‘Every game has been that atmosphere’: Caitlin Clark, Hawkeyes feeling tournament-ready

Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes are as battle-tested as any team in college basketball.

From record-breaking crowds, to the crazy fans that witnessed broken records — this team had played through it all this season.

With four losses to their name and a Big Ten Tournament championship in-house, this team has taken nearly every foe’s best punch and handled it.

Outrage over calls for Caitlin Clark, Iowa surest sign yet women's game has  arrived - Yahoo Sports

The Hawkeyes feel they’ve been tournament-ready because they’ve played in intense atmospheres all season.

“I think the advantage of that is our team has done that in a lot of games this year,” Caitlin Clark said.

“We’ve had experience — especially the Nebraska game — we really probably shouldn’t have won that game but we found ways to win.

“We’re experienced, we’re mature, we know how to handle late-game situations.

We know how to come back from deficits and I think we’ve kind of experienced it all this year, whether having big leads and losing or coming back from being down.

I think all those things will help us going into this tournament. Having Kate, Gabbie, and myself — we’ve been able to experience, at least I’ve experienced four — five of these together.”

Có thể là hình ảnh về 5 người, mọi người đang chơi bóng chuyền, mọi người đang chơi bóng rổ và văn bản

“I feel like we’re more prepared for this atmosphere,” head coach Lisa Bluder said.

“I feel like every game that we’ve played in this year has been that NCAA atmosphere. It’s been an unbelievable crowd.

We’ve had our names circled on everybody’s schedule. I think that we’re prepared just because of what we’ve went through throughout the year — not just during the Big Ten Tournament.”

Clark, Bluder and the Hawkeyes await the winner of Holy Cross and UT-Martin on Thursday.

As a number one seed, they’ll plan to host the first two rounds at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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