Mar 1, 2024 - Sports

Caitlin Clark could bring unprecedented madness to Final Four in Cleveland

Caitlin Clark of Iowa celebrates after making a basket.

Caitlin's world. Photo: Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Basketball fans are about to get a taste of the excitement Cleveland will experience during the NCAA Women's Final Four in April.

Driving the news: Reigning Player of the Year Caitlin Clark and her No. 6 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes host the No. 2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a matchup between two potential No. 1 seeds, as well as favorites for the Final Four, to be held in Cleveland next month.

  • Clark is also likely to break Pete Maravich's mark for most career points in Division I history for men and women.

Catch up quick: Clark broke Kelsey Plum's record for most career points in women's NCAA history on Feb. 15.

  • On Wednesday, Clark surpassed Lynette Woodard's overall women's college record of 3,649 points, which Woodard recorded before the NCAA officially recognized women's sports.
  • Clark announced Thursday that she plans to enter the WNBA draft this year.

State of play: She averages 32 points per game and needs just 18 points on Sunday to eclipse Maravich's record.

The intrigue: Iowa-OSU is a rematch of a Jan. 21 game that saw the Buckeyes beat the Hawkeyes 100-92 in overtime at Columbus' Schottenstein Center.

What's next: The Big Ten women's basketball tournament starts Wednesday, and the first round of the NCAA tournament starts March 22. The Final Four takes place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 5 and 7.

The big picture: Last year's Women's March Madness set ratings records.

  • That momentum and Clark's star power could make this year's tournament the biggest ever.

What we're watching: In addition to Iowa and OSU, the list of top NCAA tournament contenders includes the past three tournament winners LSU, South Carolina and Stanford.

  • There's also UConn, led by standout Paige Bueckers, and USC with star JuJu Watkins, who could wind up challenging Clark's records one day.

Worthy of your time: Sunday's game airs at 1pm on Fox.

Go deeper: Caitlin Clark's magical season

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