How sweet it is for LSU, Tigers take on Utah for trip to Elite Eight

Published 10:07 am Friday, March 24, 2023

GREENVILLE, S.C. — No one has been able to keep up with Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist all season. LSU’s Angel Reese has been putting up her own video-game numbers with unrelenting and remarkable consistency.

They’re both Associated Press All-America first-team picks. And they’re headlining the Greenville 2 Region bracket entering today’s Sweet 16 games, providing star power to the doubleheader at a valuable time in the shared March Madness national spotlight.

“I think it’s awesome,” Siegrist said. “It’s so important to have female sports really on the forefront right now and to inspire the younger generation. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

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Siegrist and the fourth-seeded Wildcats (30-6) meet ninth-seeded Miami (21-12) in the first regional semifinal. Reese and the third-seeded Tigers (30-2) meet second-seeded Utah (27-4), which is led by a second-team All-America in Alissa Pili. The winners meet Sunday for a Final Four ticket.

Siegrist, a 6-foot-2 senior, averages a national-best 29.2 points. She joined fellow first-team All-American Caitlin Clark of Iowa, third-team pick Aneesah Morrow of DePaul and Drexel’s Keishana Washington as the only players with multiple games of at least 40 points this year.

Reese, a 6-3 sophomore, is fifth nationally in scoring (23.8), second in rebounding (15.7) and first in double-doubles (30). That includes a 26-point, 28-rebound performance against Texas A&M, the most boards in Division I this year.

“To have those types of players draw attention to the sport is awesome,” LSU head coach Kim Mulkey said. “Fifty points in a game, not many do that. The young lady at Villanova, Siegrist, she’s done that. To win national championships like South Carolina, not many have done that.

“Angel Reese would like to do what Boston has done for South Carolina.”

“I embrace it,” Reese said, adding: “You’ve got NBA players, celebrities watching our games, being able to tune in. … It’s just fun being able to help grow women’s basketball, and this is bigger than me.”