The Women Hawkeyes basketball team just made history in the NCAA Championship semifinal, knocking out the no. 1 seeded South Carolina team. The score was 77-73 and the Hawkeyes will play LSU in the Championship final on Sunday.
This is the first national championship game in the program history. Caitlin Clark was once again the best player on the court, scoring 41 points for her team. She also got six rebounds and eight assists.
Furthermore, the Hawkeyes also managed to end the undefeated streak of the Gamecocks. South Carolina hadn’t lost a game since the SEC title game on March 6, 2022 and were obviously the odds favorites to win the NCAA Championship.
The historical result will see the Hawkeyes facing the LSU team, who defeated Virgina Tech 79-72.
— Iowa Women's Basketball (@IowaWBB) April 1, 2023
Caitlin Clark Is From Another Planet
The Hawkeyes really have a gem on their hands. We are talking of course about Caitlin Clark, who won the Naismith Trophy for the best Women’s College Player Of The Year. And two days later she showed once again why this award was completely deserved, by putting on another game-winning display for her team.
And she got an incentive from one of the best football players in the country. “The job’s not done,” Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has reportedly told her and the Hawkeye women’s basketball team via Twitter. “Go win a championship.”
Clark, who is a Chiefs fan, took this incentive seriously. She scored more than half the points of the Hawkeyes during the game (41), scoring every point for her team in the decisive fourth quarter.
South Carolina was owning the offensive glass (26-5) throughout the night. However, an Iowa offensive rebound from McKenna Warnock, following a Clark missed 3-pointer, was the most influential play of this game.
𝒯𝐻𝐸 𝐵𝐸𝒮𝒯 𝒫𝐿𝒜𝒴𝐸𝑅 𝐼𝒩 𝒯𝐻𝐸 𝒞𝒪𝒰𝒩𝒯𝑅𝒴
— Naismith Awards (@NaismithTrophy) March 29, 2023
Hawkeyes Fans Showed Up In Dallas
An incredible number of Iowa Hawkeyes fans showed up in the American Airlines Center, in Dallas, who hosts the Final Four NCAA Women Championship. They were definitely not disappointed, as they saw an historical moment in the program’s history.
Lisa Bluder, Hawkeyes coach, has achieved greatness in her 23rd season in charge of the Hawkeyes. She shared the merit of this historical feat with her assistant coaches, Jan Jensen and Jenni Fitzgerald, who she considers ‘her sisters’.
The Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team were the no. 2 seed in their conference, after winning the Big Ten championship. Nonetheless, they were still underdogs in the Final Four, especially considering the streak of form that they were facing in the Gamecocks.
Now the Hawkeyes fans need to extend their stay in Dallas until Sunday afternoon. The national championship game begins at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2. If you are not in Dallas, you can watch it on ABC.
What an atmosphere. What a game. pic.twitter.com/GByrluLa5E
— Shannon Ryan (@SRyanAthletic) April 1, 2023
The Last Obstacle: LSU Tigers
The opponent for Sunday is Louisiana State University, who was no. 3 seed in their conference. The Tigers eliminated no. 1 seeded Virginia Tech, after an impressive fourth quarter comeback.
For LSU it is also an historical event. They will play for a national championship in basketball for the first time in program history, just like the Hawkeyes. They reached five consecutive women’s Final Fours from 2004-08, but they never advanced past the national semifinal.
To get past the Tigers the Hawkeyes will have to keep an eye on fifth-year senior Alexis Morris and sophomore forward Angel Reese, who scored 27 points and 24 points in the semifinal.
— NCAA Women’s Final Four (@WFinalFour) April 1, 2023
What do the odds say?
After being an underdog in the semifinal (+430 ML), the Hawkeyes are actually odds favorites to win the Championship.
According to ClutchBet, they are now -149 ML to win the NCAA Championship trophy. The LSU Lady Tigers are +104.
Make sure to back the Hawkeyes to go all the way if you believe Clark and company can make even further history in the program and bring the trophy back to Iowa.
You can check how to bet on basketball in Iowa here.
Iowa (+430 ML) is heading to the National Championship ✅💰 pic.twitter.com/QJkMCgjp22
— ClutchBet (@ClutchBetSB) April 1, 2023
Nonetheless, whatever happens in the Sunday game the Women Hawkeyes have already made incredible history for Iowa sports.
And Caitlin Clark has a bright future, you should see her soon in the WNBA tearing it down. Born in Des Moines, Clark is not only an Iowa alumnus but also one of the finest athletes the Hawkeye state has ever seen.
Buckle up for a Sunday game full of emotions, as the entire Iowa state will be glued to the screen trying to see the Women bring the first NCAA trophy in the history of the program.
Credits on Featured Image: Iowa’s Caitlin Clark drives past South Carolina’s Brea Beal during the second half of an NCAA Women’s Final Four semifinals basketball game Friday, March 31, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez/Digital License)