NCAA Women’s National Championship Preview: No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Iowa

The NCAA Women's National Championship is here with South Carolina taking on Iowa to see who will be cutting down the nets in Cleveland.
Basketball court

It all comes down to South Carolina and Iowa facing off for the National Championship at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 7. Will South Carolina complete the undefeated season or will Caitlin Clark and Iowa pull off the upset to lift the trophy in Clark’s last collegiate game? 

FanDuel has the line set with South Carolina as the favorites at -290 and Iowa at +225. The spread is at 6.5 and the over/under at 160.5. 

No. 1 Iowa (34-4)

Iowa struggled against the UConn defense in their Final Four matchup. The first half was not looking good for the Hawkeyes but they were able to make the necessary adjustments to climb their way back into the game and win 71-69. Clark struggled in that game and was frustrated with the double team, a strategy that South Carolina will likely decide to use as well to keep Clark from getting the ball. 

If Iowa is going to win they need everybody to step up which they’ve gotten so far in this tournament. Gabbie Marshall has been very good defensively and has come up big in big moments. Hannah Stuelke has been great on the inside, against UConn, she had 23 points. Kate Marshall has been great as well and in her last collegiate game, the Hawkeyes will need her to help out Clark. 

In the game against UConn Iowa didn’t shoot well from three which is something they’ll have to do better against South Carolina. They shot just 28% from behind the arc in that game, on the season they averaged 37.8%. 

Iowa has the best offense in the country but South Carolina is a high-scoring team as well so they’ll have to shoot well and be defensively sound. What South Carolina does best is go on runs and the Hawkeyes will need to avoid letting South Carolina create a big lead. 

Last season the Hawkeyes were able to knock out South Carolina in the Final Four. In that game, they shot 49% and 30% from three. They’ll need another offensive performance of that caliber if they want to hand South Carolina their first loss. 

No. 1 South Carolina (37-0)

South Carolina is so impressive because they’re good in every aspect of the game. Defensively they have held opponents to an average of 56.1 points per game. They got to see what UConn did to keep Clark in check and if they can frustrate her and keep her from handling the ball as much as she’d like the Gamecocks will be in good shape. 

They played very well in their Final Four win over NC State and had a massive second half. In the third quarter, they scored 29 points which allowed them to create quite the lead that they kept winning 78-59. Ashlyn Watkins was a rebound machine with 20 rebounds in that game while Kamilla Cardoso led the team in scoring with 22 points. 

South Carolina will have the size advantage and they’ll be able to get good looks on the inside but they’re also a good three-point shooting team which will come into play against a team like Iowa. They shoot 39% from three which is the third-best percentage in the nation. 

The Gamecocks will likely win the rebound battle and if they can limit the chances that Iowa has on offense this team could find themselves winning one more and completing the perfect season. 

Prediction: Iowa 




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