Caitlin Clark, Iowa upset No. 1 South Carolina basketball in NCAA Tournament Final Four
It’s Final Four time.
The No. 1 seeded South Carolina women’s basketball team plays No. 2 Iowa around 9:30 p.m. Friday in the national semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The State’s Jeremiah Holloway and Chapel Fowler are there to bring you live updates as the undefeated Gamecocks, who won the 2022 national championship over UConn, continue their push for 2023 perfection in a much-hyped matchup pitting star USC forward Aliyah Boston against star Iowa guard Caitlin Clark.
The winner of South Carolina-Iowa will play No. 3 seed LSU in the national championship game on Sunday (3:30 p.m., ABC). LSU defeated Virginia Tech 79-72 in Friday night’s first Final Four game.
Women’s basketball score right now
Iowa upsets USC in Final Four
The streak is over.
The season is over.
And Caitlin Clark has delivered an all-time classic.
Clark, the 2022-23 national player of the year, dropped 41 points as Iowa upset South Carolina 77-73 in Friday night’s Final Four to snap a 42-game winning streak for the reigning national champion Gamecocks.
No. 2 seed Iowa, an 11-point underdog, advances to Sunday’s national championship game against No. 3 LSU while No. 1 overall seed South Carolina’s season ends in shocking fashion at 36-1.
Hawkeyes stay up after Q3
Iowa leads South Carolina 59-55 after three quarters.
The Gamecocks are hanging around, but this is the Hawkeyes’ game: they’ve led for 26:05 of a possible 30 minutes of game time ... as an 11-point underdog against the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket.
Naismith Player of the Year Caitlin Clark has been excellent with 25 points on 10-20 shooting. She’s 3-11 on 3-pointers and has five turnovers, but her seven assists and constant pressure have offset those minor struggles.
South Carolina’s most important player, Aliyah Boston, is having a rare off night with four points on 1-5 shooting, three personal fouls and a -8 plus-minus in just 16 minutes. Guard Zia Cooke continues to carry USC with 20 of its 55 points.
Backup Kamilla Cardoso (12 points, 6-6 shooting, 10 rebounds) has also been impactful. But Iowa hasn’t been rattled yet in a game featuring one tie and six lead changes.
Iowa maintains halftime lead
Iowa leads South Carolina 38-37 at halftime.
Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark has a game-high 19 points on 7-12 shooting and 3-7 shooting on 3-pointers, as well as six assists. But South Carolina’s gotten back into this one behind more theatrics from guard Zia Cooke (18 points, 8-13 shooting) and a +6 scoring advantage in the second quarter.
The Gamecocks, trailing at halftime for the first time this tournament, didn’t lead the game until the 3:12 mark of the second quarter. Reserve forward Laeticia Amihere’s provided a timely boost (eight points, five offensive rebounds, team-high +6 plus-minus).
Savvy center Monica Czinano has 10 points for Iowa, mostly off pick-and-rolls with Clark. The Hawkeyes also have seven fast-break points and have caught USC slipping in transition several times.
Iowa leads after first quarter
Iowa leads South Carolina 22-13 after the first quarter.
If the Gamecocks keep playing like this, they’re in trouble. The nine-point deficit is their largest of the NCAA Tournament, star forward Aliyah Boston has two fouls and Iowa star Caitlin Clark is doing Caitlin Clark things (11 points and four assists).
Iowa is comfortably outshooting USC and getting essentially whatever it wants against one of the nation’s best scoring defenses. Guard Zia Cooke (9 points on 4-8 shooting) has been a bright spot for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina stars in attendance
South Carolina has a few well-known fans in the house tonight: former national champions A’ja Wilson and Allisha Gray. Both players were on USC’s 2016-17 national championship team, which won its title in Dallas.
Wilson is now a WNBA champion and MVP forward with the Las Vegas Aces, while Gray currently plays guard for the Atlanta Dream. Both are wearing throwback jerseys of their former head coach, Dawn Staley.
A’ja Wilson and Allisha Gray are courtside for the #Gamecocks pic.twitter.com/9wzEvEl6ik
— Julia Westerman (@JuliaWesterman) April 1, 2023
South Carolina is favored by 11 points over Iowa, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
South Carolina vs. Iowa TV, stream
Who: No. 1 South Carolina (36-0) vs. No. 2 Iowa (30-6)
Where: American Airlines Center in Dallas
When: Approx. 9:40 p.m. Friday
Stream: Via ESPN or the ESPN app
Next up: The winner of South Carolina-Iowa will play No. 1 Virginia Tech or No. 3 LSU in the national championship game on Sunday, April 2 at American Airlines Center (3:30 p.m., ABC).