All roads end in Cleveland for the 2024 Women's March Madness. It is also where Caitlin Clark will play her last stretch of college basketball games with the Iowa Hawkeyes. The challenge that lies ahead? A fairly stacked UConn Huskies squad with Paige Bueckers and led by legendary scheme mastermind Coach Geno Auriemma. Despite the depth and schemes that the Portland 3 champions are able to execute, the women who just won Albany 2 are heavily favored.

The spread expects a win for Iowa and sees them going to the national championship game over UConn. It clocks at around -2.5 (-118) for the Hawkeyes while the Huskies only have +2.5 (-104). A close March Madness Final Four game is also expected between the two big programs. The money line reflects the same odds as well. Betting on the Caitlin Clark-led squad would only yield -150 while the higher risk of taking UConn to win it all will see someone notch +122 for their cash.

Overall, the odds at FanDuel point to a close Iowa win. The total sees them having a U 162.5 with a -105 line as UConn only registers at U 162.5 with a -115 line. This Final Four matchup is one for the ages. With the talent in personnel and great minds who form schemes in each team, it could very well go down to the very last shot.

UConn's preparation for the big game vs. Iowa

Apr 1, 2024; Albany, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark (22) celebrates with teammates after defeating the LSU Lady Tigers in the finals of the Albany Regional in the 2024 NCAA Tournament at MVP Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
© Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Before this March Madness clash even started, UConn's Geno Auriemma already knew that a headache was looming for him and Paige Bueckers' squad. A generational talent like Caitlin Clark will be hard to out scheme. The evidence lies in how a really strong LSU squad just could not hold their own as the game went by. The Huskies' head honcho does not like the matchup at the moment, via SNY.

“I hope Caitlin Clark had a personal agenda against LSU. And, I hope there’s nothing personal between me and her. I don’t need to be seeing her drop 50 on us next weekend,” Auriemma said.

His strategy entering the final weekend of March Madness? It's to get on the Iowa legend's good side such that they do not get demolished.

“I love her. I think she’s the best player. Forget that I ever said Paige was the player in the country. I think she’s the best player of all time. I don’t know who said that I said that Paige is the best player in the country,” he declared.

This could just be him playing mind games but it's never too bad to plead one's case such that they do not get steamrolled by the Iowa Hawkeyes. The fact that Clark went ballistic and unconscious is already warning enough. She knocked down 13 out of her 29 field goals and only missed one of her seven free throw attempts for 41 points. Not to mention, her offensive arsenal also extended through playmaking because she dropped 12 assists.

Her utility in Coach Lisa Bluder's squad also allowed her to grab seven rebounds. Two of them even came from the offensive side of the board. All Paige Bueckers and UConn have to do is shut her down. But, that is a really steep task that not a lot of teams have been able to do.