Iowa women’s basketball bracket: How Caitlin Clark, Hawkeyes can reach 2024 Final Four, win NCAA Tournament

Caitlin Clark and Iowa were national darlings this season. But the NCAA Tournament selection committee dispelled any thoughts of favoritism.

The Hawkeyes earned a No. 1 seed for March Madness. But as their prize, they received the toughest path of any top seed to the Final Four in Cleveland.

Iowa’s region, which will play its Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in Albany, N.Y., also includes Ivy League champion Princeton, Pac-12 sleeper Colorado and reigning national champion LSU — and they’re not even the highest seeds Iowa could face en route to the regional final.

Here’s a breakdown of the Hawkeyes’ potential path to the national championship.

WOMEN’S MARCH MADNESS HQ
NCAA bracket predictions | TV schedule | Printable PDF

Iowa women’s basketball bracket

Albany Regional No. 2

1 Iowa vs. 16 Holy Cross / UT Martin

8 West Virginia vs. 9 Princeton

5 Colorado vs. 12 Drake

4 Kansas State vs. 13 Portland

6 Louisville vs. 11 Middle Tennessee

3 LSU vs. 14 Rice

7 Creighton vs. 10 UNLV

2 UCLA vs. 15 California Baptist

Iowa March Madness schedule 2024

In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, No. 1 seed Iowa will face the winner of Thursday’s First Four game between No. 16 seeds Holy Cross and UT Martin.

The Hawkeyes will host Holy Cross or UT Martin at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, March 23, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

If the Hawkeyes win, their second-round matchup will take place on Monday, March 25, also at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

Iowa March Madness odds

Iowa holds the second-best odds to win the NCAA Tournament as of Sunday, March 17, at +400, per BetMGM.

Undefeated South Carolina, which received the overall No. 1 seed for the tournament, also holds the best odds to win at -120, per BetMGM.

How Iowa can reach Final Four, win March Madness

Here are the highest possible seeds Iowa could face in each round of the NCAA Tournament, from the early rounds all the way up to the national title game.  

Round of 64: No. 16 Holy Cross or UT Martin

Patriot League champion Holy Cross or Ohio Valley Conference runner-up UT Martin will face Iowa in the first round. UT Martin received the runner-up bid for its conference as champion Southern Indiana is ineligible during its transition period from Division II to Division I.

Round of 32: No. 8 West Virginia

The Mountaineers are stumbling into the NCAA Tournament, with four losses in their last six games. But three of those losses came against ranked opponents, and all came by single digits, so West Virginia could play above its No. 8 seed.

Sweet 16: No. 4 Kansas State

The Wildcats and the Hawkeyes split their two previous meetings this season. That’s a feather in the cap of Kansas State, which is one of just four teams to get a win over Iowa this season. When 6-6 center Ayoka Lee controls the defensive boards, the Wildcats are dangerous.

Elite Eight: No. 2 UCLA

The Bruins possess a deep roster, led by Lauren Betts, Charisma Osbourne and Kiki Rice. But they’ve also had to duke it out in a monstrous Pac-12, including in a double-overtime loss to USC in the conference tournament final. Will they have the energy left for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament?

If the Hawkeyes don’t draw UCLA, they could instead face No. 3 seed LSU in a rematch of the 2023 NCAA championship game.

Final Four: No. 1 USC

If not for Caitlin Clark, USC freshman JuJu Watkins would have been the clear pick for national player of the year. With 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, she’s a one-woman show — but she doesn’t need to be, with McKenzie Forbes and Rayah Marshall also scoring in double digits.

Championship: No. 1 South Carolina

The undefeated Gamecocks come into the tournament with a new starting lineup but unfinished business. They lost to the Hawkeyes in the Final Four one year ago, and they will do everything in their power to avoid a repeat of that result.

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