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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Roundtable: How far will the Arizona WBB team go in the NCAA Tournament?

Nathanial Stenchever

Cate Reese, a forward on the Arizona women’s basketball team, is back in action after missing time due to dislocating her shoulder. Reese looks ready to help her team through the March Madness bracket on March 18 in McKale Center.

Asher Bookspan: Sweet Sixteen 

The Arizona women’s basketball team has a home-court advantage in the first and second rounds of the tournament and will face the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Sam Thomas’s sister Jade Thomas on Saturday. The Wildcats have struggled with the absence of Cate Reese. Head coach Adia Barnes said Reese is ready to go for the tournament which is a huge boost offensively for Arizona. Arizona most likely learned some lessons after faltering at the end of the regular season and losing their first game at the Pac-12 Tournament. I think that with Reese back, it will open the floor up for Thomas, Shaina Pellington, Lauren Ware and Bendu Yeaney and lighten the load offensively for them. They should beat UNLV and I have them beating the University of North Carolina to reach a match-up with the University of South Carolina. I think that if Arizona gets back to form, they could make a deep run in the tournament but could fall in the Sweet Sixteen if they match up against South Carolina.

Ari Koslow: Sweet Sixteen

The Wildcats aren’t exactly entering the NCAA Tournament with ideal momentum coming off the early exit in the Pac-12 Tournament, but the home-court advantage will be huge for the Wildcats. I believe Arizona will defeat UNLV in round one and North Carolina in round two in front of huge crowds at home before falling to No. 1 seed South Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen. 

Jake Faigus: Sweet Sixteen

I think the women’s team sets itself up for a Sweet Sixteen run. With the return of Reese, Arizona should be a much different team. I expect Arizona to get past UNLV and Thomas’ sister, and then Arizona should get by North Carolina. The North Carolina game is going to be amazing and I expect Arizona to win a close game. If chalk holds, Arizona will go up against South Carolina. Both Adia Barnes and Dawn Staley are good friends, but South Carolina will be too much for Arizona, especially inside with Aliyah Boston being able to dominate down low for the Gamecocks. A Sweet Sixteen run for the Wildcats would be a great follow-up to the magical run they went on last year and would continue to set the stage for the work Adia Barnes is doing in Tucson.

RELATED: Roundtable- How far will the Arizona men’s basketball team go in the NCAA Tournament 

CJ Lala: Loss in the second round 

The Arizona women’s basketball team was able to secure a four-seed in the Greensboro region and will host their first two rounds. I expect they will make it out of their first-round match-up with UNLV and in the second round I think they will match up with North Carolina. This is where I expect their run will come to an end. The Wildcats have not found a full offensive replacement for Aari McDonald. Their lack of constant scoring will be their downfall and the Tar Heels will advance to the Sweet Sixteen. 

Jayson Dayee: Final Four 

I also believe this year the Arizona women’s basketball team will make it to the Final Four and then lose to an extremely talented Baylor team. This women’s team throughout the season has shown great improvement and consistency. They are led in scoring by Cate Reese, who is averaging 14.6 ppg on the season. This team however did lose to the University of Colorado Boulder in the Pac-12 Tournament 45-43. The Wildcats made it a very competitive game which is something they always do but simply fell short. I believe the team will be fired up to return to the court as they are also hosting the first and second rounds of the Women’s Basketball Tournament this year. The team has motivation all around them along with how talented they are. I can see a deep run this year before I believe it comes to an end at the Final Four, which would still be an incredible season for the team. They would have back-to-back Final Four seasons which is something that the men’s team could not even say they have done.

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