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Take UConn to Top Caitlin Clark, Iowa In Epic Semifinal Showdown

Most of the attention will be paid to the resident superstars with record-breaking Caitlin Clark leading Iowa and fellow All-American Paige Bueckers guiding UConn as the Hawkeyes and Huskies meet in the NCAA tournament semifinals. The NCAAW latest lines list Iowa as a 2½-point favorite against 11-time national champion UConn.

 

Take UConn to Top Caitlin Clark, Iowa In Epic Semifinal Showdown
Take UConn to Top Caitlin Clark, Iowa In Epic Semifinal Showdown

The Huskies have won six straight meetings with the last three in the NCAA tournament – 72-53 in 1997, 86-48 in 2002 and 92-79 in 2021. Only the 2021 matchup came on a neutral court.

UConn punched its ticket to a record 24th Final Four with a win over top-seeded USC in the Portland 3 Regional final. Iowa avenged a loss in the 2023 national title game by eliminating LSU in the Albany 2 Regional final.

When looking at NCAAW futures odds, Iowa is second at +300 with UConn third at +700 in the odds of winning the national title.

Game Information

  • Game: Huskies (33-5) vs Hawkeyes (33-4)
  • Date/Time: April 5, approximately 9:45 p.m. ET
  • Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland
  • UConn vs Iowa Live Stream: TBS.com

 

UConn is 8-4 against ranked teams with the Huskies winning their last three NCAA tournament games by single digits. Iowa rides a 10-game win streak, and is 6-2 against teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. That could factor into the NCAAW expert picks.

Iowa is priced at -145 by the BetUS sportsbook to win the game outright with UConn at +105 on the Moneyline.


The Huskies and Hawkeyes meet on Friday, April 5, at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. You can watch the game on ESPN about 30 minutes after the completion of the semifinal between North Carolina State and South Carolina.

UConn vs Iowa Odds and Spreads

  • UConn is 12-10 in the national semifinals.
  • Iowa is 1-1 in the national semifinals.
  • Iowa is 2-3 against the Las Vegas odds in its last five games.
  • Four of the Hawkeyes’ last seven games finished under the total.
  • UConn is 1-3 ATS in the 2024 NCAA tournament.
  • Four of the Huskies’ last six games finished under the total.

Over/Under Pick: Under 162½

Expect a much quicker pace in the second national semifinal as Iowa leads the nation in scoring offense while UConn is 14th in points per game. Iowa is second and UConn is third nationally in field-goal percentage.

The biggest difference could come on the other end of the court as UConn is seventh nationally in field-goal percentage defense compared to Iowa checking in at No. 134.

UConn limited a talented USC team to 32.9% shooting – a fact to consider for NCAAW over/under predictions – as it looks to slow down Clark and the Hawkeyes.

 

 

ATS Pick: UConn +2½

UConn played with fire in the regional final with multiple players for the Huskies seeing extended minutes with four fouls. With Azzi Fudd and Aubrey Griffin among the six UConn players who have suffered season-ending injuries, foul trouble might be an even bigger concern than slowing down Clark.

Don’t be surprised if Clark and Bueckers cancel each other out. If that happens, the focus could turn to how the Hawkeyes deal with UConn post player Aaliyah Edwards.

In the four losses, Iowa has struggled with post defense with Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee, Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes, Ohio State’s Cotie McMahon, and Nebraska’s Natalie Potts and Alexis Markowski having big games.

Look for UConn to get the ball to Edwards early and often in this game and if she can avoid foul trouble, that could be enough to lead UConn to victory

Keep an eye on the availability of Iowa guard Molly Davis as she has a chance to return to the court during the Final Four.

 

 

Player Prop Pick: Bueckers 25+ Points and UConn Win (+175)

It is easy to forget that coming out of high school, Bueckers was the No. 1 player in her high school class while Clark was also rated in the top five. UConn hasn’t relied on one player to carry the offensive burden since Maya Moore’s final season.

Bueckers has averaged 28 points in the four NCAA tournament games. She will probably need to approach that number for UConn to win, so go with the +175 odds for Bueckers to have at least 25 points in a UConn win.

The -200 odds for Clark and Bueckers to combine for at least 60 points in another solid option even if it doesn’t pay as well. Seventy or more, though, sits at +300.

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UConn vs Iowa Prediction

UConn 78, Iowa 76

 

 

Questions of the Day

How have UConn and Iowa fared in their most recent national semifinals?


UConn topped Stanford 68-53 in 2022 to advance to a record 12th national title game. Iowa defeated reigning national champion South Carolina 77-73 in the 2023 semifinals.

What were the odds to win the national title for UConn and Iowa heading into the 2023-24 season?


UConn was second at +750 in the odds to win the national title at the start of 2023-24. Iowa was third at +800.

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