March S[imulation]adness: Final Four sets up elite matchups

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The best four regular season teams head to New Orleans

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When each region concluded, the nets cut down, the quarter of teams heading to New Orleans, the NCAA selection committee would have been well within its rights to celebrate its own prowess as well.

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All four number one seeds are New Orleans-bound, after some classic games produced a Final Four of Oregon, Maryland, South Carolina and Baylor.

In Greenville, UCLA just had no answer for the precocious freshman, Aliyah Boston, who scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Gamecocks’ 78-69 win over the Bruins, a tight game amid a partisan South Carolina crowd.

In Fort Wayne, Brenda Frese and the Terrapins extended their win streak to 21 in a tense 67-64 win over Louisville. Kaila Charles scored 19 points, but the real MVP was the Maryland defense, which has provided Maryland with a cushion against any of its own offensive struggles.

Out in Portland, Sabrina Ionescu added yet another triple-double to her total, with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in a 79-58 rout of Connecticut. The remarkable Huskies’ streak of Final Fours ends at 12. (Paige Bueckers will have something to say about starting the next one.)

And in Dallas, the Baylor Lady Bears got 22 points and 13 rebounds from Lauren Cox in ending the unexpectedly great season of Northwestern, 78-64.

We’ll have previews of both Final Four matchups in the coming days.

Elite Eight Results

1 South Carolina 78, 2 UCLA 69 Aliyah Boston 20 points, 12 rebs

1 Maryland 67, Louisville 64 Kaila Charles 19 points

1 Oregon 79, Connecticut 58 Sabrina Ionescu 21 points, 13 rebs, 11 asts

1 Baylor 78, 3 Northwestern 64 Lauren Cox 22 pts, 13 rebs


1 South Carolina vs. 1 Maryland

1 Oregon vs. 1 Baylor

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