Caitlin Clark has risen to stardom and been a top player to watch in the last three NCAA tournaments. However, after falling short in previous years, she'll be looking to make it to Dallas and take it all in under a storm of confetti. She's done just about every thing else, so that elusive championship is something she's absolutely gunning for.
How Good is Caitlin Clark?
As if her previous years weren't enough, somehow Clark managed to take it to the next level this season. She was named The Atlantic National Player of the Year, Big Ten Player of the Year, was a unanimous pick to the First Team All-Big Ten, unanimous First Team All-American by the AP, among many other things. Her collegiate career has seen her put up 42 double-doubles and 10 triple-doubles - which is tied for second most in NCAA women's basketball history.
Clark became the second Big Ten women's player to reach 2,000 points, 520 rebounds, 110 steals, and 40 blocks. She's score at least 30 points 10 times this season, and is the only player to have more than 900 points, 240 rebounds, 280 assists, and 45 steals.
Needless to say, she is absolute fire. But despite all the solo recognition, Clark and the Hawkeyes are chasing NCAA glory.
Chasing an Elusive NCAA Championship
Iowa entered the Big Ten tournament as expected winners. And they did not disappoint. As the No. 2 seed, they dropped No. 7 Purdue in the Quarterfinals (69-58), No. 3 Maryland in the Semi-finals (89-84), and massacred No. 4 Ohio State in the final (105-72). Clark is a picture of consistency, and managed to drop 22 points in each of the first two, also dropping a combined 13 rebounds and 13 assists. However in the final, she absolutely went off. Clark led all scorers with 30 points, as well as backed that up with 10 rebounds and a staggering 17 assists. When the stakes were raised she responded in kind.
The Hawkeyes then came out swinging as the No. 2 against No. 15 SE Louisiana in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in Iowa City. They took that game 95-43, with Clark posting 26 points, seven rebounds, 12 assists, and even had a block and two steals to add to it. What's even more bonkers is she has an absolute killer teammate in Monika Czinano, and they are lighting it up together. Maybe that will be the difference this time around? They're both averaging more than 20 points per game since the start of the Big-Ten tourney. And they continued that in the second round against No. 10 Georgia, winning 74-66. Clark put up 22 points, three rebounds, and 12 asssits while Czinano dropped 20 with nine boards.
Iowa shot 51.3% in the Big Ten Tournament, and so far are 52.4% through two games in the NCAA Tournament. If they can keep on that clip, there's no doubt that Clark will reach the promised land. However a Sweet 16 matchup with No. 6 Colorado waits in the wings. The Buffaloes slayed No. 3 Duke in overtime in the second round, so they aren't likely to be an easy matchup. However if Clark and Czinano can stay the pictures of consistency that they have been to this point, there's no reason they can't continue to drop dimes and find their way to the Elite Eight.
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