NCAAB

Women’s Final Four Predictions: Can Iowa’s Caitlin Clark or UConn Take Down Undefeated South Carolina?

South Carolina is looking to cap off an undefeated season with a title. But NC State stands in its way — and that's before Iowa or UConn await.

April 3, 2024

The 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament has reached the Final Four, and we’ve seen skyrocketing viewership and unprecedented interest in the tournament thanks to high-profile player matchups and budding rivalries — like the record-shattering Caitlin Clark/Angel Reese Iowa vs. LSU matchup we saw in the Elite 8.

We’ll keep the action rolling from Cleveland on Friday, followed by the NCAA Women’s Tournament championship game on Sunday night. You can wager on all the games through Tipico Sportsbook, and the game previews below are accompanied by the latest Tipico odds.

1 South Carolina vs. 3 NC State (Friday, 7:00 p.m. EST)

South Carolina came into the NCAA Tournament with a perfect 33-0 record, and the Gamecocks have won four additional games to pull within two victories of an undefeated season. After blowout victories over 16 seed Presbyterian and 8 seed UNC, South Carolina faced more resistance in its two most recent games, beating 4 seed Indiana 79-75 and 3 seed Oregon State 70-58. Center Kamilla Cardoso was pivotal in those most recent victories, averaging 17 PPG and 8 RPG across the last two games.

It’s far less surprising to see the NC State women’s team in the Final Four than the 11 seed men’s team, yet the Wolfpack may as well be an 11 seed in comparison to the undefeated Gamecocks. Even after back-to-back 10-point wins over 2 seed Stanford and 1 seed Texas, NC State is a double-digit underdog versus South Carolina.

To pull off the upset, NC State will look to get Cardoso in foul trouble and hope for leading scorer Aziaha James to stay hot. Aziaha has channeled her inner LeBron in NC State’s biggest games, as James scored 29 points against Stanford and 27 against Texas, well above the 5-9 guard’s team-leading average of 16.7 PPG from the regular season.

Moneyline pick: South Carolina

Spread pick: NC State

Over/Under pick: Under

1 Iowa vs. 3 Connecticut (Friday, 9:30 p.m. EST)

It’s hard to overshadow an undefeated team when it comes to Final Four storylines, but Iowa is doing just that thanks to the presence of superstar Caitlin Clark, who surpassed Pete Maravich’s all-time NCAA Division I basketball total career points record earlier this season. Clark’s Hawkeyes are 33-4 this year, and the most recent victory came in a cathartic Elite 8 rematch against LSU, who defeated Iowa in last year’s National Championship Game.

Iowa got revenge with a 94-87 win this time behind Clark’s 41 points, which bumped her season scoring average up to 32 PPG. Clark also leads the team with 7.3 RPG and 9.0 APG, so a championship is the lone missing piece in an outstanding college career that will come to a close at the conclusion of this tournament.

Like NC State, UConn has both the men’s and women’s teams in the Final Four. The Huskies are no strangers to success, but it’s fair to say this is far from the strongest team Geno Auriemma has had the pleasure of coaching in a career that has included 11 championships and 23 trips to the Final Four.

This year’s team is peaking at the right time, however — UConn hasn’t lost since an 18-point defeat at the hands of South Carolina on Feb. 11. In its last 3 games, UConn beat 6 seed Syracuse by eight points, 7 seed Duke by eight and 1 seed USC by seven. Paige Bueckers is averaging 28 PPG in the NCAA Tournament, up from her team-leading season average of 22 PPG. If Bueckers can cancel out Clark’s production, UConn’s supporting cast is good enough to get it done, but that first part is a tall order.

Moneyline pick: Iowa

Spread pick: Iowa

Over/Under pick: Under

CHECK OUT PREDICTIONS FOR THE MEN’S FINAL FOUR HERE

National Championship Game (Sunday, April 7)

1 South Carolina vs. 1 Iowa

This is the matchup most of the country is hoping to see, with the best team taking on the best player. Iowa may be better prepared for this moment after having lost in the National Championship Game last year, while most of the pressure will be on South Carolina as the Gamecocks look to finish off the first undefeated season in women’s college basketball since UConn in 2015-16.

There have been some special individual talents to come through the NCAA over the years, but what better way for Clark to cement her GOAT case in women’s college basketball than to deny South Carolina a perfect season? It would take some championship jitters from the Gamecocks and an outstanding effort from Clark and crew, but Iowa certainly has a path to victory here, especially with the Midwestern crowd in the Hawkeyes’ corner.

Prediction: Iowa

Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha Yodashkin has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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