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NCAAW Update: Clark Vaults into History Books

While Iowa star Caitlin Clark became the all-time team leading scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history, the nation’s best team had to win a pair of tough games.

Top-ranked South Carolina was challenged in games against Tennessee and Georgia and remained the only undefeated team in the country, even if the Gamecocks failed to cover against the NCAAW basketball lines last week.

NCAAW Update: Clark Vaults into History Books
Guard Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates | Matthew Holst/Getty Images/AFP

There are seven games between ranked teams this week, including a huge Pac-12 showdown between Colorado and Southern California in a matchup that could impact the NCAAW odds moving forward.

The Gamecocks are still listed by our college basketball futures lines with the best odds of winning the NCAAW championship. After South Carolina’s +150 championship odds are defending national champion LSU and Iowa both coming in at +750 while UConn is at +900.

Plenty of Props for Caitlin Clark

It seemed rather fitting that Iowa star Caitlin Clark became the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I basketball history with a 3-pointer from the logo in the 106-89 win over Michigan on Thursday.

Clark passed former University of Washington star Kelsey Plum early on during her 49-point effort. She now has 3,569 career points in 126 games.

With the win, Iowa is just a game out of first place in the Big Ten standings. The Hawkeyes are currently tied with Indiana for second place in the Big Ten. That will change when the teams meet in Bloomington on Thursday.

Trying to win the Big Ten regular-season title is the first order of business. However, along the way, there is another milestone in sight. LSU’s Pete Maravich holds the Division I scoring record with 3,667 career points.

At her current pace of 32.8 points per game, Clark could get there against Minnesota on Feb. 28 or perhaps it will happen in the regular-season finale at home against Big Ten-leading Ohio State. The BetUS sportsbook has Clark priced at -240 to hit that number against Minnesota with +160 odds to accomplish the feat against Ohio State.

The other order of business is whether Clark will pass on a fifth season of eligibility and declare for the WNBA Draft. She doesn’t have to make her decision known until after Iowa plays its final game this season. The moneyline is at -150 for her to return to Iowa and -125 to enter the draft.

Clark is almost certain to be the top pick if she is part of the 2024 WNBA Draft class. She comes in at +600 to lead the WNBA in scoring during the 2024 season and is at +800 to be named the WNBA Most Valuable Player. She is also at +50000 to be drafted by an NBA team and +100000 according to the basketball odds to be picked by the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.

One player who will not be in the 2024 WNBA Draft is UConn’s Paige Bueckers. Bueckers told the home crowd during UConn’s Senior Day festivities that she plans on returning for the 2024-25 season. Bueckers is looking to play in just her second full season since arriving at UConn in 2020. The chance to have a complete season with her close friend and teammate Azzi Fudd, who is out for the season, also played a role in her decision.

South Carolina is Being Tested

South Carolina remains the only undefeated team in the country. However, last week was not the easiest of the season for the nation’s top-ranked team.

Host Tennessee was within six points with four minutes to play before South Carolina pulled away for the 11-point win even though Tennessee did cover as 19½-point underdogs.

It was a similar story when South Carolina returned home to face Georgia as the Bulldogs were only down by four points early in the fourth quarter,

A pair of 3-pointers by Te-Hina Paopao gave South Carolina some breathing room as the Gamecocks won 70-56 and lead LSU and Tennessee by 3½ games in the SEC standings with four games left in the regular season. A win over Alabama would give South Carolina another SEC regular-season title.

Things are much tighter in the other major conferences.

Virginia Tech leads Syracuse by one game and North Carolina State by 1½ games in the ACC. Oklahoma has a one-game lead on Kansas State, Texas and West Virginia in the Big 12. As mentioned above, Ohio State is up by a game on Iowa and Indiana in the Big 12. Stanford has opened up a two-game lead on Colorado, Oregon State and Southern California in the Pac-12.

A Look at the Polls

The top six teams remained the same when the latest Associated Press poll came out with South Carolina being followed by Ohio State, Stanford, Iowa, Texas and North Carolina State.

Southern California moved up three spots to No. 7 as three Pac-12 teams are in the top 10. Virginia Tech moved from 12th to eighth with Oregon State also jumping into the top 10. Kansas State and Colorado both fell three spots to No. 10 and No. 11. UCLA also fell out of the top 10.

Utah is another team on the rise, going from 22nd to 18th in the last poll.

Game of the Week

No. 11 Colorado at No. 7 Southern California

Friday, Feb. 23, 10 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

There are just two weeks left in the regular season before the end of the Pac-12 as we know it. Among the three games between ranked teams, this matchup of teams that have spent time in the top 10 in the national polls will be can’t-miss TV.

Colorado has fallen off the lead in the Pac-12 after dropping its last two games while USC has won six games in a row, the longest active winning streak in the Pac-12.

The top nine scorers for Colorado are either juniors or seniors while USC features the top-scoring freshman in the country in Juju Watkins.

When the teams met on Jan. 21, host Colorado won 63-59 despite 20 points from Watkins.

Player of the Week

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Unless a player came out and scored 70 points in a game, could the Player of the Week be anybody other than Clark after she became the leading scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history?

Clark went off for 49 points in the win over Michigan to set the mark. It was the fourth time in the last five games that she had at least 30 points and 10 assists in the same game.

Clark is averaging 32.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists as she continues to put up one of the best seasons in women’s college basketball history.

Team of the Week

Utah Utes

After rolling to a 22-point win over Oregon, Utah topped visiting Colorado as the Utes picked up their second win over a ranked team in a span of eight days.

Dasia Young, who had missed the last four games with a concussion, hit a layup at the buzzer to lift the Utes to the 77-76 win.

Utah is just a game out of second place in the Pac-12 with four games left in the regular season.

Nationally Televised Top-10 Games

Alabama at No. 1 South Carolina, Thursday, 7 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

  • No. 6 North Carolina State at North Carolina, Thursday, 8 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
  • No. 11 Colorado at No. 7 USC, Friday, 10 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
  • No. 10 Kansas State at Kansas, Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • No. 1 South Carolina at Kentucky, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
  • No. 18 Utah at No. 7 USC, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
  • North Carolina at No. 8 Virginia Tech, Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
  • No. 6 North Carolina State at Duke, Sunday, 5:30 p.m. ET (ACC Network)



Questions of the Day

Who is the favorite to win the national title?

Undefeated South Carolina continues to be the team listed by the BetUS sportsbook with the best odds of winning the national title.

What is the first game this week between teams both ranked in the top 25 in the Associated Press poll?

Creighton and UConn played at noon on Monday and after that, the next showdown of ranked teams is on Wednesday between West Virginia and Kansas State.

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