Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese put the women’s NCAA Tournament on the map in more ways than one this weekend.
First and foremost, both stars served as excellent examples of the sort of stellar play that often exists but goes unnoticed in the women’s game. Despite LSU quite easily defeating Iowa on Sunday, the hype surrounding their match-up was immense.
The other way in which Clark and Reese made headlines was in sparking a debate about what is and isn’t appropriate taunting of the opposition.
Reese irked some folks when she mocked Clark repeatedly to her face when it became clear that LSU was on the verge of winning a National Title.
ANGEL REESE TO CAITLIN CLARK 😳 pic.twitter.com/2NY0CEzwJ3
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 2, 2023
Reese received a lot of criticism for the gesture, leading to her defenders pointing to a similar incident involving Clark during her game versus Louisville.
If it wasn’t “classless” when Caitlin Clark did it, don’t call it classless when Angel Reese does it. Let the women compete, it’s sports!! pic.twitter.com/lJpS1NId68
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) April 2, 2023
So are the two incidents the same? A video attempted to answer that question on Monday.
“But they did the same thing!”
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) April 3, 2023
People can draw their own conclusions.
Clark offered her reaction to Reese’s taunts after the game, but she hasn’t commented on it since then.
Reese, meanwhile, has doubled down on what she did – citing Clark’s past disrespect as the reason she went as hard as she did.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/SxfbNghPgL
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 3, 2023
One way or another, people will move on from this particular situation. And when they do, what will be left is two extremely impressive female basketball stars who now have name brand recognition in households across the United States.
Will Clark and Reese one day take their rivalry to the WNBA? Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.