Clark providing a spark, that leaves LSU hanging in the dark: Caitlin Clark is the best show on television(41 points/12 assists)

Monday’s women’s takeaways: Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers shine in wins
from Eric Smithling, with

Monday night delivered. Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Paige Bueckers and JuJu Watkins all put on a show in the regional finals, setting up an excellent Final Four matchup.

Here are our takeaways from Iowa-LSU and UConn-USC.

Caitlin Clark is the best show on television
Last year’s women’s NCAA Tournament national championship game between LSU and Iowa drew an average of 9.9M, and chances are a substantial number tuned into the rematch. They witnessed a masterclass from Clark, who delivered another sensational performance in a career full of them.

In Iowa’s 94-87 win, Clark finished with 41 points on 13-of-29 shooting while adding 12 assists as she set multiple records.

She’s must-see TV and has at least one more collegiate game to captivate audiences. But even if the national semifinal marks the end of the road for Clark, she won’t be off television screens for long. Clark will likely make her WNBA debut on May 14 with the Indiana Fever.

Angel Reese is excellent in potential swan song
The star LSU forward hasn’t announced her decision on the WNBA Draft, but if Monday night marks the end of Reese’s college career, she went out with a powerful, gritty performance. The 2023 women’s NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player had 17 points and 20 rebounds in defeat and fouled out on a questionable charge late.

Reese didn’t look the same after rolling her ankle in the second quarter but didn’t allow that to impact her on the glass. A projected 2024 lottery pick, Reese has proved everything she needs to at LSU. She can hold her head high if Monday’s game ends up being her last in purple and gold.

Paige Bueckers puts UConn on her back
UConn defeated USC 80-73 in Monday’s other regional final, and Bueckers scored a team-high 28 points. She showed her full offensive game, going 3-of-6 from deep and also made a number of midrange shots and was able to get to the rim for layups.

Bueckers was active defensively with three steals and two blocks. For a team that lost five players to season-ending injuries this season, UConn needed every bit of her exceptional game.

Following the Huskies win over Syracuse in the Round of 32, head coach Geno Auriemma declared Bueckers the best player in women’s college basketball. With Iowa and Clark next on the docket, those comments will likely get a lot of airplay in Iowa City and elsewhere.

Thanks to another strong performance from Bueckers, she’ll get a chance to prove her coach right on Friday night.

USC is just getting started
Outstanding freshman guard JuJu Watkins scored a game-high 29 points and kept USC competitive after falling down 12 in the third quarter. While undoubtedly a disappointing finish to the season, the Trojans have plenty to be excited about in the future. Watkins will only improve, and she’s about to get a massive influx of talent around her.

Per ESPN, USC has the top 2024 recruiting class, headlined by forward Kennedy Smith, No. 6 overall, and guards Kayleigh Heckel (No. 28) and Avery Howell (No. 23).

This wasn’t the ending USC had in mind for its season, but in many ways, the Trojans are just getting started.

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