Wildcats headlining the 2021 Paradise Jam Women’s Field | Sports
Arizona, which came close to winning the biggest surprise of the 2020-21 women’s college basketball season, will headline this fall’s Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Wildcats, who lost to Stanford in the NCAA Tournament Championship game six weeks ago, will be joined on the grounds of Paradise Jam 2021 by four other NCAA tournament qualifiers – Northwestern, Rutgers, South Dakota and Texas A&M – as well as DePaul, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt.
This year’s Paradise Jam Women’s Tournament – which did not take place last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic – will be played November 25-27 at the University of Montreal’s Sports and Fitness Center. Virgin Islands to St. Thomas.
“Not having any women’s events last year was heartbreaking for us as we feel we’ve become well known for building up one of the strongest women’s pitches in the country year after year,” said Paradise Jam Tournament Director Jennifer Ashby said in a prepared statement.
“Engaging these eight great women’s programs will give the Virgin Islands the same memorable experience that they have become so used to, and we know teams will feel the same about their time in St. Thomas.”
Arizona, who will play on the Paradise Jam field for the first time, qualified for the NCAA Tournament Championship game for the first time in program history with an impressive five-game streak that included a win. from 69-59 on the No. 1 ranked Connecticut in the Final Four – another first for the Pac-12 Wildcats.
Arizona, which finished the 2020-2021 season with a 21-6 record, is one of three newcomers to the annual USVI tournament, along with the Big Ten Northwestern program and the Dakota Summit Conference school. from South. Northwestern was 16-9 after an NCAA tournament second round loss to Louisville, while South Dakota was 19-6 after falling in its NCAA opener against Oregon.
“We are truly thrilled with the opportunity to travel to the US Virgin Islands and participate in one of the most important events in women’s basketball,” South Dakota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said in a statement. prepare. “This tournament has always been very strong and this year is certainly no exception as we will face three really tough opponents in 72 hours.
The remaining teams are all former participants of Paradise Jam, led by the Big Ten Rutgers program, which has won a division title in the tournament three times. This ties the Scarlet Knights to two other schools – South Carolina and Connecticut – for most of the tournament’s 21-year history.
Rutgers – who finished 14-5 last season after a first-round loss to BYU in the NCAA tournament – won the St. John’s Division title in 2004 against Kentucky, the Reef Division’s title in 2009 against Southern California and the Islands Division title. in 2015 on Green Bay. The Scarlet Knights also advanced to the St. Thomas Division Finals in 2006, but the last game against Arizona State was called off due to a tragedy involving a family member of one of the players. KNEW.
Big East DePaul School (14-10 last season) finished second behind South Carolina in the Reef Division in 2012; ACC Pittsburgh (5-14) finished third in the Islands Division in 2013 and also competed in the 2015 tournament; SEC Texas A&M (25-3) made their third appearance, with a second in the St. John Division at Wake Forest in 2007; while his SEC colleague Vanderbilt (who finished 4-4 after finishing his season in January due to COVID-19) finished second in the Reef Division in Syracuse in 2017.
“We wanted to make sure we made up for last year’s absence by giving the amazing people of the Virgin Islands something exciting for the 22nd year of this event,” said Paradise Jam Executive Director Nels Hawkinson. , in a prepared press release.
“This area of strong women’s programs has everything you want in an elite preseason event, and we’re excited to see it translated onto the pitch. But on top of that, we know that players, coaches and staff will be just as excited as they explore and experience the culture of the island.