Multiple Blue Rings

Caitlin Clark and Iowa are heading back to the women’s national title game, will face South Carolina

Caitlin Clark’s final game in an Iowa uniform will be with a national championship on the line. And it’s going to come against a team potentially on the verge of a dynasty.

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No. 1 Iowa narrowly advanced to the women’s NCAA tournament national championship game after surviving a scare from No. 3 Connecticut, 71-69, in the Final Four at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, on Friday.

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The Hawkeyes will face undefeated and No. 1 overall seed South Carolina in Sunday’s title game. The Gamecocks, powered by their center Kamilla Cardoso and a strong third quarter, defeated No. 3 NC State 78-59 in the earlier semifinal of the night.

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In 2023, Clark and the Hawkeyes came up short in the national title game, losing to Angel Reese and LSU 102-85. This time, Clark – in a record-breaking season – could end her college career as a champion and give Iowa its first national title in women’s or men’s basketball.

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Among the records she has set, Clark has the most career points in Division I history for women and men. Seen as a generational talent, the 22-year-old is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft on April 15.

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South Carolina, now 108-3 in the last three seasons, is back in the national championship game for the first time since 2022, when it won the national title for the second time in program history. This is the Gamecocks’ fourth consecutive Final Four appearance and a chance for them to win their third national title in seven years.

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“South Carolina has been the top of the top,” Clark said. “They’re in a different league. We’re going to do everything we can to try to be right there with them. But, yeah, I think the biggest thing is enjoy this tonight and we’ll go over the scout early in the morning.”

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vAgainst UConn, Clark overcame a poor first-half shooting performance to finish with 21 points. Hannah Stuelke had a game-high 23 points.

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