Every little thing that you must know in regards to the inaugural ladies’s Battle 4 Atlantis

Every little thing that you must know in regards to the inaugural ladies’s Battle 4 Atlantis

9:30 AM ETCharlie CremeESPN.com CloseCharlie Creme initiatives the ladies’s NCAA event bracket for ESPN.com.The controversy between whether or not No. 1 South Carolina or No. 2 UConn is the higher crew may get a solution on Monday.Among the finest stretches of the ladies’s school basketball season returns as tournaments on both facet of the Thanksgiving vacation arrive. The occasions took a one-year hiatus final season because of the restructured schedule and COVID-19 pandemic. The video games is perhaps performed in smaller arenas linked to resorts alongside seashores draped in solar and sand, however additionally they function a number of the greatest résumé-building video games of the season.This yr, the inaugural ladies’s Battle 4 Atlantis within the Bahamas solely enhances the standard of the nonconference schedule. The occasion, which suggestions off Saturday and options three top-10 groups, may present the primary of two regular-season matchups between the Gamecocks and Huskies. If each win their first two video games of the eight-team, 12-game event, South Carolina and UConn may collide within the event championship on Monday (midday ET, ESPN2).Each groups made information earlier this week, because the Gamecocks misplaced star freshman Raven Johnson for the season because of a knee harm, and freshman guard Saylor Poffenbarger introduced she was transferring from UConn.What can we count on from the nation’s prime two ranked groups in Paradise Island? What different storylines are we watching within the Battle 4 Atlantis, the place groups will play three video games in three days? And which different tournaments are we keeping track of? We break down one of the doubtlessly impactful weeks of the common season.play0:26Clemson’s Kiara Lewis tries to pivot round Laeticia Amihere, nevertheless it would not work as Amiheres ends the shout out of bounds.South Carolina is 3-0, with a top-five win over NC State. What have we discovered already in regards to the Gamecocks this season?Nothing new — and there’s nothing improper with that. The Gamecocks are nearly as good as — or higher than — most of us thought they might be and are enjoying the identical means with the identical personnel that narrowly missed a spot within the 2021 NCAA championship sport.2 RelatedSouth Carolina’s success begins with its relentless and bodily protection, and that has been on full show, holding the Wolfpack to 57 factors and each South Dakota and Clemson to 45 or fewer. Guards Zia Cooke (13.3 PPG) and Destanni Henderson (15.0 PPG) have been the catalysts on offense, however the Gamecocks are the identical balanced, unselfish crew that received 26 video games final season.Whereas South Carolina’s reserves noticed extra minutes in Wednesday’s blowout of Clemson, coach Daybreak Staley hasn’t but dipped utterly into the wonderful depth of expertise that received a lot consideration within the preseason. The rotation via the primary two video games was primarily eight gamers earlier than sophomore Eniya Russell and freshman Bree Corridor performed double-digit minutes in opposition to the Tigers.Syracuse switch Kamilla Cardoso is the Gamecocks’ solely new participant to get vital minutes previous to Wednesday. The highest-rated recruiting class, with 4 highschool All-People, did not play a lot in opposition to NC State or South Dakota. That deep bench may show useful because the season progresses, however with out Johnson, and contemplating as properly all of the returnees have performed so far, it may not have the influence many people anticipated.UConn has solely performed one sport, however what have we discovered in regards to the Huskies up to now?After Sunday’s victory over Arkansas, Geno Auriemma mentioned his crew had executed “extra good issues than not” however “the dangerous issues have been actually dangerous.” Whereas that feels extra like a basic Geno over-exaggeration than truth, the Huskies confirmed some flashes of brilliance, in addition to some regarding indicators of weak point.UConn and Paige Bueckers, left, and South Carolina and Zia Cooke may meet Monday in a 1-2 showdown on ESPN2. David Butler II-USA TODAY SportsAfter capturing simply as soon as within the first quarter, sophomore Paige Bueckers lit up the XL Middle, scoring a career-high 34 factors, in addition to notching six rebounds, 4 assists and two blocks. She will be able to do every little thing her crew wants her to — and extra. Christyn Williams and Evina Westbrook have been pivotal early, setting the tone and scoring 15 of the Huskies’ first 19 factors, and finally mixed with Bueckers for 67 of the crew’s 95 factors. Williams’ and Westbrook’s senior management and expertise look to be invaluable.Throughout a halftime interview Sunday on SNY, Auriemma mentioned his crew’s half-court protection was “pathetic” and “received misplaced on the way in which” from Storrs to Hartford. The Huskies’ protection wasn’t fairly in an uncharacteristically sloppy effort. Arkansas wasn’t having an amazing capturing night time, however the Razorbacks continued to attract fouls and discover alternatives on the line. Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Aaliyah Edwards have been every referred to as for 4, and the Huskies had 19 complete fouls. Will probably be telling to see what enhancements or adjustments are made in Saturday’s matchup with Minnesota.Arkansas scored 80 factors Sunday, essentially the most UConn has given up in a season opener since 1995. Per ESPN Stats & Information, if the Huskies enable greater than 57 factors in opposition to the Gophers, it might be essentially the most they’ve given up of their first two video games of a season since 2000. — D’Arcy MaineWho else must step up to ensure that the Huskies to win three video games in three days?On paper, UConn has some critical depth. Auriemma performed 9 gamers within the first quarter on Sunday, however regardless of the spectacular résumé and potential on the roster, Bueckers, Williams and Westbrook greater than carried the burden all through the length of the sport. Auriemma appeared extra optimistic, nevertheless, that others would step up throughout the event.”Anytime you play three video games in three days it isn’t the best factor on this planet, however that is the place you hope that your depth can form of show you how to out,” he mentioned Sunday. “We did not get to see loads of our depth immediately. However hopefully subsequent week we’ll.”ESPN Stats & InformationAuriemma mentioned protection can be the precedence in follow forward of the event — and threw in some “I simply do not assume good gamers foul” shade. One would think about each Nelson-Ododa and Edwards will probably be actively engaged on avoiding the whistle and having the ability to have a better influence on the sport.Dorka Juhasz, a graduate switch from Ohio State, seemed sturdy in exhibition play however struggled at occasions in opposition to Arkansas. She had simply three factors and three rebounds in 12 minutes and appeared timid. Within the preseason, Auriemma mentioned she “could possibly be the distinction that places us into that different stage,” and UConn wants her to emerge because the dominant submit participant he anticipates she might be.And, after all, there’s Azzi Fudd, the nation’s No. 1 recruit for 2021. There was a palpable buzz from the gang when the newest inheritor obvious took the courtroom for the primary time, however her debut was largely unmemorable as she had seven factors and three rebounds. The earlier she will be able to discover her groove, the higher for UConn. — D’Arcy MaineWhat are the important thing matchups and storylines we needs to be watching in Saturday’s Battle 4 Atlantis openers?Minnesota vs. UConn, midday ET: As D’Arcy identified, Nelson-Ododa, Edwards and Juhasz seemed out of types at occasions in opposition to Arkansas. If the Huskies are going to be prepared for South Carolina within the championship sport, all three must discover a rhythm in opposition to the Gophers, who’ve received three straight, together with a highway win at Arizona State, after shedding to Jacksonville at house within the season opener. In opposition to potential second-round opponents, UConn is 32-0 all-time vs. South Florida, and has received 25 consecutive video games vs. Syracuse.No. 23 South Florida vs. Syracuse, 2:30 p.m. ET: A struggling Bulls offense is perhaps catching the Syracuse zone on the proper time because the Orange nonetheless work to include 9 new gamers below appearing head coach Vonn Learn. However South Florida has allowed simply 48.3 PPG via three video games this season.ESPN Stats & InformationNo. 9 Oregon vs. Oklahoma, 5 p.m. ET: The Sooners backcourt is skilled and enjoying properly. Oregon’s is younger and hobbled with some accidents. This could possibly be an ideal alternative for Oklahoma — which scored a giant highway win at South Dakota final week — to seize a win that can look even higher trying again from March. Oklahoma has misplaced 15 consecutive video games in opposition to top-10 opponents.South Carolina vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m. ET: The Bulls’ Dyaisha Truthful was the fifth-leading scorer within the nation a yr in the past (24.1 PPG). It needs to be attention-grabbing to see what sort of problem she poses for Cooke and Henderson. The Gamecocks have received 39 consecutive video games in opposition to unranked opponents.If it is a South Carolina-UConn ultimate, what are the X elements in what can be their fourth 1-2 matchup?As deep as UConn appears to be, the Huskies wanted a giant scoring effort from Bueckers to maintain a snug distance from Arkansas of their opener. With out her 34 factors and 15-for-19 capturing, that consequence might need been in jeopardy. South Carolina has the flexibility to run various completely different fashion defenders at Bueckers that would disrupt the regular rhythm with which she performs. It did not work a lot final season, when Bueckers scored 31 factors in opposition to the Gamecocks in UConn’s win in Storrs. How South Carolina adjustments its defensive method to Bueckers could possibly be an X issue.Which crew will get the higher hand within the submit may also be essential, significantly how lively UConn’s Edwards might be in opposition to the size of Aliyah Boston (3.3 BPG) and Cardoso (1.7 BPG). Edwards has the athleticism to get to the basket cleanly in opposition to these two excellent shot blockers, but when she performs tentatively as she did at occasions in opposition to Arkansas, South Carolina may personal the inside.The Gamecocks shot 8-of-19 from past the arc Wednesday in opposition to Clemson however have typically been a considerably reluctant 3-point capturing crew (ranked 332nd in 3-point fee final season). UConn struggled from deep in opposition to the Razorbacks (5-of-18). If both crew can get scorching from downtown will probably be a giant benefit. That makes gamers like UConn’s Westbrook and South Carolina’s Future Littleton doubtlessly crucial to the result. Each groups additionally discover a lot of their long-range capturing success in transition, so whichever features management of the tempo may also seemingly be the crew that shoots it the very best.UConn is 9-1 all-time in opposition to South Carolina. The Gamecocks’ lone win within the sequence got here in February 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina.Schedule and find out how to watchThe first two rounds of the Battle 4 Atlantis will probably be streamed on FloHoops. Monday’s championship sport (midday ET, ESPN2/ESPN App) and third-place sport (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU/ESPN App) will air on ESPN Networks.Within the semifinals, the UConn-Minnesota winner performs the South Florida-Syracuse winner at midday ET on Sunday. The Oregon-Oklahoma winner faces the South Carolina-Buffalo winner at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.What different vacation tournaments ought to we be watching?Loads of different prime groups additionally will probably be making their approach to trip locations.The Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship in Nassau, Bahamas, begins on Thanksgiving Day with a doubleheader that would make a Closing 4 jealous. NC State vs. Maryland will probably be adopted by *Indiana in opposition to Stanford. All 4 are contenders for a No. 1 seed within the NCAA event, so these video games will function main resume constructing blocks for the winners. The Terps and Cardinal may also play on Saturday, giving every the potential for 2 top-five wins in three days. If Stanford can pull off the sweep and get a win over South Florida in between, that loss to Texas final weekend will not loom so giant. In all, seven of the eight groups on this occasion made the NCAA event final season. All seven of the video games in Nassau will also be seen on FloHoops.The very best matchup on the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam is the final one late on Saturday. It options Northwestern in opposition to Texas A&M, a terrific matchup of under-the-radar guards. The Aggies’ Jordan Nixon is coming off a 25-point efficiency in opposition to DePaul. Veronica Burton of the Wildcats is the two-time Large Ten Defensive Participant of the Yr and is averaging 21 PPG, 6.5 APG, and three.5 SPG up to now this season. All of the video games from the Paradise Jam might be discovered on the ESPN App.One other marquee particular person matchup comes Friday within the ultimate sport of the Preseason WNIT. NC State and All-American Elissa Cunane, a 6-foot-5 heart, faces off in opposition to 6-6 Aoyka Lee of Kansas State. The Wildcats are off to a 4-0 begin thanks largely to Lee, who’s averaging 29.3 factors and 11.0 rebounds. Previous-school submit matchups like this do not come round typically anymore. It may be seen on the ESPN App (ACC Community).The St. Pete Showcase in St. Petersburg, Florida, will not get as a lot consideration, however could possibly be a giant alternative for Florida State. The Seminoles play BYU on Thanksgiving Day and will meet West Virginia two days later. If Florida State hopes to earn a top-four seed within the NCAA event and host opening spherical video games, these two wins can be crucial. These video games can be found on FloHoops.

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