The Iowa Hawkeyes are 30-6, reaching their first Final Four in 20 years behind the most captivating player in college basketball. After an early Round of 32 exit last year, some wondered if Iowa had the supplementary talent to go deep in the tourney. So far, so good.
Now the Hawkeyes have the biggest test of all: a Final Four battle against the undefeated, reigning champion South Carolina Gamecocks. Can they pull it off?
The short: Caitlin Clark is likely the National Player of the Year, and her 41-point triple-double in the Elite Eight took national attention as her step-back 3-pointers and no-look passes flood social media routinely. If they're able to pull of this upset, it's likely due to Clark's prowess.
Caitlin Clark is unreasonably good at this: She's averaging 30 points, 11 assists and six rebounds per game in the tournament, making 19 of her 39 3-point attempts. That's 49% shooting from range despite being the focal point of every opposing defense. There's a reason she was named National Player of the Year.
Monika Czinano is Clark's top target: The 6-foot-3 center is Clark's top option off pick-and-rolls and cuts to the rim, and their chemistry is so good, Czinano no longer has to put the ball on the floor. In the Hawkeyes' Round of 32 matchup against Georgia, she scored 20 points without dribbling once.
Final Four opponent: No. 1 South Carolina
When to watch: Friday, March 31 at 9 pm ET on ESPN
What is a spread bet?: A bet on who will win or lose and by how much.
Here’s how the Hawkeyes have performed so far in the tournament: They've won by 52 points, eight points, 10 points, and 14 points in that order. South Carolina, however, is the best team in the country, and one of the best of all time.
Advice: This bet is considered a tossup! Place this bet if you think Iowa will pull off the upset, or keep the game close.
What is a moneyline bet?: A bet on who will win the game!
Here’s how the Hawkeyes have performed this year: Well, they’ve only lost six times this year with the most concerning coming in a 28-point loss to Maryland, which the team has credited as a turning point for them. South Carolina beat Maryland in the Elite Eight by 11 points.
Advice: This bet is considered seriously unlikely to happen. The + sign indicates that Iowa is considered the underdog to win, which is why the payout is higher.
What is an over/under bet?: A bet on the combined score of two teams.
The total scores of the Hawkeyes’ tournament games have been: 138 points, 140 points, 164 points and 180 points.
Advice: This bet is considered a tossup. Place a bet on the over if you think South Carolina and Iowa's will let up on defense and have one of their highest scoring games yet. Note: South Carolina plays at a slower pace and has an elite defense, while Iowa plays high-tempo with a more lax defense.