Caitlin Clark was born in Des Moines, Iowa. One of those corners of the deep america that do not usually grab headlines, not even in the sports press. But how was he born? over therechose to continue playing over there, with the Iowa Hawkeyes now one step away from their first national title in what is being their first Final Four since 1993. And for those who have left, whatever happens in tomorrow’s final (And if I had to bet…), another year for Clark. Another year to see a prodigy in action, one of the biggest college stars ever. You have to turn 22 in the natural calendar of the draft edition to be able to make the leap to the WNBA. She turned 21 on January 22. So she cannot be selected for 22 days, something that is not usual before the course senior in women’s basketball, but in her case it seemed like a very real possibility. Of course, per level…
It will therefore be number 1 in 2024 if everything continues its course. Which will be, by the way, a draft that can change women’s basketball forever: Clark, Paige Bueckers, Hailey Van Lith, Olivia Cochran… and Angel Reesethe star of LSU, Iowa’s rival in tomorrow’s final and another team seeking its first title in the Madness female. It’s a Final Four ultra media, full of narratives and stars. With the American Airlines Center in Dallas packed to the brim, massive television audiences and all served for the final dance after some tremendous semifinals: LSU won first (72-79) over Virginia Tech, and Iowa gave the bell afterwards against South Carolina (73-77).
Iowa’s blow is huge. The South Carolina Gamecocks were the champions defending their title and they were in a perfect season: 36 victories in 36 games and a total streak of 42 consecutive victories. Until Clark appeared, his magic… and a ton of pressure for the champions, who trailed until the last quarter, took the lead (from 55-59 to 60-55)… and received two triples right there, clear, Clark. Iowa did not relent. Not even against the best team, the one that seemed invincible, a coach who is already a legend like Dawn Staley and the one who will be number 1 in the 2023 draft, the exceptional center Aliyah Bostonwho stayed at 8 points (with 10 rebounds) on a nightmarish night in which he was not allowed to experience foul problems.
The perfect season, the South Carolina dynasty, the fairy tale of Staley and Boston… a narrative capable of prevailing over everything, except Caitlin Clark. A base of 1.83 that is the revolution. Very distant triples, impossible baskets from any position, lanky rivals in the pick and rollpasses with laser precision… and passion for big spotlights. He scored 41 of his team’s 77 points. He grabbed 6 rebounds and distributed 8 assists (6 all his teammates).
In the last quarter (18-18) he scored or assisted on all of the Hawkeyes’ points, who withstood the onslaught of a rabid champion because they simply have a special player. That he came from signing a 41+10+12 in the quarterfinals (the regional final). And that he achieved the highest score in a semifinal, another 41. She has one game left and she already has the record for assists in a national tournament (52) and is second in points (161) and tied for first in triples (24). so tomorrow… Since 2000, there have been six stretches of at least 150 points and 50 assists in five games. All six bear his signature. His average this season, the third of Collegeis 27 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.9 assists. In the tournament, he is at 32.2, 7.8 and 10.4.
Iowa won the Big 10 tournament and is storming, in every way, for the national championship. In the Final Four he was an underdog with two SEC strongholds such as South Carolina, which has already fallen, and LSU, which awaits in the final with a trainer ultra polarizinga Kim Mulkey who will gladly position herself as a villain to get in the way of Clark. But LSU is much more, of course: Angel Reese, another great star for the WNBA starting in 2024, added 24 points and 12 rebounds and point guard Alexis Morris finished with 27 in a resounding comeback for the Tigers, who lost 59-50 at the start of a fourth quarter that they won 13-29, with the Virginia Tech Hokies frozen. They will be in a final that will elevate a new champion, one who has never won this title. And You can culminate the amazing story in this tournament of Caitlin Clark, a jewel that was already on everyone’s lips before but that in recent days has amassed a good bite of greatness that, it is impossible to think otherwise, has in front of it with full hands. Because she is a special player. whatthe never seen? At least something very similar.