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Can Oregon State Shock The World?


Oregon State guard Gabriella Hanson drives during the second half against Baylor in a regional final of the women's NCAA Tournament Monday, March 28, in Dallas.

Oregon State guard Gabriella Hanson drives during the second half against Baylor in a regional final of the women’s NCAA Tournament Monday, March 28, in Dallas.

LM Otero/AP

The Oregon State women’s basketball team has been making history all season long, and last Monday night against Baylor was no different.

The Beavers edged No. 1 seed Baylor 60-57 to reach the Final Four for the first time in school history.

Next up is another history-making squad: the UConn Huskies.

UConn comes into this Final Four undefeated and determined to win their fourth straight national championship. Most are not giving the Beavers a chance against the buzz-saw that is UConn when the teams face off  Sunday in Indianapolis at 3 p.m. PST.

We look at the tale of the tape and see how these two programs match up going into their Final Four showdown.


 

Season Comparison

Oregon State: The Beavers were 32-4 and earned a No. 2 seed in the national tournament.

UConn: The Huskies didn’t have a blemish on their record, finishing undefeated at 34-0. They have also won 73 consecutive games going into Sunday’s contest.

 

Road To The Final Four

Oregon State: The Beavers defeated Troy (73-31), St. Bonaventure (69-40), DePaul (83-71) and Baylor (60-57) to punch their Final Four ticket. The Beavers also snapped Baylor’s 23-game winning streak.

UConn: The Huskies defeated Robert Morris (101-49), Duquesne (97-51), Mississippi St. (98-38), and Texas (86-65). In short, it hasn’t even been close. 

 

Queens Of The Court

Oregon State: Senior guard Jamie Weisner was named Pac-12 Player of the Year this season, an award voted on by the league’s coaches. The Clarkston, Washington, native averaged 17 points and 5 rebounds per game, while shooting a league high 47.8 percent from the field. 

UConn: Breanna Stewart may be the best college player in UConn history — men or women. Stewart was named to the Associated Press All-American team for the third time and is the favorite to win her third National Player of the Year award. She averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds a game while becoming UConn’s all-time leader in blocks, passing Huskies legend Rebecca Lobo, with 408 blocks for her career.

 

Masters Of The Clipboard

Oregon State: Scott Rueck is a program builder and big-time college programs in need of a restart may be blowing up his line this off-season. After taking over the reigns of the program in 2010, the OSU alumnus took the Beavers from nine wins in his first season, to a magical Final Four run in this his sixth season. The Beavers have improved every year under Rueck and under his coaching style, the Beavers are inching towards becoming a national powerhouse.

UConn: Hero or villain? The answer gets a little murky when discussing Geno Auriemma. But no one can argue that Auriemma is one of the best basketball coaches to ever pace the sidelines. He and his Huskies already have 10 national titles under their belt and from the very start of the 2016 campaign, Auriemma was hellbent on number 11.

 

Making History

Oregon State: It’s all gravy from here on out for the Beavers. The women already set a record for most wins in a single season (32). OSU led the nation in field goal percentage defense: their opponents shot just 31.5 percent. It’s the program’s eighth trip to the Big Dance, and third consecutive appearance. It was their first Elite Eight birth and it’s the first time the program has reached the Final Four.

UConn: The Huskies aren’t just going for school history, they are trying to rewrite college sports history. If the Huskies get past OSU on Sunday and go on to win the national championship, the senior class would be a perfect 4-0 in national championship games. Two more wins would also mean that same class would own another record — 151 wins.


All Things Considered host Kate Davidson spoke with Olympic gold-medal winner and former OSU star Carol Menken-Schaudt about whether or not the Beavers stand a chance against UConn. Hear their full conversation by clicking play in the audio player at the top of this article.

Oregon State Women's Basketball Final Four UConn NCAA Tournament

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