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NCAAW March Madness: Can Caitlin Clark Carry Iowa to Title?

There might not be an NCAA women’s basketball player who is generating as much buzz as Iowa guard Caitlin Clark. Clark has set multiple scoring records during her four years playing for the Hawkeyes and expectations are high once again when looking at NCAAW predictions for Clark and the Hawkeyes.

Iowa takes a six-game winning streak into the NCAA Division I women’s tournament and another six wins would give Clark and the Hawkeyes a national title before she embarks on her professional basketball career. The Women’s College Basketball Odds have Iowa second only behind undefeated South Carolina in the national title odds.

NCAAW March Madness: Can Caitlin Clark Carry Iowa to Title?
Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes/Adam Bettcher/Getty Images/AFP

Iowa is the No. 1 seed in the Albany 2 regional and will play either Holy Cross or UT Martin in the first round of the tournament. The NCAA selection committee didn’t do the Hawkeyes any favors with defending national champion LSU and UCLA among the teams in Iowa’s region.

When looking at our odds of winning March Madness, Iowa is priced at +550 in the odds of winning the NCAAW title. South Carolina leads the way at -140 with LSU coming in at +750.

 

 

One Prize Left for Clark

Clark has rewritten the NCAA record books. Her 3,771 points are the most in NCAA men’s or women’s history and the home-grown star made plenty of NCAAW news along the way.

Iowa had won one Big Ten tournament title in the previous 21 seasons but, with Clark leading the way, the Hawkeyes have won the last three Big Ten tournaments. The Hawkeyes also reached the 2023 NCAA Division I national title game.

Before heading to the WNBA, Clark is determined to lead Iowa to the national title. Iowa is the No. 1 seed in the Albany 2 region, arguably the toughest of the four brackets.

Pac-12 power UCLA is the No. 2 seed with defending national champion LSU seeded third.

Iowa opens play in the March Madness bracket on Saturday against the winner of the UT Martin and Holy Cross game. Barring a stunning first-round upset, Iowa would meet either West Virginia or Princeton in the second round.

Kansas State or Colorado could be waiting for the Hawkeyes in the Sweet 16, with UCLA and LSU the top contenders on the other side of the bracket. Iowa should be listed by the NCAAW betting lines as the favorite in at least the first two games of the tournament.

Tickets for the final two games (barring a first-round upset at home for Clark) were being listed at more than $300 before selling out.


Prices are also beginning to soar for the Albany regional.

 

What About Clark’s Supporting Cast?

Clark has done it all for Iowa as she leads all Division I women’s players with averages of 31.9 points and 8.9 assists per game.

The last time the NCAA Division I women’s basketball scoring champion reached the Final Four in the same season was in 2001, when Jackie Stiles led Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) to the Final Four before the season ended with a loss in the national semifinals.

LSU’s Seimone Augustus accomplished that feat six years later with the same result in the Final Four.

Clark can become the first scoring champion to play in the national title game during the same season.

Obviously, she can’t win the title by herself.

Hannah Stuelke contributes 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds while Kate Martin averages 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds.

There are concerns about the availability of senior guard Molly Davis.

 

A Look at the Numbers

There is another record in sight for Clark. With 520 career 3-pointers, she needs 18 to break the women’s NCAA Division I record of 537 set by Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson.

The best odds are for Clark to hit that mark during the Elite Eight with a +200 moneyline. The odds are at +300 for it to happen in the Sweet 16 contest, +500 for the record to be set in the national semifinal, and +1200 to set the record in the national title game. There are +200 odds for Clark to fall short of the record according to our sportsbook.

 

 

With Clark almost certain to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, let’s take a look at some WNBA betting options.

She has -400 odds to be the WNBA Rookie of the Year, +1000 odds to be named the WNBA MVP and the odds are at -120 for her to average more than 21½ points per game as a rookie. She has -130 odds to top 20½ points in her first WNBA game as a starter.

 

 

 

 

Questions Of The Day

How many 30-point games has Caitlin Clark had as a senior?


Clark has scored at least 30 points on 19 occasions this season, including 34 points in the Big Ten title game.

Where does Iowa rank in the odds of winning the national title?


Iowa is priced at +550 to win the national title and only undefeated South Carolina has better odds. Ironically, South Carolina’s last loss came to Clark and the Hawkeyes in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

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