Has Iowa ever won a championship in basketball? History of Hawkeyes women’s Final Four appearances

Caitlin Clark, Lisa Bluder, and the Iowa Hawkeyes are in the Final Four for the second time in as many years, but they have one goal on their mind during the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

They want to win Iowa its first women’s basketball championship.

While the Hawkeyes have been one of the more consistent women’s programs over the past decade, they have only recently achieved high-end success. Clark’s star power helped them become one of the most fearsome teams in the country, and that has Bluder on the verge of playing for a championship for just the second time in her 24 seasons at the school.

Here’s what to know about Iowa’s history as a March Madness contender as it looks to win the tournament in 2024.

BENDER: Caitlin Clark’s logo 3-point show is returning to the Final Four

Has Iowa ever won a national championship?

No, Iowa’s women’s basketball team has never won a national championship. They came close in 2023 but finished runner-up to LSU after losing the title game 102-85.

Caitlin Clark scored 30 points in that 2023 championship game, but LSU saw LaDazhia Williams, Alexis Morris, and Jasmine Carson all score at least 20 points in an offensive explosion for the Lady Tigers. The Hawkeyes had to settle for second place, which still marked their best-ever finish in NCAA Tournament history.

MORE: Caitlin Clark channels Kobe Bryant with comments after Elite Eight win

Iowa women’s basketball Final Four appearances, results

Iowa is making its second consecutive Final Four appearance in 2024, but it’s only the school’s third overall Final Four bid.

Before Clark helped carry the team there in both 2023 and ’24, the Hawkeyes had made the event just once. That came in 1993, when Hall of Famer Vivian Stringer coached the Toni Foster- and Tia Jackson-led team to wins over Old Dominion, Auburn, and Tennessee to get to the Final Four in Atlanta.

Iowa lost to eventual champion Ohio State in the Final Four. A late controversy marred the 73-72 overtime game, as Stringer attempted to call a timeout just before Laurie Aaron tripped over a player on the floor with six seconds left, resulting in a turnover. The officials didn’t see Stringer’s gesture, and Ohio State held on for a one-point win.

Iowa made it to the championship game in 2023 with an impressive 77-73 win over South Carolina in the semifinals. Clark provided 41 of Iowa’s points, and the Hawkeyes defense limited 2023 No. 1 overall pick Aliyah Boston to just eight points in 25 minutes.

The Hawkeyes went on to lose to LSU but got revenge on the Lady Tigers in the Elite Eight, earning their trip to Cleveland in 2024. Now, they will look to earn their first national title, needing wins over UConn and the winner of South Carolina vs. NC State to set that up.

Below is a full look at Iowa’s Final Four history by year: 

Year Results
1993 Lost 73-72 (OT) vs. Ohio State in semifinal game
2023 Won 77-73 vs. South Carolina in semifinal game
Lost 102-85 vs. LSU in national championship game
2024 TBD

MORE: Updated list of Caitlin Clark’s most absurd stats in NCAA career

Iowa women’s basketball NCAA Tournament appearances

Iowa’s women’s basketball team has made it to the NCAA Tournament 30 times in the program’s history. Lisa Bluder and Stringer have overseen a combined 27 of those appearances, qne Angie Lee achieved three in her five seasons in Iowa City.

While Iowa has made Final Four runs just 10 percent of the time, it has had more success getting to the tournament’s second weekend. The Hawkeyes have 10 Sweet 16 appearances and six Elite Eights in their history.

Below is a look at Iowa’s results by year:

Year Reached Final game
1986 Second round L, 73-68 to No. 4 Tennessee
1987 Elite Eight L, 66-65 to No. 1 Louisiana Tech
1988 Elite Eight L, 98-78 to No. 2 Long Beach State
1989 Sweet 16 L, 98-74 to No. 2 Stanford
1990 Second round L, 61-56 to No. 6 Vanderbilt
1991 Second round L, 70-53 to No. 3 Washington
1992 Second round L, 61-60 to No. 8 SW Missouri State (OT)
1993 Final Four L, 73-72 to No. 1 Ohio State (OT)
1994 Second round L, 84-78 to No. 6 Alabama
1996 Sweet 16 L, 74-63 to No. 3 Vanderbilt
1997 Second round L, 72-53 to No. 1 UConn
1998 Second round L, 62-58 to No. 5 Kansas
2001 Second round L, 78-69 to No. 5 Utah
2002 Second round L, 86-48 to No. 1 UConn
2004 First round L, 89-76 to No. 8 Virginia Tech
2006 First round L, 67-62 to No. 7 BYU
2008 First round L, 67-61 to No. 8 Georgia
2009 First round L, 76-62 to No. 9 Georgia Tech
2010 Second round L, 96-67 to No. 1 Stanford
2011 First round L, 92-86 to No. 11 Gonzaga
2012 First round L, 84-74 to No. 8 California
2013 Second round L, 74-57 to No. 1 Notre Dame
2014 Second round L, 83-53 to No. 3 Louisville
2015 Sweet 16 L, 81-66 to No. 2 Baylor
2018 First round L, 76-70 to No. 11 Creighton
2019 Elite Eight L, 85-53 to No. 1 Baylor
2021 Sweet Sixteen L, 92-72 to No. 1 UConn
2022 Second round L, 64-62 to No. 10 Creighton
2023 Championship L, 102-85 to No. 3 LSU
2024 TBD TBD

The Hawkeyes have clearly enjoyed success and have been one of women’s basketball’s steadiest programs. Now, it’s all about adding a national title to their resume to solidify them as one of modern college basketball’s juggernauts.

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