A primary-time champion might be topped Sunday after an exhilarating Closing 4 produced an sudden nationwide title recreation.
No. 2 Iowa (31-6) is taking up No. 3 LSU (33-2) within the girls’s NCAA Event last, with each groups coming off thrilling victories over a pair of No. 1 seeds on Friday evening.
The Hawkeyes surprised defending nationwide champion South Carolina, which had entered the sport driving a 42-game successful streak, with Caitlin Clark main the way in which with a Closing 4 document 41 factors. LSU, which is led by three-time nationwide champion coach Kim Mulkey, rallied previous Virginia Tech because of an unimaginable fourth quarter.
Observe alongside for stay updates all through the ladies’s nationwide title recreation:
Third quarter: LSU 75, Iowa 64
Iowa is not going away quietly on this NCAA championship recreation.
Observe the insanity: Latest Women’s NCAA Tournament College Basketball Scores and Schedules
After LSU prolonged a 17-point halftime result in 21, the Hawkeyes got here roarding again within the third quarter to chop the deficit to 11 factors getting into the ultimate quarter of play.
Caitlin Clark took issues into her personal palms, scoring 9 factors — all on threes to spark Iowa’s cost. She leads all scorers within the recreation with 25.
Nonetheless, Iowa heart Monika Czinano picked up her fourth foul of the sport with 1:03 left within the quarter. On the identical time, Clark was additionally whistled for a technical foul, which was her fourth of the sport.
Halftime: LSU 59, Iowa 42
Exhibiting unimaginable accuracy from lengthy vary, LSU has opened up a 17-point halftime lead over Iowa, placing the Tigers 20 minutes away from their first nationwide championship.
Senior Jasmine Carson has hit all seven of her photographs from the sphere, together with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer off the glass on the finish of the half, on her strategy to a game-high 21 factors.
For the sport, LSU is an unimaginable 9-for-12 from 3-point territory.
Caitlin Clark has 14 for Iowa, all of them within the first quarter. Nonetheless, she completed the half on the bench after choosing up her third foul as LSU prolonged its lead.
Iowa has turned the ball over 11 occasions within the first half.
Caitlin Clark units girls’s tourney scoring document
On a 3-point area aim with 7:56 to play within the third quarter, Iowa star Caitlin Clark broke Sheryl Swoopes’ document for many factors in a single NCAA girls’s event.
The long-range bomb gave Clark a complete of 178 factors and in addition gave her a document twenty fourth 3-pointer in six event video games.
Clark entered Sunday’s championship with back-to-back video games of 40 or extra factors in her earlier two outings.
First quarter: LSU 27, Iowa 22
A quick-paced and tightly known as first 10 minutes are within the books within the NCAA girls’s title recreation with LSU holding a 27-22 lead over Iowa.
Every college’s first-team All-American has led the way in which within the early going.
After topping 40 factors in every of her final two event video games, nationwide participant of the yr Caitlin Clark has 4 3-pointers and 14 factors for the Hawkeyes. Nonetheless, Iowa heart Monika Czinano has picked up a few fast fouls.
Angel Reese leads the Tigers with seven factors, however she and guard Kateri Poole have additionally picked up two early fouls.
Hawkeyes, Tigers underway for ladies’s crown
The hype is over. Now it is time for the gamers to determine who will reign supreme.
Nationwide participant of the yr Caitlin Clark has led the way in which for Iowa all through the whole NCAA Event, averaging 32.2 factors per recreation within the Hawkeyes’ 5 wins.
In the meantime, Angel Reese has been dominant for LSU, averaging 22.7 factors per recreation and controlling issues inside.
Whose workforce might be topped nationwide champions? We’ll discover out within the subsequent 40 minutes (or extra).
First Girl Jill Biden available for ladies’s title recreation
No want for the nationwide champions to go to the White Home. The White Home got here to them.
First Girl Jill Biden was on the NCAA girls’s title recreation between LSU and Iowa on Sunday. She and President Joe Biden are longtime girls’s basketball followers, and the president attended a number of NCAA event video games when Elena Delle Donne performed for Delaware.
The Bidens additionally went to the boys’s Closing 4 in 2016 when he was vice chairman.
The First Girl was noticed in a field reverse the workforce benches, sitting with tennis legend Billie Jean King and her spouse, Ilana Kloss.
— Nancy Armour
What time does girls’s nationwide championship recreation begin?
The ladies’s NCAA Event last is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET and might be broadcast on ABC. Streaming is out there through WatchESPN and ESPN+.
LSU coach Kim Mulkey chooses tiger print for title recreation apparel
DALLAS – There was no denying that Kim Mulkey was going to tug out all of the stops when it got here to what she was going to wear for the national championship game.
LSU women’s basketball coach did not let down all those chomping at the bit to see what she would wear next.
For the Tigers’ matchup with Iowa for the national title, Mulkey is wearing a full tiger-striped pant suit made entirely reversible, two-tone sequins.
After many fans were disappointed with the lack of gaudy in her Elite Eight outfit she wore in the win over Miami in Greenville, South Carolina last weekend – an ensemble that featured a subdued yet bedazzled jacket with white pants – Mulkey stepped back into the flashy with her Final Four fit that was hot pink jacket with large pink flowers on the sleeves from shoulder to wrist.
— Cory Diaz, Lafayette Daily Advertiser
Betting guide: Iowa Hawkeyes favored in women’s final
One of the craziest tournaments will conclude with the between No. 2 Iowa (31-6) and No. 3 LSU (33-2) on Sunday. Here’s a quick look at some of the odds for Sunday’s national championship game. All odds are according to Tipico.
Iowa is a minus-170 favourite towards LSU, which is a plus-145 underdog.
What is the unfold?
Iowa is favored by 3 1/2 factors over LSU.
What is the over/beneath?
The over/beneath for the Iowa-LSU recreation is listed at 157 1/2 factors.
Iowa star Caitlin Clark, like Steph Curry, has redefined what a very good shot is in basketball
DALLAS — There are occasions, sometimes throughout video games and sometimes throughout observe, when Iowa coach Lisa Bluder’s jaw drops.
Did Caitlin Clark actually simply hit that shot, thread that move or end that layup in transition?
Sure, she did and she or he does — usually. And it’s simply as spectacular as you possibly can think about. Possibly extra so.
Clark, the 2023 consensus nationwide participant of the yr, has turn into one of many sport’s greatest stars and strolling spotlight reel due to her how-did-she-see-that?! passes and limitless taking pictures vary. However for as proficient and awe-inspiring as Clark herself is, Bluder deserves some credit score too. As a result of she lets Clark be precisely who she is.
But as Bluder herself admits, it took time to cede control.
— Lindsay Schnell
LSU’s Alexis Morris calls out Caitlin Clark’s ‘disrespectful’ defense ahead of title game
Pretty much the entire basketball world was amazed by the stunning play and swagger of Caitlin Clark as Iowa knocked off previously undefeated South Carolina in the women’s Final Four.
One that wasn’t impressed, however, plays for Iowa’s next opponent, LSU. The Tigers stand in the way of the Hawkeyes and one of the more incredible title runs the sport has ever seen.
More specifically, Tigers guard Alexis Morris doesn’t think Clark can dare LSU to shoot from behind the arc the way she did against the Gamecocks.
“I don’t think they can guard us that way,” Morris said, according to Sports Illustrated. “I don’t think you can just leave me open on the perimeter or leave us open on the perimeter. Me personally, I find it very disrespectful, so I’m going to take that personally going into that game. You’re going to have to guard us. That’s just the competitor in me, and the will to win.”
— Blake Schuster, For The Win
OPINION: Caitlin Clark, Iowa want to complete the job
DALLAS — Friday evening’s win put Caitlin Clark in place to carry residence Iowa’s first nationwide championship. The Hawkeyes meet LSU Sunday afternoon in one of the crucial highly-anticipated — and unlikely — title video games within the historical past of ladies’s basketball.
Need proof of simply how in-demand this recreation, and this participant, are? Within the Dallas-Fort Value space, tickets to Sunday’s nationwide championship are dearer than tickets to Sunday’s sold-out Taylor Swift present.
One other distinction apart from ticket costs: Swift will play the identical present in dozens of stadiums around the globe. However for for Clark & Co., that is seemingly a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. That means they have to capitalize on the moment.
It’s noteworthy, to say the least, this year Iowa beat heavily favored, undefeated and overall No. 1 seed South Carolina. The Hawkeyes slayed the giant — but now they’ve got to take the castle, and the championship trophy.
— Lindsay Schnell
Morris reunion with Mulkey has NCAA title game finale at LSU
Alexis Morris will finish her college career playing in a national championship game for Kim Mulkey, the coach who five years ago kicked the standout guard off another team.
For Morris, it has been quite a journey of growth and maturation from her freshman season at Baylor and through two other programs before a reunion with Mulkey at LSU that will end on the biggest stage.
“Every player just has that coach that’s for them. Coach Mulkey, she’s my coach,” Morris said Saturday. “I asked God, if you ever gave the opportunity (to play for her again), I will never waste that. I will literally maximize it, maximize the opportunity, and that’s what you’re witnessing.”
Mulkey has known Morris since she was a seventh-grader at a private school in Beaumont, Texas. It was a difficult decision to dismiss her from Baylor’s team in September 2018 after what was called an unspecified violation of team rules. The school didn’t offer any details then and they haven never been detailed publicly by Mulkey or Morris, though the player does accept responsibility for what she called a “youthful mistake.”
— Associated Press
Iowa’s Caitlin Clark steals show with performance for the ages
DALLAS – No way the Aliyah Boston and Caitlin Clark Showdown could live up to the hype. Not after two years of anticipation and sky-high expectations.
Turns out, it was even better.
Clark met the moment and then some with a performance for the ages Friday night. Instead of shrinking under the pressure, she shined, draining 3-pointers, breaking ankles and firing pinpoint passes South Carolina could only watch whiz by. She finished with 41 points and eight assists in Iowa’s 77-73 victory that snapped the defending champion’s 42-game winning streak and sent the Hawkeyes to their first national title game.
“I think she’s the most phenomenal basketball player in America. I just don’t think there’s anyone like her,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “She had the ball in her hands almost all the time tonight against some pretty good defensive players.”
— Nancy Armour
Women’s Final Four does big ratings for ESPN
With South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark facing off in the women’s Final Four on Friday night, ratings were expected to be high.
They were record-setting for ESPN, the network announced Saturday.
ESPN, which broadcast both NCAA Tournament semifinal games, said the LSU-Virginia Tech early game averaged 3.4 million viewers with a peak of 5 million across network platforms. That was up 57% from last year’s early game.
Iowa-South Carolina averaged 5.5 million with a peak of 6.6 million, up 72% from last year’s late game.
Both games drew record audiences for a college basketball game – men’s or women’s – on ESPN+, the network said.
— Mike Brehm
South Carolina star Aliyah Boston declares for WNBA Draft
South Carolina star Aliyah Boston is declaring for the WNBA draft. She is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick.
“In this moment, I am truly breathless as I make the next best decision of my life,” Boston said in a statement. “I have decided to further pursue my dream by declaring for the 2023 WNBA Draft.”
— Jaylon Thompson
Dawn Staley calls out national media, Iowa coach’s ‘bar fight’ comments
DALLAS – Dawn Staley has heard enough.
The South Carolina women’s basketball coach was asked about the way her team is labeled publicly for their physical style of play after being upset in the Final Four by Iowa. Staley set the record straight about her team, which she said “exemplifies how you need to approach basketball on the court and off the court.”
“We’re not bar fighters. We’re not thugs. We’re not monkeys. We’re not street fighters,” Staley said. “I do think that that’s sometimes brought into the game, and it hurts.”
— Cora Hall, Knoxville News Sentinel