South Carolina and UConn Favored in NCAA Title Games


Posted on: April 7, 2024, 10:23h. 

Last updated on: April 7, 2024, 10:23h.

The women’s and men’s March Madness tournaments are down to the final four teams.

NCAA South Carolina Iowa UConn Purdue
Iowa’s Caitlin Clark (22) plays her final college basketball game today in the NCAA women’s national championship game against top-seeded South Carolina. Clark hopes to cap off her historic year by cutting down the nets in Cleveland. (Image: Getty)

The women’s tourney concludes this afternoon when South Carolina and Iowa — both one seeds — give the public and newly interested lady hoops fans the game everyone wanted.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark hopes to cap off her historic college career, and possibly officially gain the title of “GOAT” of the women’s game, starting at 3 pm EST on ABC. The all-time leading college basketball scorer has dismissed declarations from others that she needs a title to solidify the title of “greatest of all time,” but surely she wants to cut down the nets later today in Cleveland.

Oddsmakers and the betting public think Clark has a tall task at hand.

The Hawkeyes are 6.5-point underdogs at most books to South Carolina. The Gamecocks are heavy favorites, with the moneyline at -310. A winning $100 straight bet on the South Carolina line would net just $32 and change.

You can’t ask for anything better,” Clark said of the championship coming down to the tournament’s two highest seeds.

The women’s title game will likely break television viewership records for women’s sports. Iowa’s last two games have each set ratings records, with the Hawkeyes’ win over UConn in the Final Four pulling in an audience of 14.2 million viewers.   

Clark Rarely an Underdog

Iowa enters the final game as an underdog for the first time in the 2024 tournament. It’s for good reason.

South Carolina has been the top team throughout the regular and postseasons. The undefeated 37-0 Gamecocks are led by 6’7″ center Kamilla Cardoso.

The Gamecocks’ unblemished run came into jeopardy during the Sweet Sixteen against No. 14 Indiana, but South Carolina managed to squeak out the win 79-75.

Iowa’s 2023-24 record is 34-4. The Hawkeyes also had a close postseason call when they narrowly defeated UConn in the Final Four 71-69 that included a controversial last-second call against the Huskies.

Clark’s storied career, which includes the most points in Division 1 men’s or women’s history at 3,921 points, culminates today. The title would be a most fitting exit.

I think that would be the cherry on top,” Clark said. “That’s something you get to share with your teammates. But at the same time, it would be for every Iowa women’s basketball player that has come before us.”   

The over/under for Iowa-USC is 160.5 points.  

Huskies Favored on Men’s Side

The men’s tournament wraps up tomorrow night in Phoenix when top-seeded UConn (36-3) takes on another No. 1 seed in Purdue (34-4). UConn is favored by 6.5 points and is at -275 on the moneyline. The over/under is at 145.5 points.

Oddsmakers are reporting that the bulk of the money and tickets are on UConn. The Huskies are the defending national champions and looked nearly unbeatable in the second half against Alabama last night in the Final Four.

Purdue, however, has the two-time NCAA College Player of the Year in center Zach Edey. The 7’4″ star dominated Purdue’s Final Four game against No. 11 North Carolina State with 20 points and 12 boards.

The Purdue-UConn matchup is another title game many basketball fans wanted.

A win for Purdue would mark the Boilermakers’ first national title. A UConn victory would mark the program’s sixth national title and would make the Huskies the first back-to-back national victors since Florida in 2006 and 2007.

UConn-Purdue tips tomorrow at 9:20 pm EST.

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