAAB Odds for UConn vs South Carolina. We have plenty of predictions for you to consider.
UConn’s Frontcourt Tandem Needs To Come Up Big
The first thing that comes to mind when this year’s UConn women’s basketball team is mentioned is Paige Bueckers, who is playing in her home state of Minnesota, and her fellow backcourt mates. Christyn Williams has scored in double figures in all five NCAA tournament games and freshman Azzi Fudd is as pure of a shooter as the program has had since Maya Moore.
However, the championship hopes will likely ride on the play of post players Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Aaliyah Edwards.
The duo combined for 17 points and 18 rebounds as the Huskies held up better than expected against a taller Stanford frontline. It was more impressive considering that UConn was playing without the injured 6-foot-5 Dorka Juhasz.
— NCAA Women's Final Four (@WFinalFour) April 2, 2022
With all due respect to Cameron Brink, Haley Jones and the rest of Stanford’s frontcourt players, the degree of difficulty is going up. The UConn duo will need to try to slow Boston, who had 22 points and 15 rebounds when the teams met during the regular season.
UConn outrebounded Stanford 46-37 and that played a huge role in the Huskies being able to advance to their first title game since 2016. This is one of the few times when the March Madness predictions aren’t in UConn’s favor.
The Huskies won’t stop Boston and the other South Carolina post players but if they can hold their own, perhaps Bueckers, Williams, Fudd and Evina Westbrook, who had three of UConn’s five 3-pointers in the semifinals, can make enough shots from the perimeter to give thems a chance.
UConn is the underdog according to the Las Vegas odds in the second consecutive Final Four game.
Boston on a Big-Time Roll
There have been some tournament runs where a player takes the team on her back to lead them to the national title.
Former UConn great Diana Taurasi did it twice and Sheryl Swoopes’ run through the 1993 tournament might still be the greatest of all time. Now it is Boston’s turn to try to accomplish that feat.
Boston wasn’t asked to score much in the first two games of the tournament but in the last three all the 6-foot-5 junior has done is average 23.3 points on 71% shooting to go with 15.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
South Carolina doesn’t lack for talent as the Gamecocks signed four of the top 11 rated players in ESPN’s Class of 2019 recruiting rankings and added Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 14 in the Class of 2021. However, everything South Carolina does runs through Boston.
The college basketball spreads had South Carolina as the team to beat heading into the season and not much has changed.
UConn vs. South Carolina Head-to-Head
UConn has won 9 of the 11 meetings with South Carolina although the Gamecocks won the most recent matchup 73-57 at the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis on November 21 as Boston led three players in double figures. Paige Bueckers had 19 points, five rebounds and seven assists for UConn.
The teams first met in 2007 with the Huskies winning the first eight showdowns, including a 95-64 win in the 2018 NCAA tournament. South Carolina’s first win in the series came at home on February 10, 2020, by a score of 70-52.
UConn vs. South Carolina Game Information
- Game: UConn (30-5) vs. South Carolina (34-2)
- Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Day/Time: Sunday, April 3, 8 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: NCAA
UConn vs. South Carolina Betting Lines
Connecticut +4 -110 +165 125½ -110o
South Carolina -4 -110 -190 125½ -110u
UConn vs. South Carolina Prediction
Those who bet online love analyzing trends and don’t believe in coincidence so the fact that UConn is back in Minneapolis can’t be overlooked.
UConn’s incredible rise to the top of the women’s college basketball world came when the Huskies took down the dominant force in the sport with a win over Tennessee in the 1995 title game played in Minneapolis. Now UConn is looking for title No. 12.
Both teams were still trying to figure some stuff out when they met in the Bahamas in November but there are some numbers to examine. South Carolina outrebounded UConn 42-25 including a 19-6 advantage on offensive rebounds. The Gamecocks also had more 3-pointers than UConn. If those things happen again, the Huskies’ perfect record in national championship games will be over.
Picking against Geno Auriemma when a championship is on the line is risky no matter what the March Madness odds might be but South Carolina causes matchup issues that make it hard to go against the Gamecocks.