Multiple Blue Rings

Iowa's Caitlin Clark makes UConn coach Geno Auriemma eat his words to reach national title game

Caitlin Clark's last play of significance in a 71-69 Final Four win over UConn was to inbound the ball off Paige Bueckers' backside to trickle crucial time off the clock and essentially seal one of the most fulfilling victories of her career.

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Entering the NCAA Tournament game, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma had given Clark all of the motivation she could have possibly needed.

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Auriemma didn't recruit Clark despite UConn reportedly being her dream school, claiming that if she really wanted to attend his program, the guard should have called him.

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He said Bueckers was the better player, then refused to back down when given the chance to claim he'd been misinterpreted.

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Things didn't start ideally for Iowa on Friday night, and they certainly ended controversially.

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Clark failed to make a first-half 3-pointer, the first time that happened in her career in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa's 26 halftime points were tied for its lowest output of the season.

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However, Clark enjoyed better fortunes after the break, as Iowa opted to run her off screens more often than it did in the early going.

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With just under four minutes to go in the third quarter, the 22-year-old connected on an and-one 3-pointer with Ashlynn Shade sliding into her landing space.

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The Hawkeyes turned a six-point deficit into a tie game entering the fourth quarter.

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After Nika Muhl hit a 3-pointer to cut the Iowa lead to one in the final minute of regulation, Clark passed the ball to Hannah Stuelke, who threw it away.

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