DALLAS — This year’s roster of women’s sports has been capped by a breakout star streak, upsets and flamboyant Kim Mulkey leading LSU to its first basketball championship.
Mulkey’s memorable outfits were just one of his many memorable moments. Caitlin Clark had a 40-point triple-double in the Elite Eight game, dramatizing South Carolina’s quest for a last-season undefeated and two No. 1 seeds shaken before Sweet 16
It led to the highest ever in the history of the tournament as well as the ratings of the TV stars around. The timing for the game could not have been better. It could all lead to women’s basketball getting a separate TV deal when the contract expires next summer.
Here are some of the top moments from the tournament:
Mulkey is never hard to fool in his side with his feisty approach and reactions to referees and players. Her flamboyant coach outfit takes her presence to another level, and her last four outfits certainly stood out.
For the national semifinal game, Mulkey arrived in a carnation pink top with flower-like puffs throughout the sleeves, made by a top designer similar to what her 2-year-old granddaughter was wearing. Even the mascot was spotted in a pink outfit.
The coach wore a striped, gold, tiger outfit to the ball game. Her teammates were the golden girls, winning the first championship in school history.
Clark set a NCAA Tournament record by scoring 191 points over six games for Iowa, surpassing Sheryl Swoopes’ 177 points for Texas Tech in 1993 and Glen Rice’s 184 for Michigan in the 1989 men’s tournament.
Before scoring 30 points in the championship game, the 6-foot-6 Iowa-born Clark became the first player in the women’s tournament with back-to-back 40-point games. That included his 11th career triple in the region final against Louisville, before another 41 points against undefeated South Carolina earlier in the national semifinal game.
HISTORY OF DENIED
South Carolina was trying to become the 10th women’s team to run through the season undefeated and become the first school to win consecutive titles since UConn won four straight from 2013-16. The Gamecocks denied a chance to lose to Iowa in the Final Four after a stellar effort from Clark.
It was the end of the era
UConn’s run of fourteen consecutive Final Four appearances in the Elite Eight ended when Ohio State forced the Huskies into 18 first-half turnovers with a full-court pressure defense. The Huskies haven’t missed playing in the national semifinals since 2007.
The format of the regional games changed this year to two locations instead of the traditional four. It got strong reviews from players and coaches and fans. He ended up holding the record for that round with more fans showing up in Seattle – which had no team within 1,300 miles of the venue – than Greenville, South Carolina.
Miami is more than just a piece of history from No. 1 seed Indiana by knocking off the Sweet 16. The Turbines, under Coach Katie Meier, knocked off Villanova and led Maddy Siegrist’s national career scoring streak to eight for the first time. The champions from LSU ended Miami’s run with a 54-42 win in the regional finals.
Virginia Tech was the first participant in the final four, a pair of first-time finalists after LSU beat the top-seeded Hokies and Clark’s Hawkeyes beat undefeated defending national champion South Carolina. It was already confirmed before the final that the champion was something other than the No. 1 seed. first time since 2011
Stanford and Indiana both fell in the second round, the other pair of No. 1 seeds became the sweet 16 when the tournament expanded to 64 in 1994. It also happened in 1998. The cardinals were engaged in their court. Mississippi defense. He never led a second round game and his streak of 14 consecutive sweet 16 appearances ended. The Hoosiers lost last night at Conference Hall, when Miami hit Harden’s game-winner with 3.5 seconds left.
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