‘You can’t ask for anything better’: Dynasty, legacy, history on line in South Carolina-Iowa

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By 5mustsee.com

South Carolina-Iowa Women’s NCAA Title Game: A Battle of Dynasty, Legacy, and History

Author: Alexa Philippou, ESPN
Published: Apr 7, 2024, 07:00 AM ET

Cleveland—Caitlin Clark threw the ball into the air as the buzzer marked the end of the 2023 national semifinals, securing Iowa Hawkeyes’ 77-73 upset victory over South Carolina Gamecocks. This surprising win against the undefeated Gamecocks propelled Iowa to their first-ever national championship game.

While Iowa’s dream season fell short last year with a loss to LSU Tigers in the NCAA title game, little did anyone anticipate that this thrilling matchup would set the stage for an even more significant showdown to follow.

Fast forward to the present, and South Carolina and Iowa are poised to clash in the 2024 women’s NCAA championship game, a matchup that few predicted. Despite major roster changes for both teams and initial doubts about their performance, they have defied expectations to reach this point. The anticipation for this potential championship clash has been palpable since the NCAA bracket was unveiled three weeks ago, with nearly 30% of ESPN’s Women’s Tournament Challenge brackets forecasting a finals showdown between South Carolina and Iowa.

In a season dominated by one outstanding team and player, the upcoming clash between Caitlin Clark’s unstoppable prowess and South Carolina’s formidable defense symbolizes the culmination of an exciting season.

“I think this matchup, you can’t ask for anything better,” remarked Clark.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley echoed this sentiment, calling it a “monumental game for our game.”

South Carolina (37-0) is vying for its third national title within seven NCAA tournaments—a victory that would solidify their status as a modern dynasty in women’s basketball and place them among the elite few undefeated champions in Division I history. The championship game is a historic showdown, marking the ninth meeting between the top two teams in The Associated Press poll, with South Carolina aiming to join a select group of programs that have achieved a perfect season.

The Gamecocks, undefeated in the tournament thus far, are fueled by the desire to avenge last year’s loss to Iowa, particularly after Caitlin Clark’s standout performance against them. This season, South Carolina has channeled that defeat into motivation, earning them the opportunity for redemption in the title match.

Excitement is high among the players, with guard Raven Johnson expressing readiness for the matchup following the pain of last year’s defeat. Fellow teammate Bree Hall sees the unfolding narrative as the perfect storyline aligning in their favor.


1. How many national titles have the South Carolina Gamecocks won in women’s NCAA basketball?
South Carolina has won two national titles in women’s NCAA basketball, in 2017 and 2022, and is now seeking their third championship in 2024.

2. Who are some of the key players to watch in the upcoming South Carolina-Iowa championship game?
Players like Caitlin Clark from Iowa and standout defenders from South Carolina will be key figures to watch in this highly anticipated matchup.Iowa Faces South Carolina Again in Women’s NCAA Championship

Iowa is gearing up to face South Carolina once more in the Women’s NCAA Championship, with the Hawkeyes looking to make history by defeating the Gamecocks for the second consecutive year. Iowa is only the fourth team in NCAA tournament history to have the opportunity to challenge an undefeated opponent in back-to-back seasons. Caitlin Clark, a standout player with the most points in Division I men’s or women’s history, aims to lead Iowa to a national title and solidify her legacy.

In a recent interview, Clark expressed her pride in potentially achieving this significant milestone, not just for herself but for all past and present Iowa women’s basketball players. Last season, despite their victory over the Gamecocks, Iowa fell short in the title game against LSU. This year, with Clark and four other seniors in their final collegiate game, Iowa hopes to maintain their winning momentum and secure the championship.

The upcoming game raises questions about the impact of last season’s matchup on the current teams. Both Iowa and South Carolina have undergone significant roster changes since their last meeting, with key players graduating or moving on to the professional league. However, new talents have emerged on both sides, adding depth and versatility to their gameplay.

South Carolina boasts strong guard play and improved three-point shooting, addressing previous weaknesses that Iowa exploited. The Hawkeyes, led by Clark, continue to showcase their strengths, with players like Hannah Stuelke and Kate Martin stepping up to fill crucial roles on the team. The evolving dynamics and strategies of both teams set the stage for an exciting and unpredictable championship finale.

As the basketball world eagerly anticipates the title game, all eyes will be on Cleveland to witness whether history will repeat itself or a new chapter will be written in women’s college basketball. With high viewership and massive interest in the outcome, the championship game promises to deliver memorable moments and potentially alter the course of the sport’s history.


1. How many points does Caitlin Clark hold in Division I men’s or women’s history?
– Caitlin Clark holds the record for the most points in Division I men’s or women’s history, with an impressive 3,921 points.

2. Who is regarded as the presumptive 2024 WNBA No. 1 pick?
– Caitlin Clark is considered the presumptive 2024 WNBA No. 1 pick, showcasing her exceptional talent and skills on the court.

3. What sets the upcoming Women’s NCAA Championship game apart for Iowa and South Carolina?
– The upcoming Women’s NCAA Championship game marks Iowa’s historic opportunity to face South Carolina for the second consecutive year, with the Hawkeyes aiming to secure a national title and create a lasting legacy.

4. How have both Iowa and South Carolina teams evolved since their last meeting?
– Both Iowa and South Carolina have witnessed significant roster changes, with new talents stepping up to contribute to their teams’ success. Strategies and gameplay dynamics have evolved, presenting a fresh challenge for both sides in the championship game.

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