Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder revealed that when she recruited Caitlin Clark, the then-high school athlete had dreams of going to the Final Four. The Hawkeye women hadn't advanced that far in the NCAA Tournament since 1993.

Now, Clark's dream is a reality, and her and the Hawkeyes have just two more Ws in front of them in order to be crowned the NCAA Women's Champion.

The Iowa women defeated Louisville in the Elite Eight by a score of 97-83 to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1993, nearly 10 years before Clark was even born. Not only were the Hawkeyes victorious, but Clark had herself a historic night: she is the only player in men's or women's history to notch a 40-point triple double. She combined for 10 rebounds and 12 assists to earn her place in the record books.

Fitting enough that the outlandishly stellar scorer did shined brightest on the biggest stage yet. Clark has been getting flowers from everyone from Patrick Mahomes to Hy-Vee all season long.

Clark didn't flinch despite the bright lights and the incredibly high stakes. Not even when Louisville took an early 8-0 lead (Iowa's biggest deficit of the postseason). Clark's calmness bled over to her teammates, Monika Czinano and McKenna Warnock, both of them also having great seasons in their own rights.

Photo Credit: Steph Chambers, Getty Images
Photo Credit: Steph Chambers, Getty Images

I honestly felt it was one of the most calmest I've ever felt before a basketball game in my life. [....] When you dream and work really hard, a lot of really cool things can happen. - Clark after her historic night and Iowa's victory

From late-game theatrics in the form of a three-point buzzer beater, to giving a young Iowa fan a pair of her shoes after a victory, Clark has been on fire all season long. She's a laudable young woman with the kind of humility, stoicism, and alpha leadership that makes her a player for whom it's so easy to root.

Adding to her incredible achievements are her three gold metals representing the United States at the youth international level, as well as an MVP trophy for the 2021 FIBA Under-19 Women's Basketball World Cup.

Clark and the Iowa Hawkeye women's basketball team will now take on the winner of Maryland vs. South Carolina (March 27th, 2023). It's worth noting South Carolina is the undefeated defending national champion too. Don't expect that to faze Clark nor her teammates should they win, though.


Iowa Born Sports Stars

What do each of these stellar athletes have in common? They all hail from the Hawkeye State.

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