Fired-up Caitlin Clark’s next challenge is to defeat the team that did not want her, after

Fired-up Caitlin Clark’s next challenge is to defeat the team that did not want her

The Final Four is set. A spectacular NCAA Women’s Tournament will end in Cleveland this week, with numerous compelling storylines settled in one way or another.

The South Carolina Gamecocks aim to complete an undefeated season with a national championship, while the North Carolina State Wolfpack seek their first crown. In the other national semifinal, the Connecticut Huskies, one of the game’s most famous programs, are aiming for their 12th championship under legendary coach Geno Auriemma. However, they will have to face the Iowa Hawkeyes, led by the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer Caitlin Clark — and Clark will have a bone to pick when the ball is tipped on Friday night.

Clark’s out for another slice of revenge.

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ESPN reporter Wright Thompson recently covered Clark’s rise up the collegiate basketball ranks and how she has transformed the women’s game for this generation of fans. The report revealed Clark’s strong desire to attend Connecticut, although Auriemma never truly recruited her.


Hailey Van Lith gets brutally honest on how Caitlin Clark's Elite 8 domination left her shattered | Marca

“I loved UConn,” Clark recalled of attending school in Storrs, Connecticut, home of the university. “I believe they are the coolest place on Earth, and I wanted to say I was recruited by them. They called my AAU coach several times, but they never spoke to my family or me.”

Clark is a player who thrives on being overlooked and disrespected. Her 41-point performance against the LSU Tigers in Monday night’s regional final allowed her to get some revenge after LSU standout Angel Reese humiliated her in last season’s national championship game. This tournament is Clark’s last chance to cement her legacy before becoming pro, and facing the Huskies and their top guard, Paige Bueckers, will only add to her incentive.

Auriemma said Clark is the best player around.
It doesn’t matter if Auriemma regrets not pursuing Clark; what’s done is done, for Clark, Iowa, and Connecticut. What Auriemma focuses on

Stopping the Hawkeyes sharpshooter and ending what, by his lofty standards, has been a long championship drought at UConn, dating back to 2016.

Following UConn’s 80-73 victory over the USC Trojans in the other regional final on Monday night, Auriemma provided a brief preview of the next game against Iowa at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Clark, maybe unsurprisingly, became the subject of talk.
“I love her,” Auriemma remarked about Clark’s playing style. “Forget that I ever stated Paige (Bueckers) was the best player in the nation. I believe she is the best (college basketball) player of all time.

The Hawkeyes have opened as narrow 2.5-point favorites against the Huskies, and the two teams will already know whether the Gamecocks or the Wolfpack will await them in the championship game on Sunday night.


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