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NCAA Basketball Tournament

The NCAA tournament for basketball, more widely known as March Madness has been decided. For the women’s championship, Iowa came out swinging with a near ten point lead, but South Carolina kept playing and eventually came out with the win. For the men’s division, Uconn won it all for the national championship. The huskies took on purdue for their final game and did very well in the clutch.

The four teams that were remaining from the men’s bracket were 11 seed NC state up against 1 seed Purdue, 4 seed Alabama taking on defending champs, 1 seed UConn. These games will take place on Saturday April 6th, in Glendale, Arizona. The winners from each side of the bracket went on and face each other for a chance to win the National Championship. 

For the women’s final four, on one side of the bracket number 1 seed, undefeated South Carolina played 3 seed NC State. On the other side, number 1 seed Iowa played number 3 seed UConn. These games took place, April 5th, in Cleveland, Ohio. Exactly like the Men’s tournament, the winner of each side faced each other for a chance to win the National Championship.

A little bit of insight for each of the games, beginning with the men’s tournament. UConn, who are the defending champions for the 2023 season. In the previous round they played Illinois and during the game went on a record setting 30-0 run to advance to the final four.  Purdue, making their way back to the final four for the first time since the 1979-80 season and after losing in the first round of the 2023 tournament. NC State will be making it back to the final four since 1983 after upsetting number 4 seed duke. Last but not least Alabama, the Crimson Tide mostly known as a football school, are appearing in their first final four ever in program history. 

Now for the women’s, South Carolina, who are undefeated at 36-0 will make their fourth consecutive final four. Iowa, made their second consecutive final 4 after defeating the defending champions LSU. UConn, one of these most known winning women’s college basketball programs returned to the final four after missing the previous season. Onto NC State, they made their first appearance in the final four since 1998. 

An interesting fact about this Year’s tournament is that, this was the first time ever that multiple schools have double clinched a final four berth in the same year with UConn and NC state. 

Before the championship 

Caitlyn Clark is one of the most up and coming names in all of basketball, let alone girls basketball.  With the win against uconn, she had an amazing number of points putting up 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists.  The game came down the wire, with the game being decided by an illegal screen that gave Iowa the last possession of the game with up 2 points with only a couple seconds left. While Clark put an end to the uconn girls season, there was no time to celebrate the enormous win. This game also made history as caitlyn clark did not make a single three pointer in the first half for the first time ever in her career, going 0-6 in the first half. 

To seal the game and make sure the opposing team couldn’t get a shot off, Clark made an amazing decision to shut the game out in a very creative way. Connecticut was in man defense with one person making sure there were no baseline cuts. The player that was assigned to watch for cuts was facing away from Clark, which proved to be a terrible decision. Clark threw the ball off the players back and cut the time down to .1 seconds making it impossible for them to get a shot off. 

Ryann Lambert, freshman at Lake Shore  had some things to say about Clark’s influence on the game of basketball. Lambert stated that “caitlyn clark had all the potential in the world” 

Over social media there has been an interesting top with the increase of people thinking Clark could potentially play in the NBA. Lambert stated that “I think the roughness part is what is going to get her.” It is fair to say that if anyone could do it, it would most definitely be Clark. 

After the championship 

On 4-7-2024, the national stage was set for the two biggest forces in women’s college basketball ,SC and Iowa)went head to head. Clark helped her team to an early 10 point lead in the first half. But once South Carolina got the ball moving they couldn’t be stopped. They overcame the deficit and ultimately came out at the end of the game with the win and another national championship. 

Not surprisingly, Clark racked up 30 points on 35% shooting from 3. Although Clark is the best shooter by far out of any college girls basketball player ever. Iowa fought very hard in the championship game but unfortunately fell at the end of the 4th quarter. 

This year was such an amazing year for women’s basketball and overall an amazing year for basketball in general. These players are laying the groundwork for future generations of boys and girls trying to figure out their game. Before this Iowa run, there was really no attention paid to womens basketball. But since Clark has become a household name, there have been millions of viewers practically every night. Clark will  influence Women’s basketball just as Steph Curry has done for men’s basketball. 


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About the Contributor
Michael Mehlhose
Michael Mehlhose, Staff Writer
Michael is an 18-year-old senior. In his free time, he likes to play basketball with friends, and take naps every day after school. Going to the gym is one of his few hobbies.

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