UConn outlasts Stanford in Final Four
Today is the day. The 2022 Final Four be underway this evening from Minneapolis. No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 UConn will be the second game of the night at 9:30 p.m. ET. Here are some of the key matchups to watch during the duel between the Cardinal and Huskies.1. Geno Auriemma vs. Tara VanDerveer
Tonight’s game will feature a legendary coaching matchup. Tara VanDerveer and Geno Auriemma are two of the premier coaches in the NCAA. Both have over 1,000 wins each and combined for 37 Final Four appearances.
The last time these two met in a Final Four was in 2014 when UConn won 75-56. Since 2012, the two have only played one another five times with Geno’s squad getting the best of Tara’s in all but one.
This will be Auriemma’s 14th consecutive trip to a Final Four and 22nd overall. In his career at UConn, he is 11-10 in those matchups. The Huskies have not been able to reach the championship game in the last four trips to the national semifinals.
Coming off a national championship last season, this will be VanDerveer’s second straight Final Four. She reached this round of the tournament now 14 times with a record of 5-8.2. Paige Bueckers vs. Anna Wilson
Stanford’s Anna Wilson has been tasked with some of the more difficult guard matchups on defense this tournament. In her most recent challenge against Texas, she was consistently guarding Joanne Allen-Taylor and Rori Harmon.
Tonight, she’ll be tasked with defending UConn’s Paige Bueckers. After returning from injury before the tournament, she’s had to slowly work herself back. Now reaching over 24 minutes in each round so far, and double-digit points in three of four rounds. She is starting to look like her old self once again.3. Stanford’s length vs. UConn’s forwards
With the loss of Dorka Juhasz due to dislocating and fracturing her wrist in the Elite Eight, UConn will be down to two key forwards the rest of the way this season. Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Aaliyah Edwards will continue to handle the Huskies’ frontcourt duties.
They’ll be going up against a lengthy Stanford roster that features Cameron Brink (6’4”) and Francesca Belibi (6’1”) part of its frontcourt. Stanfords guards will also have some height on UConn. Lexi and Lacie Hull along with Haley Jones all stand at 6’1”.
Part of this matchup will be controlling the boards. Stanford has two players averaging over seven rebounds per game: Brink (8.1) and Haley Jones (7.8). UConn has just Olivia Nelson-Ododa (7.5). On average, Stanford outrebounds their opponents 9.6 per game, while UConn sits at 7.3 on rebounding margin.