Iowa vs. South Carolina: Start time, live stream, prediction, preview, how to watch the national championship

untitled-design-2024-04-05t214559-624.png
Getty Images

It’s Championship Sunday in Cleveland. The NCAA Women’s Tournament reaches its conclusion when top seeds South Carolina and Iowa clash inside the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse with everything on the line.

The two teams met in last year’s Final Four with the Hawkeyes springing the upset to reach the national title game. Now, they meet again with the title at stake. 

Dawn Staley’s team is on a mission to join an exclusive list of teams that have won the national title with a perfect record. So far, only nine teams have been able to do so. 

Despite losing all five starters from last season, the Gamecocks have an even deeper roster and are stronger on both ends of the court. Kamilla Cardoso is the veteran leader, averaging a team-high 14.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest. South Carolina is hard to guard because seven Gamecocks average over eight points per game.

Meanwhile, Iowa (34-4) has had the brightest spotlight this season as Caitlin Clark’s re-writing of collegiate basketball scoring records seemed to happen every time the Hawkeyes took the floor. Clark may own all of those individual accolades, but the elusive mission remaining is to win a national championship before she leaves school to enter the WNBA Draft. 

Clark leads her team, and the nation, with over 31.7 points per game and a total of 341 assists. However, Iowa is stronger when it’s not just Clark shining — as Hannah Stuelke demonstrated against UConn on Friday with a team-high 23 points in the 71-69 win. 

Let’s take a closer look at how fans can catch the action Sunday before getting to a key storyline and prediction for the matchup.

How to watch (1) South Carolina vs. (1) Iowa

Date: Sunday, April 7 | Start time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — Cleveland, Ohio
TV: ABC | Live stream: Fubo (Try for free)

South Carolina vs. Iowa: Key storyline

Can Clark and the Iowa offense break the stout South Carolina defense? These two teams are among the top in the nation in scoring offense (Iowa ranked first at 91.4 points per game while South Carolina was third at 85.4), but the Gamecocks were much tougher on the defensive end, allowing just 56.1 points per game. Clark carried her squad against South Carolina in last year’s Final Four with 41 points, but this is a whole different team. It might take one last Herculean effort from Clark on her way out to the WNBA to claim that elusive championship.

Who wins Iowa vs. South Carolina, and what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread hits, all from the expert who’s up 371 units since the start of the 2021-22 season, and find out.

South Carolina vs. Iowa prediction, pick

UConn’s defense figured out how to disrupt Clark in the Final Four, but the Huskies’ thin roster made that difficult to sustain in the second half because of fatigue and foul trouble. South Carolina has considerably more depth, which will allow the Gamecocks to stay fresh against an Iowa team that likes to play fast. 

Staley’s teams are usually excellent defensively, but the offense has somewhat lagged behind. South Carolina has been much more consistent offensively this season. This team has flexed its dominance on that end several times, registering a program-record six 100+ point games in the regular season. Scoring 100 points on Iowa would be a difficult task, but the Gamecocks will be a hard team for the Hawkeyes to guard as there isn’t one main player to focus on.

The Gamecocks have the size advantage and will probably dominate the paint, but they are also capable of shooting from distance if the Iowa defense forces them to like they did in 2023. 

Pick: South Carolina

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *