The Iowa Hawkeye Women's basketball team has been rolling through the NCAA tournament led by the Naismith Player of the Year Caitlin Clark.  Friday she and the rest of the team will face their biggest challenge when they take on the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks.

For Clark, she will have one of the best defenders in the country across from her who happens to be a Quad Cities native.

The amazing year and tournament Caitlin Clark has been having.

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Caitlin Clark is a great player and now she is racking up the hardware because of it.  On Wednesday she was named the Naismith College Player of the Year.

She is the first player in regular season history with over 900 points and 300 assists.  She recorded a triple-double in the Big Ten Championship.  And she is the first player in Men's or Women's tournament history to record a 40-point triple-double.  Oh, and by the way, she is only a Junior at the University of Iowa.  So we have another year to enjoy this.

And the country has taken notice. From John Cena.

To Magic Johnson, they are all taking notice.

Now Iowa is in the Final Four and Caitlin will go head-to-head with somebody from the Quad Cities.

Meet Brea Beal from Rock Island.

Brea is a senior guard on the Gamecocks and one of the best defenders in the game.  Brea and her teammate Aliyah Boston were up for the Defensive Player of the Year award.  While Boston took home the trophy, Brea is known for her shut down defense.

This is where the matchup becomes more local for the Quad Cities.  Brea went to Rock Island High School where she was named the Illinois Player of the Year...twice!  Her family still lives in Rock Island and the Quad Cities area as well.

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Gameplans can change, but more than likely Brea will mostly be matched up against Caitlin in their Final Four game.  In the Gamecocks Elite 8 win over Maryland Brea poured in 16 points, but really had an impact on the other end of the floor with 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 4 defensive rebounds.

The majority of the Quad Cities will be cheering on the Hawkeyes Friday night, however, there will be those in Beal's family and her close Rock Island circle who will be wearing Gamecock garnet and black.

No matter what the outcome though we in the QC can be proud to know a team or player, will be in the finals looking to make history.  You can catch the game Friday at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.  Good luck to both ladies and teams and enjoy the experience!

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