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Sweet 16-Bound: Can Caitlin Clark Carry Iowa to Title?

There are plenty of numbers to crunch during Caitlin Clark’s four years at Iowa, but the one number that is on the record-breaking guard’s radar is 4 – as in four more wins would give Iowa its first national title. 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 an eight-game winning streak into the NCAA Division I women’s regionals and another four wins would give Clark and the Hawkeyes a national title before she embarks on her professional basketball career. The college basketball odds entering the Sweet 16 have Iowa second only behind undefeated South Carolina in the national title odds.

Sweet 16-Bound: Can Caitlin Clark Carry Iowa to Title?
Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes | Matthew Holst/Getty Images/AFP

Iowa is the No. 1 seed in the Albany 2 regional and will play Colorado in the regional semifinals. Colorado was ranked as high as third in the national polls and spent 14 weeks in the top 10 in the Associated Press poll. 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 +650 in the odds of winning the women’s national title. South Carolina leads the way at -155 with LSU coming in at +750.

One Prize Left for Clark

Clark has rewritten the NCAA record books. Her 3,830 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.

Clark had 59 points, 16 rebounds and 13 assists in wins over Holy Cross and West Virginia.

The line was set as 32.5 points for Clark against West Virginia and she ended up with 32. The moneyline was set at -110 for her to go under 32.5 points.

Colorado will 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 women’s college basketball betting lines as the favorite in at least the next two games of the tournament.

 

 

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.

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 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds while Kate Martin averages 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds.

There are concerns about the availability of senior guard Molly Davis, who hasn’t played since early March.

A Look at the Numbers

There is another record in sight for Clark. With 528 career 3-pointers, she needs 10 to break the women’s NCAA Division I record of 537 set by Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson.

She has +200 odds to break the record in the Elite Eight game and +300 odds to get there in the Final Four. There are +200 odds for Clark to fall short of the record according to our sportsbook.

In Monday’s game, Clark set the NCAA Division I women’s basketball single-season scoring record with 1,113 points.


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, +900 odds to be named the WNBA MVP and the odds are at -130 for her to average more than 21½ points 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 20 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 +650 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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