What to know for Iowa vs. LSU rematch in March Madness Elite Eight

What to know for Iowa vs. LSU rematch in March Madness Elite Eight
What to know for Iowa vs. LSU rematch in March Madness Elite Eight
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LSU’s Kim Mulkey has threatened to sue the Washington Post

Kim Mulkey threatened legal action against The Washington Post if the outlet publishes a rumored ‘hit piece’ about her.

Sports Seriously

The rematch is here.

One year after LSU and Angel Reese knocked off Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the women’s national championship, a game that featured logo 3s and trash talk, the two teams will meet again. It’s another contrast of styles, a matchup sure to draw eyeballs: Iowa likes to score from the perimeter, LSU pounds it in the paint. And this time, there’s a Final Four trip on the line.

Top-seeded Iowa, led by the reigning and presumptive player of the year, will meet third-seeded LSU Monday at 7 pm ET in the Albany 2 regional championship. The winner will advance to the Final Four in Cleveland.

LSU is trying to become the first back-to-back champions since UConn did it in 2016, and Iowa is trying to reach its second consecutive Final Four for the first time.

Much has happened since the teams met in American Airlines Arena, when LSU handled Iowa 102-85.

In the last year, Caitlin Clark has become the face of women’s college basketball, the all-time leading scorer in Division I regardless of gender and a household name. She’s adored in the Midwest, selling out Big Ten arenas all season. She’s got her own cereal, appeared in State Farm commercials and almost single-handedly lifted the sport to more national prominence than ever before.

Read more about LSU: Coach Kim Mulkey subjected to a harsh lens that no male coach is

Reese, meanwhile, signed with Reebok, has her own line of Bayou Barbie merchandise at DICK’s Sporting Goods and is mentored by none other than Shaquille O’Neal. She is unapologetic about her brash play and smack talk, and has said numerous times that she’s trying to set an example for the “the girls that look like me.”

They got back to this place taking significantly different paths. Iowa has mostly rolled through the NCAA tournament, surviving a brief scare against West Virginia in the second round. LSU had to win a tough Sweet 16 game over second-seeded UCLA — the contest featured eight ties and 13 lead changes — to advance. Additionally, there’s been lots of outside chatter surrounding Kim Mulkey and a couple of high-profile articles written about her that have drawn her ire, and some claim, been a distraction to the Tigers.

LSU beat Iowa last year by getting 22 points off the bench from Jasmine Carson; four of the Tigers starters scored in double figures. They owned the boards, outrebounding Iowa 37-26, and forced the Hawkeyes into 16 turnovers. Clark had 30 in the game, but shot just 9-of-22 from the field. All but three of her shots were 3s, and the Tigers clogged the lane and forced her to pass — she did that well, tallying eight assists, and her teammates shot 19-of-34 for the game. But Iowa settled for too many 3s, taking 30, and didn’t have an answer for Reese in the paint.

The rosters look pretty different this year, too. Iowa lost All-American post Monika Czinano, while LSU added Louisville All-American Hailey Van Lith. The Tigers also got one of the top freshman in the 2023 class in Mikaylah Williams, who has started all season and averages 14.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Reese, the 2024 SEC player of the year, is her usual dominant self with 18.7 points and 13.2 rebounds.

Clark has led the country all season in scoring, with 31.8 points per game, and 8.8 assists per game for the most this season, with 307. But their team is very much her and everyone else, even if sophomore Hannah Stuelke has improved dramatically and is second on the team with 14.1 points per game.

LSU gets to the line more than any team in the country, averaging 27.2 attempts per game. Clark, who’s drawn criticism for how much she complains, also knows how to get calls. Could this game come down to the charity stripe?

We’ll learn Monday.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Iowa LSU rematch March Madness Elite

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