Tonight, we’ll know.

The road to Fort Worth continues with the NCAA Regional Finals! Sixteen teams will battle for eight spots across four different regionals to punch a ticket to the NCAA Championships. The top two teams from each regional will advance and if we’ve learned anything from the semifinals–absolutely anything can happen! Click here for your schedule with streaming links and while you wait for all the action to begin, here are 8 things we are looking forward to tonight!

And as always, connect with us on social media @InsideGym and let us know who you’re watching, what you’re loving and what YOU want to see in our first-ever Special Edition NCAA Commemorative Issue!

1. Revival of the Reigning Champs! 

The Michigan Wolverines didn’t have their strongest performance in the semifinals, finishing second to UCLA in the second session of the Raleigh regional after a few uncharacteristic mistakes and a lineup mixup on bars that left the Wolverines with a tenth penalty to their team score. Michigan rallied to post a season high beam score in the final rotation (49.550), which also happens to be the second highest score in program history on that event, and will look to bring that level of confidence to the finals. They’ve got the nervous energy out, now it’s time to remind us all why they’re the reigning NCAA Champs! 

2. UCLA is picking up momentum…can they keep it? 

Speaking of the Raleigh regional, UCLA was on fire! The 197.800 the Bruins posted to top the Wolverines was their highest road score of the season and exactly the kind of performance their confidence needed after a season filled with many challenges.  Ranked 14th in the nation, the Bruins came to Raleigh as the 4th seeded team, but looked more like a NCAA title contender on Thursday. Can they keep it going? 

3. Perfect 40 Watch!

Trinity Thomas does perfect gymnastics time and time again and the regional semifinals were no exception! Trinity scored a 10 on bars and floor, as well as a 9.975 on beam! #JustTrinityThings. Someone’s knocking on the door of a perfect 40!

4. Veteran Standouts 

With all the buzz about the Olympians, we can’t forget about the veterans who are just as critical for their teams. Chae Campbell (39.525) and Norah Flatley (39.575) were absolute rocks for the Bruins on all four events. Kentucky’s Raena Worley has continued to prove she can hang with the best of the best by posting a 39.700 to finish second All-Around. And of course we can’t forget Utah’s Maile O’Keefe who capped off an incredible All-Around day (39.650) with a 9.95 on beam to help the Utes advance to the finals. 

5. Give Lauren Guerin a 10! 

Do we need to say more? 

6. The Stanford Surprise! 

From the play-in rounds to the finals, Stanford has been on fire in Seattle! In the semifinals Stanford was relentless and never let up when the pressure was on. We were so impressed and when all was said and done they upset No. 13 Oregon State and No. 19 Illinois to make it to the finals. Here’s to hoping they can keep riding the high and finish out their season strong! 

7. Arkansas Rallies!

During the semifinals the Razorbacks stellar freshman Leah Smith appeared to have injured herself after her first pass on floor and did not finish her routine. We loved seeing how the Razorbacks rallied and fought until the very end, despite having one of their strongest athletes go down, and was able to upset No. 16 Arizona State for a spot in the finals. Here’s to hoping the Razorbacks can finish the season out strong! 

8. MSU Making History!

By advancing to the NCAA regional finals, Michigan State already has so much to be proud of, but they’re not done just yet! MSU’s 197.325 from semifinals is the highest postseason in program history but there are areas the Spartans can improve on for the finals (such as more stuck landings on bars) as they make a push for their first ever NCAA Championship appearance as a team.  P.S. keep your eyes on MSU’s floor rotation. They’ve got great tumbling and phenomenal choreography! 

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

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