Stanford held on to win its first national championship since 1992, topping Arizona, 54-53. In both Final Four games, Stanford had to survive a last-second shot. Aliyah Boston’s put-back came inches away from knocking the Cardinal out in the semis, while Aari McDonald’s championship heave likewise fell just short.
Putting it in perspective:
Stanford will return much of its core next season, while fellow Final Four squads South Carolina and UConn will reload with the nation’s two best recruiting classes.
UConn’s Paige Bueckers may have just completed the best individual freshman season in college basketball history, having won the AP, Naismith and Wooden POTY awards.
UConn may have the top recruit, but South Carolina has No. 2, 3 and 4: Raven Johnson, Saniya Rivers, and Sania Feagin.
Stanford, for their part, will need to replace their backcourt of Kiana Williams and Anna Wilson, but they’ll still have enough experience to contend for a title.
ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 10: