South Carolina Takes Home March Madness Trophy


South Carolina’s Women’s basketball team took home the trophy after an NCAA championship game against the University of Connecticut.

On April 3 in Minneapolis, number one seed for the Southeastern Conference, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, played against number one seed in the Big East, the University of Connecticut Huskies, ending with a final score of 64 to 49. The Gamecocks took the title back after Stanford, Baylor, and Notre Dame’s wins in the past few years.

South Carolina Coach Dawn Staley made the history books as the first coach to beat UConn’s Geno Auriemma in a national championship game. In an interview with the New York Times, Auriemma said his team, “just didn’t have enough. They were just too good for us.”

The Huskies were in a cycle of bad luck, as many of their players were out for many games this season, ranging from injuries to the flu. Paige Bueckers, the 2020-21 National Player of the Year, was out for three months from a knee injury. Seven of their nine rotation players were out for at least three games.

Staley led the Gamecocks to their second national championship in their history. While this number may seem small in comparison to Auriemma’s impressive 11, it is a significant accomplishment at this football-dominated school.

Trevor Corsello ’20 is a current student at the University of South Carolina, and represented his Gamecock pride as he celebrated with the school after the big win.

“Everyone went crazy and jumped in the fountain in front of the library,” he said. Corsello highlighted his school and coach’s success in playing a good game.

“They seemed like they sustained the pace of play and corrected errors as they went along, where UConn was dependent on two or three players which caused them to get fatigued,” he said.

More of the people The Willistonian interviewed were rooting for nearby UConn.

Will Chalfant ’23, a junior from Northampton, Mass., has been an avid UConn women’s basketball supporter for 10 years. He was upset, but able to accept the loss.

“Obviously I wanted UConn to win, but South Carolina was disciplined on defense, got every loose ball, and grabbed so many offensive rebounds so they definitely deserved to win,” he said. “Outside of Paige Bueckers and Nika Mühl, everyone on UConn lacked confidence and aggressiveness and made key offensive and defensive mistakes along with doing a terrible job boxing out so it’s not surprising they lost.”

Fred Allardyce ’59, has been a member of Williston’s Board of Trustees for around 15 years, and a fan of the Huskies for 10. He remains confident in the girls and is excited for next year.

“UConn had a tough year [with] major players out for most of the season,” he said. “Paige [Bueckers] was not free of pain, and it affected her performance. Let’s see how next year goes. We’re losing [Christyn] Williams to graduation, but a lot of strong players will be back. If they don’t have major injuries, they will be tough!”

Next years March Madness season will begin with selections on Monday, March 13.