Arizona and Stanford to battle in first all Pac-12 NCAA women’s basketball championship game

Don't get Arizona women's basketball coach Adia Barnes started when it comes to her perceived lack of respect for the Pac-12 nationally.

She thinks her point guard Aari McDonald deserved first-team All-American honors, not simply second-team accolades, and was deserving of national defensive player of the year honors as well. The senior dynamo has taken advantage of the national stage and made her case for both honors. She's also propelled her team into the NCAA championship game for the first time.

The Wildcats (21-5) will square off against Stanford (30-2) in the championship game Sunday at 6 p.m. (ESPN) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It marks the first All-Pac-12 championship game, something both Barnes and longtime counterpart Tara VanDerveer of Stanford are celebrating.

"For me to constantly see the Pac-12 have no respect, have zero respect. It shows with Aari being second-team All-American. It shows with Aari not being defensive player of the year. It's always happening," Barnes said. "So now I'm hoping with both of us in the championship game, the Pac-12 will get some respect and the East Coast bias will stop.

"It's not going to stop overnight but you need to respect the Pac-12 and you need to watch. So start watching the West coast. Start paying attention to the Pac-12. It is the best conference in the country."

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