Iowa vs. LSU live updates: Women’s March Madness Elite 8 start time, predictions and odds

Iowa vs. LSU live updates: Women’s March Madness Elite 8 start time, predictions and odds
Iowa vs. LSU live updates: Women’s March Madness Elite 8 start time, predictions and odds
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(Illustration: Dan Goldfarb / The Athletic; Photos of Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark, Hannah Hidalgo: Eakin Howard / Adam Bettcher / Icon Sportswire, Joseph Weiser / Icon Sportswire)

There’s always a sign.

Last spring, I first noticed something special was happening when I couldn’t walk half a block in Dallas without running into large packs of Iowa or South Carolina fans. There were also my guy friends back home who, for the first time, were planning their weekend around the women’s NCAA Tournament games instead of the men’s. And all the sports talk radio channels were discussing Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. My spidey senses were tingling.

I could feel it in my bones that the sport was primed for a breakthrough moment, though I couldn’t have imagined that nearly 10 million people would tune in for the Iowa-LSU national title game, shattering the previous record for viewership of a women’s basketball game. But I could tell that the barrier of apathy had been broken; these women, that late-game taunting, the sport itself — it’d all be talked about for days and weeks and months to come.

I have the same feeling right now.

Another giant leap is coming for a sport that ought to be growing accustomed to these gains. As we head into March Madness, it is the women’s side of the tournament that is taking center stage. It is the women’s stars who shine the brightest. It is the women’s game with the most intriguing storylines.

And … that’s not even debatable!

“We’ve been on a steady incline,” USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb said during my SiriusXM show Sunday night. “You combine the star power in our game, the fact that you have some of these established stars that fans have really built a relationship with like Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Cameron Brink — and then you add in this incredibly dynamic freshman class.

“What we’re seeing is that women’s basketball is a really marketable entity. People love it. We’re in a space where there’s an incredible amount of excitement around it. … It’s something that’s, really, a movement.”

Continue reading.

GO FURTHER

Why March Madness belongs to the women: Star players, big ratings make it a tourney to watch


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Tags: Iowa LSU live updates Womens March Madness Elite start time predictions odds

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