Record-setting crowds. Star players. Women’s college basketball has it all.

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Caitlin Clark and Iowa are back in the Final Four again. So are Dawn Staley and undefeated South Carolina.

The women’s basketball world will descend on Cleveland for the national semifinals on April 5, and the championship game two days later.

Next up for Iowa is UConn, the team that knocked them out of the tournament in Ms. Clark’s freshman season. The Huskies beat Southern California 80-73 in the other regional final on April 1.

Ms. Staley’s team will face North Carolina State, which is making its first appearance in the Final Four since 1998.

A lot of attention will be on Ms. Clark, which Ms. Staley doesn’t mind, because it means her unbeaten team is flying a bit under the radar. It’s the second consecutive year that South Carolina has reached the Final Four undefeated and the fourth in a row the team has advanced at least this far.

Most of the talk this season has focused on star players across the country like Ms. Clark, USC’s JuJu Watkins, UConn’s Paige Bueckers, LSU’s Angel Reese, and Notre Dame’s Hannah Hidalgo. It’s also lingered on disparities between the men’s and women’s games that have been under scrutiny since attention was drawn in 2021 to the vastly different weight rooms set up for the NCAA Tournament. This season brought the mismatched 3-point lines in Portland, Oregon. The incorrectly drawn lines were among a series of miscues that have been a backdrop to what’s otherwise been a big moment for women’s basketball. But those issues have had little to do with the players on the court or the fans in the stands. There have been record-setting crowds and historic TV ratings, headline-grabbing moments from Ms. Clark and Ms. Watkins, and the epic Elite Eight duels between Iowa and LSU, and UConn and USC.

It was only two seasons ago that the tournament’s field grew to 68 teams just

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Author : usa-news

Publish date : 2024-04-06 06:49:47

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