The Iowa Hawkeyes and Louisville Cardinals advance to the Elite Eight after Friday night's victories. Here are our recaps of their games.
No. 2 seed Iowa Hawkeyes over No. 6 Colorado Buffaloes 87-77
Colorado was the overachiever of the Pac-12 and Iowa was a favorite all year long. It was a highly competitive game when they met on Friday, but after a third-quarter outburst led by Caitlin Clark, the Hawkeyes came out on top and advanced to the Elite Eight.
Clark was great, especially in the second half. She ended the night with a team-high 31 points and eight rebounds. The Hawkeye forwards were also big in this game, with McKenna Warnock and Monika Czinano scoring in double-figures.
It's the smile at the end for us @CaitlinClark22 ➡️ @MckennaWarnock #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/LreaUuRiD3— Iowa Women's Basketball (@IowaWBB) March 25, 2023
In the opening half, the Buffaloes came out running. They were up by one at halftime and were dominating with their guard play from Frida Forman, who ended the night with 21 points. Quay Miller was relatively quiet, but even with her muted play, Colorado could pull off the upset.
Then the second half happened.
Iowa came out on a 15-2 run to start the third quarter and Clark scored eight points and assisted with the rest. The lead proved too much to overcome as Colorado spent the rest of the game trying to climb back into it. They did get to within six after a Miller three, but Clark countered with a basket of her own and with Kate Martin and Warnock hitting their free throws in the closing minute, the comeback fell just short for Colorado and Iowa will keep on dancing.
No. 5 seed Louisville Cardinals over No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels 72-62
Ole Miss really only played eight players, but their three-guard lineup was impressive tonight. Marquesha Davis and Myah Taylor both had 19 points and Angel Baker added 11 of her own, but it wasn't enough as Louisville came out with a double-digit victory to end the Rebels' season.
Louisville was always in control and never lost an individual quarter. Hailey Van Lith had a decent game by her high standards with 21 points and five rebounds, but Ole Miss made her work for everything. She struggled to score at times and had a late turnover that gave Ole Miss life midway through the fourth. Morgan Jones was also significant for the Cardinals off the bench with 11 points and seven boards.
What a save!!— Louisville Women’s Basketball (@LouisvilleWBB) March 25, 2023
"Mykasa Robinson... that is a microcosm of the type of player she is."
https://t.co/W6Z6CqbvXJ #GoCards X #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/2HLbno2HcO
Ole Miss was never in control, but they never went away. Angel Baker made back-to-back baskets in the third to cut the lead to three. Louisville countered with an 11-4 run to close out the third and take a ten-point lead into the final quarter.
Most of the fourth was an even exchange of buckets until the 2:57 mark when Van Lith made a bad turnover and a Myah Taylor jumper made it a five-point game. Van Lith bounced back immediately, scoring a mid-range jumper, and Louisville never looked back.
One of Friday night's winners will become a Sunday night loser this weekend as Louisville and Iowa face off against each other to earn a trip to the Final Four. The No. 2 vs. No. 5 matchup will start at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN.