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Morning Coffee: Clark delivers epic performance to lift Iowa into Final Four

Iowa LSU Caitlin Clark Hailey Van Lith - The Canadian Press

It’s the biggest story of this NCAA tournament to date.

In the most highly anticipated March Madness match-up to date, Caitlin Clark somehow managed to exceed all expectations with a brilliant performance to propel her team into the Final Four.

With all the hype surrounding the national championship game rematch, it would have been easy to ultimately fall short of expectations.

Instead, Clark delivered an all-time performance, going off for 41 points and 12 assists to lead Iowa to the 94-87 win over LSU.

South Carolina remains the heavy favourite to win the NCAA women’s tournament title at FanDuel.

There’s a very good chance that they will.

Regardless of what happens next, nobody will ever forget the brilliant outing that Clark delivered in the Elite Eight.

This is the Morning Coffee for Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024.

Clark Delivers Epic Performance To Lift Iowa Into The Final Four

Iowa versus LSU in the Elite Eight was appointment television.

Considering the stakes, it would have been easy for the game to be a disappointment.

Instead, it was even better than expected.

Clark stole the spotlight with 41 points an 12 assists in the 94-87 win as Iowa covered as a 2.5-point favourite at FanDuel.

It was just the second instance in NCAA tournament history in which a player had 40 or more points and 10 or more assists in a single game.

Can you guess the other performance with 40 or more points and 10 or more assists in one game?

It was Clark versus Louisville in last year’s Elite Eight.

With a massive audience watching, Clark became the first player in NCAA tournament history to record three career 40-point games.

The 41 points is tied for the most points against the reigning national champion in NCAA tournament history.

Clark tied the NCAA tournament single-game record with nine made three-point shots.

She also passed Temeka Johnson (137) for the most assists in NCAA tournament history with 140.

When it was all said and done, Clark had scored or assisted on 67 of the team’s 94 points, which represented 71 per cent of their total production.

As a fan of the game, it was incredible to watch.

As somebody who bet on Iowa to win, it was even better.

Next up, the Hawkeyes will face UCONN in the Final Four.

Iowa is currently a 2.5-point favourite at FanDuel.

In the other Final Four match-up, South Carolina is an 11.5-point favourite versus North Carolina State.

The Gamecocks remain the obvious title favourite.

South Carolina is down to -200 to win the title at FanDuel.

Iowa is the second choice at +300.

UCONN is +700 to win the women’s title.

NC State remains the biggest long shot at +1200 to win it all.

For as impressive as Monday night’s performance was, the road to a championship won’t get any easier for the Hawkeyes, which will likely need to beat UCONN and South Carolina to win the title.

The fact that they will likely have to beat LSU, UCONN and then South Carolina to be crowned champions is as difficult of a road to a title as Iowa could have drawn.

If Clark plays at the level that she did in last night’s Elite Eight win, anything is possible.

Regardless of what happens next, what Clark did in last night’s win over LSU is truly unforgettable.

As a fan of the game, I love to see it.