Refs Offer Explanation For Controversial Tech On Caitlin Clark In National Championship

Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark

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The women’s iteration of the NCAA Tournament has historically been overshadowed by the men’s edition of the event, but it seems like the tides have shifted in a very big way based on what transpired this year.

Both of those tourneys were more than able to live up to the “March Madness” moniker based on what unfolded after The Big Dance kicked off, and there was an insane amount of hype surrounding the championship showdown between LSU and Iowa in Dallas on Sunday.

You couldn’t talk about that matchup without discussing Caitlin Clark, the Hawkeyes star who emerged as one of the most electric players in this year’s tournament thanks in no small part to the John Cena-inspired celebration she pulled out while leading Iowa to a victory over Louisville.

LSU’s Angel Reese attracted an absurd amount of backlash for using the same taunt in the Tigers’ 102-85 title win, and while it was hard to take that so-called controversy seriously, the same can’t be said with another issue that reared its ugly head over the course of the spirited contest.

It’s hard to argue officiating played a major role in altering the outcome of a game where LSU clearly had the upper hand. With that said, the refs made some very questionable calls (and no-calls) that left plenty of people scratching their heads.

Kim Mulkey somehow managed to avoid being hit with a technical foul despite seemingly spending more time standing on the court than off of it over the course of the game—which made the tech Clark received in the closing minutes of the third quarter even more egregious.

After the contest, referee Lisa Jones attempted to shed some light on that controversial foul call by stating it was the result of a delay of game warning Clark had already received and that the infraction that led to the technical was the second time she’d “failed to immediately pass the ball to the nearest official.”

While the officials may have been following the rulebook in that instance, I think most people would agree they probably could’ve exercised a bit more restraint given the context of the call.