The NCAA trophy was claimed by the South Carolina Gamecocks, concluding a flawless season with a 38-0 record, positioning them as only the 10th Division I women’s basketball team to accomplish an undefeated season.

This victory also signifies the culmination of Caitlin Clark’s illustrious college basketball career, falling short of the ultimate championship.

In a game held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, South Carolina secured an 87-75 triumph over Iowa.

Clark led the charge for the Iowa Hawkeyes and the match as the highest scorer with 30 points. Tessa Johnson, coming off the bench, spearheaded the Gamecocks' effort with 19 points.

Following the Gamecocks' triumph, emotions overwhelmed South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, rendering her nearly speechless as she attempted to articulate her jubilation for her undefeated team.

Staley expressed, "I am unbelievably happy for our players," acknowledging that "it doesn't always conclude as desired," alluding to last year's tournament when Iowa eliminated South Carolina in the Final Four.

"We aspire to alleviate any lingering pain they endured last year," Staley remarked regarding the victory.

She described the win as "remarkable" and "beyond belief," underscoring her immense pride in her team's dedication and the support from the fans.

Staley emphasized the importance of allowing young individuals to embrace their identity while providing guidance and support through life's challenges. She remarked, "When young individuals commit and trust... incredible achievements can materialize."

Staley hailed her team, affirming, "They have inscribed their names in the annals of history." She added, "This group was perhaps the most unexpected to achieve such a feat."

Te-Hina Paopao, a standout player in South Carolina's championship game victory, spoke with ESPN following the conclusion of the game, emphasizing the Gamecocks' remarkable undefeated journey despite starting with an entirely new lineup and modest expectations at the season's outset.

"We've traversed a significant distance; this has been quite the journey," Paopao shared with ESPN. "I couldn't be prouder of this team."

Paopao contributed 14 points, ranking as the third-highest scorer for the Gamecocks, and she sealed the victory with two crucial free throws with just over a minute remaining.

South Carolina had previously clinched the championship twice, in 2017 and 2022.

Iowa, led by Caitlin Clark, fell short of securing its first NCAA championship on Sunday. The Hawkeyes reached the final game last year but were defeated by LSU, 102-85.

South Carolina becomes the first women's Division I basketball team to achieve a flawless season since 2016. The Gamecocks entered the NCAA championship game this season with an impeccable 37-0 record. With this triumph, the Gamecocks now boast the 10th perfect season in the 41-year history of the women's Division I basketball tournament.

The last team to accomplish a perfect season, including postseason games, was the UConn Huskies in 2016.

According to the NCAA, there have been nine perfect seasons in Division I women's basketball, with only four universities—Baylor, UConn, Tennessee, and Texas—having achieved this feat. UConn leads with six perfect seasons, while the others have one each.