South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and Iowa player Caitlyn Clark have a date with destiny in the National Championship game. | Getty Images

Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes will take the floor against South Carolina and coach Dawn Staley for the NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship this Sunday.

The importance of this moment for women’s sports cannot be overstated.

Interest in the game is sky-high. Heck the semifinal between Iowa and UConn was ESPN’s most-watched basketball game ever.

Not women’s basketball. Basketball.

It rivals, or maybe even beats, the interest in some of the great women’s soccer matches in American history. The 1999 Women’s World Cup and Brandi Chastain’s game-winning goal in the Rose Bowl comes to mind.

Of course, the game has to be played, and on live television.

Could a boring, low-scoring affair break out? Unlikely. Of the 75 games played by these two teams, they’ve each scored under 70 only six times.

Chances are very good this game will live up to the hype.

If South Carolina wins the game, that will catapult Staley well into the upper echelon of women’s basketball coaching greats. She would join the likes of UConn’s Geno Auriemma, Tennessee’s Pat Summit, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, and yes, LSU’s Kim Mulkey.

Truth is, Staley’s likely already there, with six Final Four appearances in the last 10 years. Still, a win on Sunday secures her all-time-great status.

Staley has already been named Coach of the Year for this season. A third national title would be an exclamation point on an historic season for Staley, who as a player was one of the all-time WNBA greats.

A Gamecocks win would also avenge the team’s loss last year in the Final Four to Clark and Iowa.

A win for Iowa, and Clark rides off to the WNBA, capping what many would consider quite nearly a “perfect season.” While the Hawkeyes’ 2024 schedule included four losses — to Kansas State, Ohio State, Nebraska and Indiana — they’ve won 11 straight against some of the best teams in the country.

Clark also set the NCAA basketball scoring record for men and women.

Iowa lost to LSU and Mulkey in last season’s National Championship game. A win on Sunday wouldn’t erase that loss, but it would certainly be sweet.

Clark has already won the Wade Trophy as the national women’s basketball player of the year. Now bringing home a National Championship trophy would cap one of the great college-basketball careers in style.

Anyone assuming Clark will take the court and walk away with a national title doesn’t know this South Carolina team. They are the only undefeated team in all of Division I NCAA basketball. A win on Sunday would make South Carolina just the 10th women’s team to go undefeated in a season and win a national title.

You can bet that’s on the minds of Staley and her team.

All-time greatness has a way of motivating coaches and players.

Iowa and South Carolina match up this Sunday, April 7, at 6pmET. The game will be broadcast on ABC.

Get your popcorn ready.