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The Must Watch Game in the Women’s Tournament

Paige Bueckers vs Caitlin Clark makes for hyped Sweet 16 - Sports  Illustrated

Once teammates for Team USA, Paige Bueckers and Caitlin Clark are now facing each other in the Sweet 16. This game has the potential to be an all time great because of these two freshman. Both Bueckers and Clark lead their teams in scoring and assists, won freshman player of the year in their conference’s and are the future of women’s basketball.

When asked what about her thoughts of the matchup, Clark replied, “It’s not Caitlin Clark versus Paige Bueckers. It’s Iowa versus UCONN.” In retrospect, Clark is correct. However, the center of attention will be on both women in this exciting matchup.


Clark Thus Far

Clark lead the nation in scoring at 26.8 points a game but hasn’t received the same buzz as Bueckers. For starters Clark made the Second-Team All-America which isn’t bad especially for a freshman. Despite this, can you guess who was on the first team, Paige Bueckers. Both play the point guard position at a high level but stylistically are different. Though Paige can score in her own right, she is more of a playmaker who can score where as Clark is always score first. Throughout the season, Clark has a staggering 86 isolation plays compared to Bueckers who only has eight. In last rounds matchup against the Kentucky, Clark was feeling herself as she outscored the Wildcats by herself.

Bueckers Thus Far

Bueckers who won the Big East Freshman of the Year, Big East Player of the Year and one of the favorites to win Player of the Year lead her team to a dominant performance in the first round against Syracuse. All though she was 5-13 from the field, she made all nine of her free throws to score 20 points. But that wasn’t it, as usual she fills the stat sheet and this time it was no difference. She also able to grab five boards, four assists and three steals. As of now UCONN are 26-1 on the season and are now with Head Coach Geno Auriemma who is returning from Covid-19.

Auriemma had some high praises for both freshman.

“It’s been a while since you have two kids that have had this kind of an impact, both on their teams and on the game itself nationally,” said Auriemma, “To have one is kinda cool. But to have two. … It’s two really, really young kids, really good players that do a lot for their teams.”

Friends Turned Rivals… But Still Friends

Once teammates who won gold at the 2019 U19 World Cup and 2017 FIBA U16 Championship will face off for the first time against each other. Expect for both to guard one another for a majority of the game since both do play the point guard position.

“I think people think we hate each other for some reason, which is literally the total opposite. I love her. She’s a good friend of mine, and she was a great teammate. I want nothing but he best for her.”

The best games always come when friends play against friends and that is exactly what I expect on Saturday. For both players to bring their best and leave it all on the floor. This may be the beginning of a new rivalry that may end up following them in the WNBA one day.

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