Iowa Women Shock the Nation, Will Play for National Title [PHOTOS/VIDEO]
America tuned in to see the nation's top two players go head-to-head. One of the two was dominant. Her name is Caitlin Clark and thank God she plays for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Clark put in 41 points, her second straight NCAA Tournament game with more than 40. But this wasn't just about Caitlin Clark. It never is.
This Iowa team fought for 40 minutes. Gabbie Marshall played stellar defense like she always does. Monika Czinano was huge around the hoop, as she always is. Kate Martin seemingly grabbed Iowa's first five rebounds of the game, to help set the tone. McKenna Warnock nearly got a concussion on a jump ball call. Addison O'Grady and Hannah Stuelke were massive off the bench when Czinano dealt with foul trouble.
Iowa may have faced players who towered over them as they tried for rebounds throughout the night. They were majorly outrebounded but... did I mention Iowa's fight?
And how 'bout the game plan by Iowa coach Lisa Bluder and her staff? Amazing. South Carolina knew from the opening jump that Iowa came to play. There wasn't a soul in the state of Iowa that doubted it coming in. The final was Iowa 77 and South Carolina 73. The Gamecocks' 42-game winning streak is over.
And now, the Iowa Hawkeyes will play for their first national title Sunday afternoon on ABC-TV. The 2:30 tip-off will feature the LSU Tigers and the Hawks. If the nation doubted Iowa Friday night, surely they won't doubt them Sunday afternoon.
America has fallen just as deeply in love with the Iowa Hawkeyes as our entire state has. Sunday afternoon, we have one more opportunity to watch them do what they love... play the game together, with joy. We'll enjoy that game just as we have all the others... with smiles on our faces just as the players have on the court.