Iowa vs LSU rematch for Final Four
April 2, 2024 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Iowa faced off against LSU again to decide which team would make it to the Final Four this year and it was everything that people were hoping for!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (27 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Last year's final between the two schools drew an average of 9.9 million viewers with a peak of about 12.5 million. Even though last night's game was not a final, but with the hype of Caitlan Clark and Angel Reese and their rematch had to have drawn at least last year's numbers. Right?

‘I'm still a human': LSU's Angel Reese reflects on challenges, critics after season-ending loss. Angel ended the game with 17 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and two steals before fouling out of the game.
posted by NoMich at 7:44 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


It's amazing the contortions sports talk radio will twist into to find Reese at fault. I thought the post-game comment from her was really coherent and valuable, in spite of probably being so emotionally and physically exhausted.

Hopefully she goes on to a big success in the WNBA and I'm excited girls hoops is seeing some serious spotlight.

Still a solid season for LSU and more excitement ahead for Iowa and the rest of the field.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 8:41 AM on April 2 [3 favorites]


The reason to root against LSU isn't Angel Reese, who is definitely a player that taunts opponents, or the LSU players in general, who are sometimes dirty enough to pull hair on rebounds.

The reason to root against LSU is Kim Mulkey, who while coaching at Baylor required Britney Griner to stay in the closet as well as cover her tattoos with long sleeved shirts and tights on the court, and then years later very pointedly did not offer a single word of support during Griner's outlandish incarceration in Russia.

Last week she angrily threatened the Washington Post, before anything was published, with legal action for the audacity for writing an article about her. She's the personification of a MAGA hat, all grievance and doubling down forever. Fuck Kim Mulkey.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:54 AM on April 2 [24 favorites]


On the basketball side of things, Clark obviously is known for and scoring and 3-pointers made from the hinterlands, but wow is she the best passer I've ever seen in the women's game. She not only led the country in scoring this year, but also assists. That is head-shakingly radonkulous.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:59 AM on April 2 [10 favorites]


I'm not a huge basketball fan, but watched the game last night, and wow, that was a great game. Iowa was down significantly in the second quarter, then slowly ate away at that deficit up to the half. Then the first shot of the third quarter, Clark dropped a devastating three-pointer and it was clear how the rest of the game was going to go.
posted by slogger at 9:04 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


(I’d love to see a separate post on the blue about the issues with Kim Mulkey, as I didn’t know any of this and it would derail this post about awesome players if I discussed it here.)
posted by Callisto Prime at 9:24 AM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Agreed that Clark is pretty fucking amazing.

And Mulkey seems like an asshole.
posted by Windopaene at 9:34 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


It was such an exciting game! I got to watch it last night having been so busy recently that I haven't been able to watch much march madness. It was such a fun game.
posted by Carillon at 9:55 AM on April 2




Angel Reese, who is definitely a player that taunts opponents,

As is Caitlin Clark.

Which is one of the reasons I admire and respect both of them. They're out there getting shit done and not worrying about being "America's Sweetheart" or whatever role the media desperately wants to cast talented young women in, always insisting that they not only be a generational talent but also "the girl next door" at the same time.

I also love that both of them have called the media out for trying to make it seem, in a way that they typically don't do for males on opposing sides of a contest, like there's personal animosity between them.

Fantastic and thrilling game last night. I want Clark to get her title...but I also want Dawn Staley and South Carolina to get that perfect season they've been chasing!
posted by lord_wolf at 11:09 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


...but I also want Dawn Staley and South Carolina to get that perfect season they've been chasing!

This Wolfpack team have been giant killers all season long and they are getting 11.5 points with the sports books. I'm taking that bet.
posted by NoMich at 11:44 AM on April 2


A comment posted earlier today from a SportsFilter member:
If Caitlin and Angel came back for one more year, the stature of the women's game and the NIL money would go off the charts. Bueckers is coming back and JuJu is only a freshman.

I would love to see both Clark and Reese to come back and build a Bird/Magic type of mythology. They both would make a ton of NIL money so that wouldn't be an issue for them. Those two along with the other stars in the women's NCAA would could continue to make the sport more exciting and to inspire girls to play more basketball.
posted by NoMich at 11:50 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Kim Mulkey is an a**hole (Drew Magary)

Lots of helpful links
posted by toodleydoodley at 1:13 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


It has certainly been a story filled march madness. Have seen a lot more ads during the men's games I've watched with Caitlin Clark in them than Angel Reese.

And who had NC State in the final four in both men's and women's? Crazy.

Someone better guard her, all I'm saying. Also, not sure who can guard Zach Edey.

I think Clark has already said she is leaving. A shame really, as that could be a rivalry that might keep more focus on the women's game. More eyeballs and brains know who these players are than I can recall in a long while. Star player rivalries always spark interest. And it does seem like either could make more in NIL money than they will in the WNBA. Maybe the money is better there now than it used to be. Anyway, South Carolina vs Iowa would be cool, and Purdue vs Connecticut will be pretty solid as well.
posted by Windopaene at 1:18 PM on April 2


Drew Magary doesn't pull any punches. My favorite so far:

'"Did she celebrate her arrival in Baton Rouge by ripping off her mask to the delight of all of the country bumpkins in attendance? You needn’t even ask. This is a flawless villain of a coach. I might hate her even more than I hated Krzyzewski, and that shouldn’t be possible."
posted by Windopaene at 1:44 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


You could take the whole WaPo piece, change the player and family names, slap Sally Jenkins’ byline on it and I’d swear I was reading a 30-year-old deep dive on Pat Summitt, except it wouldn’t feel like an indictment; it would feel like a hagiography. Things have changed a little.
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:32 PM on April 2


The rise and rise of women's basketball - especially the collegiate game - has been incredible to watch.

Fresh Air recently did a terrific interview with Sue Bird, who speaks to disparity between NCAA and WNBA viewship, fan support, money, etc.

As for the place of women's basketball in Iowa, Clark's home state, please listen to the 99% Invisible episode about the 6-on-6 girls' game. I grew up watching the end of that sport's era. The podcast really fantastic; it might be the happiest I've ever heard Roman Mars. It would be hard to overstate the popularity of the high school girls basketball tournament here; maybe the best explanation is that only the high school wrestling tournament compares. If you know Iowa, you know what that means. (AND the girls wresting tournament is now blowing up.)

I don't know how stars like Clark and Reese and all those who came before them handle that kind of pressure and visibility and step up with epic performances. They are incredible.
posted by Caxton1476 at 3:04 PM on April 2 [5 favorites]


Angel Reese, who is definitely a player that taunts opponents

Reese does it. Clark does it. Most players do it. It's part of the game, from the schoolyard to the highest pro leagues. A lot of attention (often tinged with racism) was directed at Reese last year for her taunting of Clark. The thing is, she didn't cross any lines. There are unwritten rules about this stuff. You talk all the shit you want out there - but you better be able to back it up. If someone's been talking shit and you're cooking them on the court, you're entitled to let 'em know. (Which Reese did last year. All fine and good. And Clark knew it.) It's part of the fun of the game as long as you don't get out of hand. For the epitome of this, if you're not familiar with Larry Bird and his legendary shit-talking, you oughta look it up. There's plenty on YouTube featuring former players. It was hilarious, he always backed it up, and his opponents respected it because of that.
posted by azpenguin at 5:34 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


TV Ratings: Iowa-LSU NCAA Rematch Sets All-Time Record for Women’s Basketball

Incredible ratings! The headline is only part of the story.
posted by NoMich at 6:20 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Sue Bird is the most accomplished professional athlete in Seattle professional sports history. Better than Griffey, better than Edgar, better than Marshawn, better than The Glove. She has always been awesome. Even when that radio talk show host flirted with her incessantly, (ha ha! she's a lesbian dumbass) (and then he got busted in a prostitution sting, but I digress). And then getting together with Rapinoe? Well played Ms. Bird.

But only in retrospect has she started to be recognized for what she did. Clark certainly is in the midst of the current PR/social media churn.
posted by Windopaene at 6:30 PM on April 2


And now I have cursed it. Iowa will lose, South Carolina will lose. Sorry if I screwed up your brackets.

Are the Women's brackets a thing that people do? I used to run my company's men's bracket a long time ago, and always fill one out, but, not working, so don't have those groups anymore. Was 38-10 at one point, still have 2 in the final four. Such a fun game to play. But, the women's tournament has never seemed much above scratch. Connecticut, Tennessee, Stanford, LSU, Baylor. All I can think of. Pretty much domination by the top schools, with not a lot of "Cinderfellas" (see what I did there?)
posted by Windopaene at 6:39 PM on April 2


And I am not even a WBNA fan, but here in Seattle we had Lauren Jackson, and I think Sue Bird at the same time. Defend that. There is an ad running for an IHeart podcast with someone asking, who would win a 1-on-on-1 now. Answer? Kevin Durant. Kind of a sensitive tool, but a Sonic. Can't be guarded. Same for Edey and Clark.
posted by Windopaene at 6:56 PM on April 2


NIT, lol.

Sad, but so many teams just said, "no" to the NIT. Look at the PAC-12 (2).

It's all changing in a hurry. it's a minor league, always has been. As a fan, (our guy invented the fucking game, Rock Chalk...) (and our football team has been average at best my entire life, (and the Wildcats have been better...?).

The tournament can just create the best stories. Last second slam dunk for the win? Who knows. Sports are so fun.
But, for the money sports, does seem like "student athlete" is just nonsense. My son plays an Olympic sport. Glad he was not a part of the Pac-12
posted by Windopaene at 8:48 PM on April 2


Mod note: Several comments removed for derailing the thread into a discussion of men's basketball. Please help keep the focus in this thread on women's basketball and its players, thanks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 5:09 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]


I didn't curse it. SC has just pummeled NC State. Go Iowa! Give us the game we want!

Cardoso is as unstoppable as Edey, and Paopao can shoot.
posted by Windopaene at 5:57 PM on April 5


And despite Clark missing the broad side of the barn, all game long, Iowa pulled it off.

Should be a great final.
posted by Windopaene at 7:33 AM on April 6


That was an amazing game. Wow.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:15 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]


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