Caitlin Clark walked down the court, raised her arms, clenched her fists and made a heart sign with her hands as she said goodbye to the fans who came to see her one last time Monday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

The clock had just struck zero on No. 1 seed Iowa's 64-54 win over No. 8 seed West Virginia in the women's NCAA Tournament and she wanted to thank the fans.

"I'm forever grateful," he said.

The Hawkeyes will travel to Albany, New York, to play for a second straight championship. Whatever happens the rest of the way, Clark will be remembered as one of the most beloved, if not the greatest, athlete to come out of the state that also produced Dan Gable, Bob Feller and Nile Kinnick.

2-time NBA champion Rondo retires after the season! 2-time NBA champion Rondo retires after the season!

"I'm so grateful to play in an environment that supports not only women's basketball, but women's athletics in this way - and honestly, they were doing it before I stepped on campus," Clark said. "Maybe not to the magnitude it is now, but these people and these fans have shown up and will continue to show up."

NCAA Division I's all-time scoring leader scored 32 points on a night when nothing came easy for him or his teammates. The Mountaineers' physical defense tried to take him out of the game and at times succeeded. She had to have blood wiped from her leg in the fourth quarter.

Among those watching the game were Basketball Hall of Fame member Nancy Lieberman, known as "Lady Magic," and San Francisco 49ers star big man George Kittle, who played for the Hawkeyes from 2013-16.