The Caitlin Clark Effect

What has she done for the popularity of women's college basketball?

She's an elite scorer, and the women's game has evolved so much, where now it is modelling the men as far as trying to score at a higher pace, get as many points as you can. 

With Caitlin's game, with her deep shooting range, I think it has brought more fans to the game to watch.

It's more exciting, different players, handles that they bring and just making the game more exciting with that faster pace is now evolved for the women's game. 

Our goal has always been to bring more fans in. Now, with the effect of social media, so many players have that platform, being able to promote their game.

The networks that are now showing more of a women's game, and that aspect, even with the game last year with injuries and Caitlin Clark, the back and forth, the talk you know it gets fans excited. 

They want to see that type of banter; they want to see players playing hard and getting after it. 

So, I believe now, we're getting the notoriety that we've been wanting for a long time for the women's game and the way that these females are scoring at an elite level is exciting for people to watch and to keep people in the stands.

Expectations on Caitlin

That is something that comes with the territory, but I don't believe that's something that Caitlin will be shy of. 

She's been here before, they had bigger players last year, but she has been that go to player. 

She has been that star to carry the team, so, I don't see that affecting her. 

The trainers and the coaches know the requirements of what is needed as far as like rest and to get ready and get prepared for carrying that load. 

But for me, I believe Caitlin has been carrying that load, so, I don't see that being an issue for her this this season.

Is Clark the GOAT?

There's been a lot of great females, and I know a lot of times people select breaking records and to be an all-time leading scorer as far as an elite player. 

With her being able to take that team to a title, that definitely will be given some room as one of the greatest of all time. 

I wouldn't say the greatest of all time, but I could say one of the greatest of all time for sure.

Transitioning Her Game to the Pros

Her shooting ability, her offensive game is definitely going to be a smooth transition.

Also, something to consider, when you're that superstar college player and everything is set for you, read through you, it would just depend on where she ends up and if she does go to Indiana, I know that's what everyone is wanting and saying where she will be next.

Indiana will have it set up for her to excel and to be to be great, so getting stronger because it is grown women at the pro level. 

Getting stronger will be the thing for her, but when you can shoot the way that she can shoot, that is just something that everybody doesn't have.

How Great are the Gamecocks?

Going undefeated for a long time, has always been to talk about UConn and what Geno has been doing with his team. 

Dawn [Staley] has definitely brought her team to be the team that everyone has the bullseye on, that's who they want to be. 

When they got upset last year, now they have evolved this year, I believe, with getting people more ready for the game with better shooting, better range. 

Raven [Johnson], for one, has stepped up her shooting, whereas last year, if you remember the game where they was just sagging off of her and daring her to shoot, now they have that. 

So it makes them hard to beat, Tennessee was almost there to upset them, but they came out with that win. 

So definitely an elite team, and going undefeated is hard, whether it's home or on the road, that is a very hard task because a lot of teams played.

Dawn Staley’s Role

South Carolina are unbeaten under Dawn Staley - are we witnessing one of the greatest teams of all time?

It's a test to her as a coach of her team, but Dawn is the type of coach you see how she interacts with her players, she's a player's coach. 

When you see a coach like that and you have players that are willing to run through a wall, so to speak, for their coach, the chemistry that they have, the way that they fight, it just shows the test of what she brings and how her team feels about her. 

This is the time, when you have an undefeated record, you have more to lose. 

You don't want to go on to the tournament making those mistakes to give up everything that you fought for in the preseason and the regular season. 

In the tournament, coaches always say zero, zero, this is a new season, but when you have players in college, you know your mindset, you have to keep them ready and humbled because you can easily get the big head as being an undefeated team. 

So, Dawn is a coach that is great enough to do it, she's been here several times to prepare her team and I'm sure they didn't forget what happened to them last year. 

I'm pretty sure that they're going to be prepared and be ready to fight each game leading up to the Elite Eight and Final Four.

The Amazing JuJu

Has she exceeded what were already high expectations in her freshman season?

When you have a player like JuJu who can score at any level on the court, the perception that you have for them playing at a high level in high school, being great, you never know exactly what you would get at that college level. 

So, now seeing her to be able to play and excel at that level as a freshman is amazing.

Everyone's tuned in, everyone's excited to see what she's been able to do. 

The 40-point games to the major scoring back-to-back is just something that you want to expect, but you don't really know until the player actually gets there and is able to excel like she has. 

When you have a young player like that, that's a hard role to take on, to be a leader, but be one of the youngest players on the team. 

You have to have the trust from your older teammates to believe you, and that's what they have there. 

They have been able to excel with her being that type of player, being able to take on their role, having that bubbly personality where her teams look for her, but also trust in her as well.

The Defending Champs

LSU, Angel Reese & Kim Mulkey are always in the headlines aren't they? What'd you make of the latest confrontation with them and SC?

I feel that all started back from the big game with the banter back and forth, with her and Caitlin. 

That's when all the headlines started, especially for Angel Reese and LSU. 

That was one of the biggest, most popular, watched college game. 

When you have that type of notoriety, you have that bullseye on your back because they did win, people are going to watch, whether it’s for good feedback or bad feedback, people are going to watch. 

They're going to see how you act, how you react, that episode that happened with South Carolina was unfortunate, not just for the women's game, but just for women in general.

You never want to see those type of things happen at a game where you got family of fans jumping out of the stands. 

So, I feel that's something that actually should be controlled more with referees, with letting the games get that intense. 

But you have to hold everyone accountable, not just the players but the coaches and everyone in that aspect. 

There have been fights in all types of games, whether it's been NBA, WNBA, college, high school. 

When you're passionate, when you're into it, it just happens, but now with social media, everyone is recorded every single day and posting it for likes, posting it views, for clickbait.

That’s just an unfortunate part of it, but games are going to get competitive, players are going to talk trash, players are going to get into it, it’s going to be heat in a moment. 

That happens all the time, but with LSU having that rep, you know, with Angel being one of the players to talk trash is just going to be something that comes with it now especially for their team. 

You are the team to beat when you're the champs the year prior.

South Carolina Deserve Heavy Favs Tag?

When you have a team that is undefeated, and it's not like they're just playing anybody, they've been playing some good teams. 

They almost were upset by Tennessee, but they still pulled it out. 

South Carolina is definitely the favorite, the top team for so many other reasons too. 

I don't see Carolina having troubles until possibly the Elite Eight and I say that for Iowa. 

You can't ever count out Iowa when you have a player like Caitlin, who can take over a game at any moment and lead that team. 

I do feel Iowa will have to get past Princeton, Princeton is a very disciplined team who has given top teams trouble all year. 

So, I do feel that that will be a game that could be an upset, a big upset for Iowa if they don't come out ready to play. 

Then that will determine who South Carolina plays in the Elite Eight, but I don't see South Carolina having any trouble prior to the Elite Eight. 

That is the team I would pick to win it all. 

Of course, I'm always rooting for my alma mater and Virginia Tech where my college coach is coaching now, but I do have to go with South Carolina as the team to win it all.

First Round Upsets?

Middle Tennessee State over Louisville, the 11-seed versus the 6-seed. 

They’re 16-0 in their conference, 29-4 overall, they went a 19-game winning streak and they beat Tennessee at Tennessee in December. 

Tennessee gave USC a run for their money, so that is also a team that stood out to me, too. 

In the tournament, you can't count no team out, it's a fight to the end type of situation and there always are upsets, that's why they call it March Madness. 

So, definitely there will be some upsets and there will be some heated games.

Player to Watch

Which players are keeping a close eye on and think will make a name for themselves during the tournament?

Rickea Jackson. 

She's a difference maker and when you have a player like that, that can take over a game, that can score at any level in a game. 

I think this is the time, tournament time, where she's going to really excel and stand out.

Bet on Women's March Madness at Betway 

Find season-long college basketball odds on Betway. You’ll find all the latest spreads, totals, money lines, and parlays. Missed tip-off? No problem, Betway also offers live betting. All your NCAAB betting needs are covered in our online sportsbook.

Visit Betway’s CBB picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.