South Carolina outlasts Iowa's Kaitlyn Clark to win NCAA title and complete season

South Carolina's Bree Hall (23) and Te-Hina Paopao react during Sunday's NCAA Championship game against Iowa in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It's perfect for South Carolina.

The Gamecocks completed an undefeated season with an 87-75 victory over Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the NCAA Championship game on Sunday in Cleveland.

South Carolina (38-0) has been the best team in the nation all season and showed why Sunday with an all-around scoring effort and dominance on the glass.

Freshman Tessa Johnson led the Gamecocks with 19 points. He finished with 15 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in an outstanding two-way effort.

The loss ends a record-breaking career for Clark, who is the all-time leading scorer in both men's and women's college basketball. He scored 30 to lead Iowa on Sunday, but it wasn't enough.

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  • Camila Cardoso was adjudged the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four

  • Dan Staley gave major kudos to Iowa's superstar during the trophy presentation: “Kaitlin Clark, if you're watching this somewhere, you're one of the goats of our game, and we appreciate you.”

    He noted that Clark carried “too much burden” with his popularity and it always affected the game.

  • Camila Cardoso won MVP, a fitting send-off before she joins the WNBA as a projected lottery pick.

  • South Carolina Fields Congratulates Former President They will be invited to meet President Joe Biden to commemorate the victory.

  • This interview captures it all. After getting past NC State, Staley told Boston he wanted “The Freshies” to win. The All-Star class left South Carolina for the WNBA after last year's Final Four loss to Iowa. Now, they will receive their rings.

  • What Kaitlyn Clark did this season will never be forgotten. The clear No. 1 pick, she continues to draw crowds when the WNBA season begins on May 15.

  • Final: South Carolina 87, Iowa 75

    Tears everywhere. Even ex Aaliyah Boston broke down as she stood behind the immortal Don Staley during the post-game interview.

  • As Clark leaves and says goodbye to college basketball, Molly Davis stands up to touch the court after an injury sidelined her.

  • That's it. Raven Johnson waits out the clock and Coach Staley tells her not to shoot.

  • South Carolina fans can now taste victory. Clark sent Pao to the free throw line with 1:07 left in the rim, and he made both of his attempts. Up to 12 points, the Gamecocks are the closest to completing a perfect season.

  • Fans erupt after Iowa's Kate Martin is called for a foul. She hit Ashlyn Watkins, who went 1-for-2 from the free throw line.

  • Cardoso is the key to this game. After an offensive rebound and a layup, he was up 15 points.

  • South Carolina didn't like it. Affolder stole the ball from Raven Johnson near the half-court line and completed a three-point play after being fouled on a layup.

  • South Carolina's Tessa Johnson was fouled by Kate Marshall and made both of her free throws. Martin responded at the other end with a layup assisted by Clark.

  • Marshall's 3 was crucial for Iowa, which went on an 8-0 run.

  • Stulke missed both of his free throws, and Johnson won with a jumper for South Carolina. Clark answered with a jumper and Fulvili hit a layup at the other end.

  • The final quarter is underway! We start with Stulke at the free throw line after driving to the basket.

  • 3rd: South Carolina 68, Iowa 59

    Clark tried to end the quarter with a three-pointer, but it was no good.

  • Tessa Johnson has a hot hand. After Iowa hit another 3-pointer, it was the second of the quarter.

  • Bree Hall scored the next Gamecock 3. South Carolina is up 10 points.

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