Hailey Van Lith is in the transfer portal.

And while the 21-year-old guard has marked herself as “do not contact,” which likely means she has a destination in mind, it doesn’t hurt to dream about where she might land.

Here are a few possible destinations for the former Louisville star.


Fresh off of a championship run, LSU doesn’t have a lot of holes in its roster. But with guard Alexis Morris off to the WNBA, Van Lith could fill one of the limited spots available.

Add to that the fact that Van Lith’s final two choices out of high school were LSU and Baylor, back when Kim Mulkey was still with the Bears. She’s at LSU now, which could make the Tigers a front-runner for Van Lith.


Again, before she decided on Louisville, Van Lith had narrowed her options to the Bears and the Cardinals.

While Mulkey is now at LSU, Baylor’s Nicki Collen has proven herself just as a big draw to Waco, Texas. The team has added Aijha Blackwell through the transfer portal this season and could be a sleeper pick for Van Lith.


Iowa has a big hole to fill now that veteran presence Monika Czinano is off to the WNBA, a hole that Van Lith could help fill. That, and Van Lith and superstar Caitlin Clark are not strangers to one another, having played together on Team USA multiple times throughout high school and college.

South Carolina

In conversations about the top transfers in the portal, the Gamecocks will always be in the mix, particularly given Dawn Staley’s ability to develop guards. Van Lith would get to learn from one of the best.

Not to mention, South Carolina has proved itself as a perennial title contender. So if Van Lith is looking for a championship, South Carolina may be one of the best landing spots.


Despite a down year last year, Washington is no stranger to college stars. Look no further than Kelsey Plum.

And there’s the added fact that the Huskies are close to home for Van Lith, who grew up in Wenatchee, Washington.

Louisville basketball star Hailey Van Lith has entered the NCAA transfer portal. The school confirmed the news on Saturday morning.

“We thank Hailey for her contributions to this program, this school and this community,” Louisville head coach Jeff Walz said in a statement. “She has done everything we have asked of her over the past three years, and we wish her the very best in her final collegiate season and beyond.”

While Van Lith just finished her junior season at Louisville, she will receive her undergraduate degree in finance from the university in May. She enters the transfer portal as a graduate student.

During her three years at Louisville, Van Lith led the Cardinals to three strong NCAA tournament showings. The Cardinals’ season ended in the Elite Eight twice (2021, 2023) and Final Four once (2022). Van Lith averaged 19.7 points as a junior and finishes her Louisville career with 1,553 career points (12th in school history).

Van Lith is just the latest big name to enter the NCAA transfer portal. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow and Virginia Tech’s Ashley Owusu are also looking to make offseason moves.

Louisville coach Jeff Walz watched two very different basketball games Sunday: LSU’s low-scoring win against Miami, and then his own team’s high-scoring loss against Iowa.

Despite their disparate final scores, though, both Elite Eight contests featured high-quality basketball. Walz just wished that came across in the broadcasts.

He pointed to LSU’s 54-42 win against Miami as an example. As a keen observer, he found himself impressed by the defenses on display.

“But instead of complimenting that, we talk, ‘Oh, it’s a terrible offensive game.’ No, it’s not. It’s a great defensive game,” Walz said. “I’ve watched men’s games. They’re in the 20s. But every time I listen to an announcer on a men’s game in the 20s, they talk about what an unbelievable defensive game it is.

“We kill ourselves. We have to do better. It’s mind-boggling to me that we, as people who are trying to push and advocate for women’s basketball, we hurt ourselves. It’s got to stop. The stupidity has to end. It’s ignorance. I can’t figure it out.”

Walz’s words came as part of a seven-minute plea for more and better support for women’s basketball, made in the wake of his team’s 97-83 loss to Iowa. While he hopes fans “appreciate both sides” of the game, both the low-scoring and the high-scoring, the cue must come from those within the women’s game itself.

“We have to just continue to do a better job of being supportive of women’s athletics and women’s basketball,” he said. “I tell my players all the time, because this is something that’s important to me, when someone asks one of my players, ‘Who is your favorite professional player?’ I surely hope we say a WNBA player, because if we don’t, if you’re an advertiser and women’s basketball players are saying their favorite professional player is a men’s player, why would you advertise in women’s sports? You’re telling everyone, I prefer the men’s players.

“That, to me, I can’t figure out either. We have an unbelievable game, we have an unbelievable product, and we need to keep telling people and showing people that we do, but it starts with us.”

SEATTLE — Basketball was invented in 1891. After 132 years, it’s difficult to be surprised. There are exceptional performances, sure. But the game rarely sneaks up on you.

That’s why Caitlin Clark is so special. She’s doing things on the court that no one has ever done. Making shots that no one has any business making. Finding seams that aren’t there until she passes through them. Taking an arena in Seattle, 1,854 miles from Carver Hawkeye Arena, and making it sound like a home game.

To watch Caitlin Clark play basketball is to see it through a different lens. It’s to be surprised, every play. To see novelty in a game that’s existed for 132 years.

Like recording a 40-point triple-double in an NCAA Tournament game. That’s new. Clark achieved the milestone with 41 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as Iowa topped Louisville 97-83 in the Elite Eight on Sunday night.

And Clark put her own spin on it. Not only was she the first to accomplish the feat, but she also did it to send her team to the Final Four — Iowa’s first since 1993, when another Hawkeye legend, C. Vivian Stringer, was coaching the program.

“She is spectacular,” coach Lisa Bluder said of Clark. “I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court. A 40-point triple-double against Louisville to go to the Final Four? Are you kidding? I mean, it’s mind-boggling.”

Clark’s coach and teammates are still getting used to the show she puts on. And this is new to them, too — watching Clark snuggle up to the regional trophy, celebrating together as orange, red, pink, black and blue confetti falls, seeing “Seattle Regional Champions,” and a Hawkeye logo on the big screen.

With a Final Four hat on her head, Clark ascended the ladder. She reached up and cut a single piece of the net. Then, with a smile, Clark showed the crowd. They cheered. She yelled. Countless players before her had done the same, but after treating Climate Pledge Arena to a brand-new show, it was Clark’s turn to enjoy something for the first time.

The Final Four.

It eluded her for two seasons. Last year, the Hawkeyes didn’t get close. An upset-minded Creighton squad halted the dream before they could get past the Round of 32. But now, Clark, and McKenna Warnock (17 points), Gabbie Marshall (14) and Monika Czinano, who came back for a fifth year just for this moment, and the entire Hawkeye roster got to hold a sliver of nylon on their hands. It served as tangible proof of what they had just accomplished, advancing to the biggest stage in college basketball.

“I love to play this game,” Clark said. “I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was a little girl. I’ve always wanted to take a team to the Final Four and be in these moments and have confetti fall down on me.”

It was a dream she and Lisa Bluder first discussed in the Clark family living room during a recruiting trip when Clark was in high school. She told Bluder she wanted to play in a Final Four.

“Let’s do it together,” Bluder told her.

It was also a dream that Clark wasn’t shy about sharing. First, she convinced the players in her own locker room that it was possible.

“A lot of people told me it would never happen when I came to the University of Iowa,” she said. “But (Bluder) believed in me, and that was really all that mattered. And we made our locker room believe. When you dream and work really hard, a lot of really cool things can happen.”

Once the team had bought in, Clark moved on to the public — much to Bluder’s chagrin.

“Caitlin was the one that said, ‘We’re going to the Final Four.’ And she kept saying it in the paper,” Bluder recalls. “And I’m thinking, ‘Quit doing that, man.’ I learned a long time ago not to always give your goals away to people. Because there’s a lot of people that want to tear ’em down. She wasn’t afraid of that goal. She wasn’t afraid of putting it out there.”

A dream. Now a reality.

The Caitlin Clark Show is heading to Dallas. Get your tickets now. They won’t last.

The Hawkeyes faithful will be out in numbers, cheering them on. Clark will make sure of it.

As she climbed closer to the Final Four and closer to a 40-point triple-double, Clark asked the crowd to get louder. She threw her hands in the air, motioning for the volume to rise. At one point, late in the fourth quarter, Clark held her palm to her ear to say, “I can’t hear you.” The decibels increased.

“I feel kind of powerful,” Clark said with a laugh. “I don’t think people realize how much that affects us on the court. It really is huge for us when we can play into that. But there were a lot of little kids out there screaming and cheering for us, which I think is the coolest thing.”

Caitlin Clark signs autographs for fans after Iowa's Elite Eight win. (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

In Greece, former Iowa great Megan Gustafson woke up to an alarm before 4 a.m. so she could watch the Hawkeyes. Sue Bird was in the stands at Climate Pledge Arena. Her alma mater, UConn, was out, but she came back to see Iowa and Louisville square off. In the crowd, countless adoring fans waved signs, most of them with messages for No. 22.

One said, “Caitlin Clark, are you serious?”

Another: “Clark buckets from the logo counter,” with a place to write in every time Clark made one of her signature 3-point shots.

A little girl with cropped, pink hair hoisted a poster board that read: “Iowa, I got Sue Bird’s signature, now I just need Caitlin Clark’s.” Bird was a record-setting point guard who won titles with UConn and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. She played 20 years in the WNBA and is regarded as one of the best to ever do it. In the eyes of a little Hawkeyes fan in Seattle, Bird and Clark are already on the same level.

And that was before Clark’s record-setting performance. Now, that little girl and others, too — little boys and grown adults included — can say they were there when Caitlin Clark dropped 41 points and recorded the first triple-double of its kind to get her team to the Final Four. At 21 years old, No. 22 is already altering the history books.

And there’s still more to be written.

“The job’s not finished,” Clark said.

She’s ready for Dallas. Are you?

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

SEATTLE — Snoqualmie Pass can be unforgiving.

In the winter snow flurries swirl, semis pull over to apply chains, and the traffic slows to near-glacial speeds. The roads can become near-glacial, too.

But Snoqualmie Pass became a strange kind of friend to Louisville coach Jeff Walz. It was the thing that guided him to Hailey Van Lith, a player he had his eye on since she was in eighth grade.

Walz made several recruiting trips to Cashmere, Wash., a town of just over 3,000 people, situated 12 miles outside of Wenatchee, where Van Lith played high school basketball. He’d fly into the Sea-Tac airport, and then hop in a car to make the two-hour and 17-minute drive. Walz scoffed at those semis on the side of the road.

“I couldn’t figure out why all the semis were pulled over,” he joked. “It just opened things up for me as the snow was coming down to make a quick trip.”

The roads, the snow and Snoqualmie were worth it to get Van Lith.

Now, together, they’ve returned to her home state for the Sweet 16. No mountain drives required this time, as the airport is just 19 minutes from Climate Pledge Arena.

In the winter, Snoqualmie Pass becomes unforgiving. And in March, Hailey Van Lith does the same.

The Louisville guard is known for being hyper-competitive. When she plays, Van Lith’s blue eyes stretch wide, her mouth hangs open, gasping for every breath she can get. Her work ethic is undeniable. Her skills, remarkable. Her spirit, fiery enough to melt the snow on a Washington winter road.

In March, though, all of those qualities are amplified.

There’s something about a win-or-go-home atmosphere that makes Van Lith come alive. And on Friday, fans in her home state saw that passion firsthand as Louisville topped Ole Miss 72-62 for a spot in the Elite Eight.

Van Lith led the charge, with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. She also played 40 minutes, a normal occurrence for the guard who averages 36.7 minutes per game.

“The kid loves to compete,” Walz said. “She just loves these types of moments. And I’m really happy for her, because for a kid to come from Cashmere, all the way to Louisville, Kentucky, that’s a commitment. It’s a sacrifice.”

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

It didn’t feel like a sacrifice to Van Lith. In Walz, she saw a kindred spirit. Someone as passionate as her. She realized that when he’d send her photos on the snowy roads as he drove to her high school games.

And when she got to Louisville, his support only increased.

After Louisville beat Texas in the Round of 32, Van Lith and Longhorns guard Sonya Morris exchanged words in the handshake line. Much was made of the moment, but Van Lith brushed it off. Others didn’t.

Walz got an email from an angry spectator, unhappy with the situation and the way Van Lith handled it. Walz could have ignored it, but that’s not his style.

“I ripped the guy’s tail,” he said.

Add it to the list of reasons Van Lith chose Louisville. She needs a coach like that. One that doesn’t ignore nasty emails. One that not only sees Van Lith for who she is, but loves her for it.

“I needed someone who believed in me and was going to let me be me,” she said. “Like, I’m competitive, I’m passionate, I love the game, and I needed a coach who was going to let me express that on the court.”

When the bracket came out, showing Louisville’s tournament path would go through Seattle, Walz was elated. He wanted this moment for Van Lith.

When her name was announced pregame, Van Lith received an echoing ovation. And after the game, once she finished TV interviews, Van Lith left the court in a half-run, half-skip motion, grinning at the crowd.

But between those moments, she could have been anywhere. The home crowd didn’t enter her mind. Winning did. That’s all she could think about for 40 minutes.

“I’m a very focused player and everyone knows that about me,” Van Lith said. “There were no distractions before the game, to say the least. But after the game, I went and kissed all the babies and hugged all the people. So after business is done, then I celebrate, but before then, I was locked in to winning the game.”

Van Lith was locked in from the jump, scoring seven points in the first quarter. She had 10 by halftime before going through a rough patch in the third and partway through the fourth. She was 3-for-10 in the second half, but when Louisivlle needed her most, the guard delivered. With 2:53 left, Ole Miss cut what had been a double-digit lead down to 58-53 after Myah Taylor secured a turnover and converted a fastbreak layup.

Van Lith responded with a jumper to get Louisville’s lead back to seven, and then closed the game out with four free throws in the final 40 seconds.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Van Lith looked up. Her serious demeanor faded away and her face lit up with a smile. “Oh my gosh,” she called out, as the reality set in. Louisville was going back to the Elite Eight.

The Cardinals started their season 5-4 and ended up losing 11 games, six of which came in a challenging ACC conference slate.

After the four early losses, Louisville fell out of the national rankings. Questions about the trajectory of the Cardinals’ season arose outside of the program. But inside, everything stayed the same. They knew where they would be in March.

“Despite what the outside public thought, it was an expectation for us to be here,” Van Lith said of the Elite Eight. “That’s why we got it done because we expected that of ourselves. We’re not hoping or wishing for anything. We’re going out there and we’re executing.”

The ups and downs of the season were Louisville’s Snoqualmie pass. Not ideal, but worth it to get to something great on the other side.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Hailey Van Lith understood the attention surrounding her exchange of words with an opponent in Louisville’s second-round win Monday. But she didn’t agree with it.

Texas guard Sonya Morris led the fourth-seeded Longhorns in the handshake line after a 73-51 loss to the fifth-seeded Cardinals. Morris stopped Van Lith during the procession to say a few words, and then Van Lith brushed off Morris’ arm and replied with a few words of her own as she continued down the line of Texas players.

“I mean that happens in the NBA game every single day,” Van Lith told reporters Thursday. “Just because it was women’s basketball, they’re going to drag it out and it’s a whole deal. But, you know, it really wasn’t a big deal and people are trying to stretch.”

After the game, Van Lith had downplayed the incident, chalking it up to a moment of “frustration” for Texas. But it still spread across social media, with plenty of armchair lip-readers trying to deduce what exactly Morris and Van Lith said as they jawed back and forth.

“I wasn’t surprised, because it’s women’s basketball and people treat us differently all the time,” the Cardinals junior said.

While she takes issue with the public fascination over the incident, though, she is more concerned with her team’s next game: a Sweet 16 meeting with No. 8 seed Ole Miss at 10 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN.

“I’ve moved on from it,” she said. “I’m not on social media, so I don’t know what people are saying…

“But I think if you know me and you watched me, like that actually was a very calm moment for me. So I think that people, I think that people know that I’m a lot more intense than that and I was actually very calm in that moment.”

The first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament busted many a bracket thanks to upsets by Miami and Ole Miss over No. 1 seeds Stanford and Indiana. Now the Sweet 16 is set, with familiar faces like South Carolina and UConn, and unexpected attendees like Colorado and Ohio State.

Expect more chaos and more upsets in the Sweet 16, as well as wins from the season’s most dominant squads. Here are my predictions for the first round of regional contests.

No. 9 Miami vs. No. 4 Villanova

Maddy Siegrist, a Naismith Trophy finalist, will be the best player on the court, and I don’t expect Miami to contain her. But after seeing the way the Hurricanes defeated No. 1 Indiana, I don’t see that being an issue. While Mackenzie Holmes had 22 points and Grace Berger had 17 against Miami, the Hurricanes were able to keep the rest of Indiana’s scorers in check. Against Villanova, I anticipate a similar attack: Siegrist will get hers, but the Hurricanes won’t let the rest of the team beat them.

Miami attacked the paint against Holmes and had success with Lola Pendande (19 points) and Destiney Harden (18 points). They can do the same against the Wildcats, who don’t have the post defenders to contain Miami’s inside presence.

Pick: Miami

No. 3 LSU vs. No. 2 Utah

This game has the potential to be the best matchup of the Sweet 16, with two high-powered offenses squaring off. Utah ranks third in the country with 83.5 points per game, while LSU is just behind them with 83.2 points per game.

Utah has a well-balanced attack, with 29.8 percent of their points coming from 3-point range and 50.4 percent coming from inside the arc. The problem for the Utes is going to be LSU star Angel Reese on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Reese will get hers as she has all season, but Utah has the tools to neutralize her defensively. Alissa Pili can stretch the floor — shooting 42 percent from 3 — and allow Utah to pull Reese out of the paint, opening up driving lanes for the guards. If the Tigers choose to keep Reese as a shot-blocker and put another defender on Pili, she will be able to use her size and strength to score, once again creating a mismatch.

Pick: Utah

The key to a Colorado upset will be containing Iowa's players outside of Caitlin Clark. (Margaret Kispert/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 6 Colorado vs. No. 2 Iowa

After defeating Duke 61-53 in Cameron on Monday, Colorado guard Jaylyn Sherrod said she likes going on the road, being the villain and feeding off opposing fans. Iowa won’t be the home team in this game, but they will certainly have their share of fans thanks to Caitlin Clark, meaning Colorado will be the villain once more.

The Buffs are a defensive-minded team that has the ability to rattle opponents. They made things difficult for ranked teams like Stanford, Utah and UCLA this season, and they can do it again against Iowa. No one can defend Clark, but the Buffs have the personnel to slow down the rest of the Hawkeyes, including Monika Czinano on the inside with the strength and size of Aaronette Vonleh and Quay Miller.

On offense, Miller will be the most difficult matchup for Iowa. At 6-foot-3, she’s listed as a center, but she also has guard skills. Miller can shoot from long range (averaging 33.3 percent from 3 this season) and attack inside, forcing her defender to consistently play out of position.

Pick: Colorado

No. 8 Ole Miss vs. No. 5 Louisville

After getting tested in the first round by a worthy opponent in Drake, Louisville got the win behind 25 points from junior guard Hailey Van Lith. Van Lith is already a talented guard, but she takes things up a notch in March, and that energy rubs off on her teammates.

Ole Miss surprised Stanford with its defensive pressure, holding the Cardinal to 32.7 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from 3-point range while also forcing 21 turnovers. After seeing that game, Louisville won’t be caught off guard, but they will still have to handle Ole Miss’ defensive intensity. Van Lith, Chrislyn Carr and Mykasa Robinson should be disciplined and experienced enough to overcome it, but this one will be close.

Pick: Louisville

Diamond Miller had a game-high 24 points in Maryland's second-round win over Arizona. (Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Maryland

The last time these teams played in the regular season, Diamond Miller’s last-second heroics propelled the Terrapins to victory. This time around, Maryland likely won’t need a buzzer-beater to win. Dara Mabrey and Olivia Miles are both sidelined with injuries, and without two of their best players, the Fighting Irish are going to run into a wall eventually. Maryland has too many weapons: Miller, Abby Meyers and Shyanne Sellers are leading the way, and Faith Masonius is having an excellent tournament so far.

Notre Dame will need huge performances from Sonia Citron, Maddy Westbeld and Lauren Ebo inside to pull off a victory. Ultimately, I think Maryland’s talent will win out, sending them on to the Elite Eight.

Pick: Maryland

No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 1 South Carolina

UCLA stuck with South Carolina the last time these teams played, before Bruins mistakes and timely Gamecocks plays allowed South Carolina to secure a 73-64 win. UCLA had an excellent game plan, packing the paint to pressure Aliyah Boston and forcing the rest of South Carolina’s players to shoot from the outside. It was successful in November, but Dawn Staley is too smart of a coach to let it happen again.

The Gamecocks will adjust and use their depth to overpower UCLA. Kamilla Cardoso was a big factor in the first matchup, scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds, and will likely play a key role again. Senior guard Brea Beal, who didn’t score in the first matchup, is also poised to step up this time around.

Pick: South Carolina

Azzi Fudd's return from injury gives UConn a scoring boost in the postseason. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 UConn

Despite having very different histories, these programs have had similar seasons. Both started with high expectations, suffered a rash of injuries, and now are enjoying success when it counts. Jacy Sheldon, back for Ohio State, made her mark in the second-round win over North Carolina with a game-winning shot, 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. For UConn, Azzi Fudd was absent for most of the season before making her return in the Big East tournament. Fudd also came up big for her team in the second round, scoring 22 points to lead UConn past Baylor.

With Fudd back and playing well, UConn will be difficult to beat. In her absence, players like Aaliyah Edwards and Lou Lopez Sénéchal stepped up and have continued to play at a high level with her back in the lineup. Add in Dorka Juhász, Aubrey Griffin, Nika Mühl and Caroline Ducharme, who is capable of having a breakout scoring game, and the Huskies have too many weapons for Ohio State to handle.

An added point of interest in this game is Juhász, who started her career with Ohio State before transferring to UConn in 2021.

Pick: UConn

No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Virginia Tech

When it comes to teams peaking at the right time, Tennessee and Virginia Tech are at the top of the list. The Hokies have won 13 games in a row, dating back to Jan. 29, while the Vols started their season 7-6 before going 18-5 the rest of the way.

One of Tennessee’s early losses came at the hands of the Hokies, 59-56 on Dec. 4. But Rickea Jackson didn’t play in that game, and the Vols had to rely on Jordan Horston for nearly all of their scoring. Now, Jackson is back and going to be a problem for the Hokies. The 6-2 forward is averaging 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game and can score all over the court. On the other side, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley had trouble against the size of Tamari Key in the teams’ first meeting, finishing with just six points. Now, with Key sidelined due to blood clots, the Hokies will have an advantage inside.

This game could go either way, but Tennessee is playing with such cohesiveness right now and Jackson has the ability to be the best player on the floor. My gut tells me the Vols pull off the upset.

Pick: Tennessee

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith found herself on the receiving end of some trash talk in the postgame handshake line Sunday, but she had no trouble brushing it off.

“People are sad when they lose,” Van Lith said. “I’d be sad too.”

As her response left unsaid but made perfectly clear, Van Lith had no reason for sadness after No. 5 seed Louisville’s dominant 73-51 win against No. 4 seed Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals junior led all scorers with 21 points to help her team clinch a spot in the Sweet 16.

After the game, Longhorns guard Sonya Morris led her team in the handshake line and appeared to stop Van Lith to say a few words. Van Lith paused to listen, then brushed off Morris’ arm and seemed to reply with a few words of her own as she continued down the line of Texas players.



Following the incident, though, Van Lith chalked the exchange up to a moment of “frustration” for Texas after a tough loss.

“I have all the respect in the world for Texas, no hard feelings,” she said. “You know, sports can get chippy and the moment you play in the heat — at the end of the day I’m going to let it go. No hard feelings.”

Instead, she wanted to focus on her own team’s strong performance.

“I don’t really want to speak on what happened at the end because I don’t want it to dim down the fact that we played really, really well… I’m just proud of our win,” she said.”

Louisville advances to play No. 8 seed Ole Miss at 10 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN. While the Rebels scored a shocking 54-49 upset over No. 1 seed Stanford on Sunday, their win opens up the path to the Elite Eight for the Cardinals.

Van Lith has reached the Elite Eight in each of the first two years of her Louisville carer, and she could make it three in a row with a win Friday.

“Like I’ve been saying this whole tournament, we just need the opportunity, and we got one for next game,” Van Lith said. “So we are going to take advantage of it.”

Hailey Van Lith scored a game-high 22 points to lead No. 1 seed Louisville to a 62-50 win against No. 3 seed Michigan on Monday. The Cardinals earned their first Final Four berth since 2018 with the victory.

Van Lith scored at least 20 points for the fourth straight game, becoming the first Cardinal to accomplish that feat in the NCAA tournament. She scored a game-high 23 points in the Cardinals’ win against Tennessee on Saturday.

While Van Lith dominated the game, forward Olivia dominated the final minutes. She had nine points in the game, but six of them came in the final two minutes. She scored three layups in a row to stretch what had been a two-point Louisville lead to eight with 34 seconds remaining.

Michigan’s Naz Hillmon posted 18 points, but she was the only Wolverines player to score in double digits. She also added 11 rebounds.

Louisville moves on to play the overall No. 1 seed South Carolina in the national semifinals in Minneapolis on Friday.

The Cardinals and the Gamecocks will face off in the early game, which is set to tip off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, and then UConn will take on Stanford starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Hailey Van Lith put on a dominant performance, leading No. 1 seed Louisville past No. 4 seed Tennessee, 76-64, on Saturday to punch the Cardinals’ ticket to the Elite Eight.

The star sophomore scored a game-high 23 points while dishing out six assists and pulling down three rebounds. Van Lith was helped by Emily Engstler, who posted 20 points and ten rebounds, with the senior draining all three of her attempted shots from beyond the arc.

Rae Burrell had a stellar game for Tennessee, recording 22 points and six rebounds. The senior’s hot hand, however, wasn’t enough for the Lady Vols, who committed 18 turnovers to the Cardinals’ seven.

Louisville’s solid defense successfully disrupted Tennessee’s rhythm, holding the Lady Vols to 36.4 percent shooting.

Friday’s win advances Louisville to the program’s fourth-straight Elite Eight appearance, where they will take on the winner of No. 3 seed Michigan and No. 10 seed South Dakota.