The Iowa Hawkeyes have earned the right to play in a Final Four matchup in back to back seasons as they take on the UConn Huskies tomorrow night (April 5) at 8:30 PM.

The Hawkeyes travel to Cleveland, Ohio, with dreams of becoming the 2023-2024 NCAAW college basketball champions. In the sports world, becoming a champion is something that can truly cement a great players legacy. When you're one of the best players in the world and you prove it by leading your team to championship victories, there's no denying how great of a player you are.

Michael Jordan did it with the Bulls, Tom Brady did it with the Patriots/Bucs, Kobe Bryant with the Lakers, Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour, etc.

In 2023-2024, Iowa's Caitlin Clark has helped lead this team to a Big 10 championship, she broke the all time Division 1 scoring record, she's helped the team win 30+ games, and she helped the Hawkeyes earn a number 1 seed in the NCAAW college basketball tournament. Out of Caitlin's hundreds of accomplishments, there is still room for 1 more to cross off of her bucket list. An NCAA Championship.

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There was an interesting discussion on the Stephen A Smith show about her legacy and if winning or not winning a championship can affect how the college basketball universe views her greatest.

*Stephen A Smith is a longtime ESPN sports reporter who specializes in basketball. He's been with ESPN since 2003*

Does Caitlin Clark Need a Championship?

There's no denying that Caitlin Clark is one of the greatest shooters in the history of college basketball, on the men's side or women's. There are very few, if any, college basketball players of any era that can shoot/score like she can. She's proven that by becoming the greatest scorer in D1 basketball history.

While someone can be the greatest scorer, that doesn't always make someone the greatest player of all time. If Iowa is not able to win it all this year, will Caitlin Clark be remembered as an excellent shooter but not one of the GOATS (Greatest of all time)?

Absolutely Not

While it is true that great players help lead their team to winning championships, it would be impossible to deny how incredible Caitlin Clark is at basketball. She's an anomaly and forever will go down as one of the greatest college athletes of all time. Not just basketball players but college athletics as a whole.

Caitlin Clark's don't just appear every year, they don't even appear every decade. Almost every college basketball program has never been lucky enough to have a Caitlin Clark join their program. What Caitlin has done for college basketball, women's college basketball, and women's sports, is nothing short of incredible. It's quite possible that what she has done is something that we might never see again.


According to ESPN, 12 million viewers tuned in to watch a women's Elite 8 matchup, as Iowa took on LSU. This was the most viewed college basketball game on ESPN's platform EVER. This wasn't a championship game, this wasn't a Final Four game, this was a women's basketball game in the Elite 8.

While we've been spoiled in Iowa and have got to witness how incredible these female athletes are firsthand, there are thousands, if not millions, of people who watched women's college basketball for the first time. The game had every thing it needed to be great. It was a rematch of last years championship and there there was a bit of a rivalry, but there was 1 X-Factor...and that was Caitlin Clark. Thousands of people watched that game just to see her play.

If Caitlin Clark was a good player and she was voted to be an All American every year, then maybe winning a championship would help cement her into the GOAT status. The problem with that is...Caitlin Clark is not a good player. She's a once in a lifetime college athlete who has ascended women's sports, probably, more so than any female athlete before her.

Larry Bird never won an NCAA championship, Wilt Chamberlin never won an NCAA championship, Shaq never won an NCAA championship, Tim Duncan was the first player in NCAA history to reach 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 blocked shots and 200 assists, Duncan's Wake Forest team went to four straight NCAA Tournaments, reaching as far as the Elite Eight in 1996, according to Sporting News. I'm not sure there's anyone alive who wouldn't call any of those players "great."

Forget all of the records she's broke, forget how many awards she's won, and forget all of the highlights she has on ESPN. She has potentially changed how casual fans view women's sports forever.

If that doesn't put her in someone's GOAT category, they're simply wrong.

Hopefully, Caitlin and the Hawkeyes can win 2 more basketball games and basketball reporters can put this entire conversation to bed

Our Favorite Caitlin Clark Photos

Iowa's nunber two scorer of all-time, after just three seasons, Caitlin Clark continues to build on her already legendary career.

Gallery Credit: Getty Images

Our Favorite Photos From Iowa's Run to the NCAA Championship Game

The 2022-23 Iowa women's basketball season started on November 7 and concluded in the NCAA Championship Game against LSU on Sunday, April 2. Iowa went 31-7 and will be remembered forever for their five NCAA Tournament wins. Here are our favorite photos from the tournament.

Gallery Credit: Getty Images

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