Party for first-timers: Clark, Iowa will play LSU for title


DALLAS (AP) — Caitlin Clark and Iowa completed the party of first-timers in the women’s NCAA championship game.

Clark’s Hawkeyes will face LSU and flamboyant coach Kim Mulkey on Sunday after knocking off undefeated defending national champion South Carolina 77-73 in the semifinals Friday night.

The Tigers rallied for a 79-72 victory over Virginia Tech in the early game.

Clark, the Associated Press Player of the Year, scored 41 points for Iowa (31-6). The Hawkeyes lost 73-72 in overtime to Ohio State 30 years ago in their only previous Final Four appearance.

Alexis Morris, playing in her home state of Texas, scored 27 points to get the Tigers (33-2) past the semifinals for the first time in their sixth try. The first five were consecutive from 2004-08.

Mulkey is just the third coach to take multiple teams to the Final Four after going four times with Baylor and winning three championships. She has a 7-1 record on the big stage.

“You think about all the great men’s players that have played at LSU,” Mulkey said. “You think about all the great women’s players that have played. When they told me none had ever played for a national championship, I was kind of surprised. That’s an accomplishment. That’s a step in the right direction.”

Iowa was a No. 2 seed playing the team that had been ranked No. 1 all season. South Carolina was trying to become the first repeat winner since UConn in 2016.

The Hawkeyes came to the Final Four with the most losses among the remaining teams, but the best player. Now Clark will match wits with Morris while Iowa figures out how to deal with star LSU post player Angel Reese.


AP March Madness coverage: and and

No posts to display