Womens Hoops

NCAAW: Iowa, LSU meet in national title rematch for trip to Final Four

NCAAW: Iowa, LSU meet in national title rematch for trip to Final Four

Yeah, you know watch to what on Monday. The basketball gods have blessed us with what has the chance to become one of the most memorable days in the history of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

It begins with the game all wanted to see when the brackets were revealed: a rematch of last year’s national championship game. No. 1-seed Iowa and No. 3-seed LSU meet with a return berth to the Final Four on the line (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). Then, two of the game’s brightest stars—UConn’s Paige Bueckers and USC’s JuJu Watkins—will seek to carry their teams to the Final Four when the No. 3-seed Huskies take on the No. 1-seed Trojans (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

While there are tons of reasons to watch, here are a few things to watch more closely on Monday night:

Sophomore stars will be key to championship rematch

In last year’s national championship game, an outlier shooting performance from an unheralded hero propelled LSU past Iowa and to the title, with now-graduated guard Jasmine Carson coming off the bench to go 5-for-6 from 3 and score a team-high 22 points. As a team, the Lady Tigers shot almost 65 percent from behind the arc, when, for the regular season, the team shot under 35 percent on low volume. It resulted in a 102-85 rout, and the program’s first national championship.

On Monday night, it’s unlikely No. 3-seed LSU will enjoy such a shooting edge. But, the Lady Tigers still enter the rematch with distinct advantages; LSU can overwhelm Iowa with a combination of size, athleticism and skill. And while junior forward Angel Reese often receives the most attention, it is sophomore guard Flau’jae Johnson who best embodies LSU’s upper hand, especially in a matchup against an Iowa team that seeks to win with precise, quick-decision play.

Johnson can disrupt all of the Hawkeyes’ designs. Throughout the tournament, she has provided the fuel needed to get the Lady Tigers firing on all cylinders, igniting them out of lackluster stretches and sparking shows of dominance. And when the lights get brighter, Johnson gets better. She might have turned in the best game of her career in the Sweet 16, leading LSU with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Expect her eagerly to accept the challenge of defending Iowa senior guard Caitlin Clark on one end, while fearlessly attacking the Hawkeye defense on the other end, using her deep bag of crafty moves and tough shotmaking to crack any junk defenses Iowa attempts to conjure.

Clark’s ability to escape…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Swish Appeal – All Posts…