Iowa’s NCAA Tournament tickets sell out in 30 minutes as Kaitlin Clark fever meets March Madness

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Iowa women’s basketball fans snapped up every ticket for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in just 30 minutes, the school announced Monday morning.

The top-seeded Hawkeyes will play the winner of Holy Cross and Tennessee-Martin on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, then play either West Virginia or Princeton on Monday with a win. Iowa features reigning national player of the year Caitlin Clark, who holds the NCAA career scoring record with 3,771 points.

Tickets are also increasing in the secondary market. As of Monday morning, a ticket for Saturday’s two-game season started at $524 (including service fee) on StubHub.

It is a common occurrence for the Iowa women’s basketball team to sell out its home NCAA Tournament games, which it has now done for three consecutive years. But doing so so quickly shows how beloved this team is among its fans.

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Counting two potential games this weekend, the top-seeded Hawkeyes (29-5) have sold out 34 of 36 possible games. The only two that did not sell out occurred at a discounted Thanksgiving tournament in Florida.

Earlier this month, the entire Big Ten women’s basketball tournament in Minneapolis sold out, with the men’s tournament this weekend not even close to doing so. By most estimates, 90 percent of women attending basketball were Iowa fans.

“I think every game we’ve played this year has had an NCAA-like atmosphere,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “It’s been an incredible crowd. We have included our names in everyone’s schedule. I think we’re prepared based on what we’ve been through, not just during the Big Ten Tournament, but throughout the year.”

As for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 matchups, they will be held in Albany, NY, which will test the reach of the Kaitlin Clark Effect. It is too far to drive for most Iowa fans, so most fans may need to come from the East Coast.

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“If any fans from the East want to come, we’ll have them,” Clark said. “Honestly, there was a lot when we played Maryland and when we played Rutgers. A lot of people came, and really wherever we go, I expect there will usually be a good number of basketball fans. And I’m expecting the Iowa fans to have a really good trip. I have no doubts about them at this point – if we do that.”

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(Photo: Jeffrey Baker/USA TODAY)

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