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Final 4 Underway For Women's NCAA Basketball At San Antonio's Alamodome

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
The Alamodome in San Antonio hosted the women's NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in March 2021.

The teams playing in the Final Four NCAA Women's Tournament are now known after a pair of nationally-televised games from the Alamodome on Tuesday night.

South Carolina and Stanford advanced to the weekend showdown of the nation's best college basketball teams.

The two teams join UConn and Arizona for the Final Four games on Friday. The winners will advance to the national championship game on Sunday. Some tickets were still available on Tuesday for all the games at the 'Dome, where seating capacity is at 17%.

Two courts have been in operation at the Alamodome because of the pandemic with around 4,800 seats open at each. One court, dubbed the North Arena, will be used for the final games.

The games have aired nationally on ESPN channels and ABC. The national championship game will air at 5 p.m. CST on ESPN on Sunday.

March Madness is expected to pump more than $27 million into the local economy. It has also provided a much needed boost to the city's hotel industry with 35,000 rooms a nights by 64 teams, coaches, families and fans.

The executive director of the local organizing committee — Jenny Carnes — said COVID-19 has largely been kept at bay during the long tournament run because of local and NCAA protocols.

"I think overall they've reported overall two positive tests from the beginning of the tournament and overall with as many tests that are being taken daily across all of the teams, that's a pretty good number," she said.

Stanford remains the favorite to win their third national championship. Team senior guard Kiana Williams — described as one of the best in the country — played for Karen Wagner High School in San Antonio.

Stanford senior guard, Kiana Williams, is from San Antonio and attended Karen Wagner High School.

Stanford team members have been playing in a ping pong tournament to pass time during their hotel stay. Teams have largely been kept to their own floors at area hotels and team outings have been limited because of the pandemic.

But each team has been provided a virtual team host to run errands for them and to help order-in some fare of the city's best restaurants.

Teams were bubbled in on their own River Walk barges to cruise down one of the state's top tourist attractions. Private tours of the Alamo and a zoo outing were also on team schedules.

"We've really adjusted and been doing our best to give these teams and these student athletes a little flavor of San Antonio in this very unique tournament," Carnes said.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian