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Shorthanded UConn returns to Women's Final Four, will face Iowa

UConn had a 14-year streak of Final Four appearances snapped in 2023. The Huskies are back despite multiple players having season-ending injuries.

UConn guard Paige Bueckers, right, hugs guard Nika Muhl after their win over Southern California.
UConn guard Paige Bueckers, right, hugs guard Nika Muhl after their win over Southern California.
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The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament's Final Four is set after No. 3-seed UConn defeated top-seeded Southern California 80-73. UConn returns to the Final Four after having its 14-year streak of Final Four appearances snapped in 2023. 

USC was seeking its Final Four berth since 1986 after making the Elite Eight for the first time in 30 years. 

UConn is incredibly shorthanded, going with a lineup of eight players on Monday. That meant the Huskies relied heavily on star players Paige Bueckers and Aaliyah Edwards. The two did not disappoint. 

Bueckers contributed a game-high 28 points, while Edwards had 24 points. 

UConn built a double-digit lead in the third quarter, but USC came back to tie the game at 59 with 7:32 left. That was as close as USC would get. 

Caitlin Clark leads Iowa back to Final Four after win over LSU
Caitlin Clark leads Iowa back to Final Four after win over LSU

Caitlin Clark leads Iowa back to Final Four after win over LSU

Iowa's Caitlin Clark tied a women's NCAA Tournament record with nine 3-pointers Monday night in Iowa's 94-87 win over LSU.

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UConn then went on a 17-5 run, putting the game out of reach. 

UConn has a tough task ahead. The Huskies face Iowa on Friday, and will have the challenge of trying to stop star Caitlin Clark, who scored 41 points in Iowa's Elite Eight win over LSU earlier on Monday. 

In Friday's other Final Four game, South Carolina will face North Carolina State. 

This year's NCAA Tournament has provided ESPN with unprecedented TV ratings. ESPN said ratings for the opening weekend of the tournament were up 121% over 2023. 

Ratings for Monday's games have not been reported yet, but were expected to be among the most-watched women's basketball games on record.