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The LSU-Iowa women’s national championship game turned into a ref show

Welcome to the new fans of the game here to watch Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. You’re getting a big game from the stripes instead.

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes reacts during the first half against the LSU Lady Tigers during the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game at American Airlines Center on April 02, 2023 in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Post-game update: A pool reporter asked the referees about the technical foul called on Caitlin Clark. They answered the question as follows:

Third quarter update: In a game that has featured several poor calls, this one easily takes the cake.

Not only was this a technical foul on Clark, it was also a personal foul which gives her four for the game. She’s likely going to have to sit for a good portion of the final quarter with Iowa trailing by 11. The Hawkeyes have three starters with four fouls, and Clark’s situation is going to command the most attention. The officials have a tough job but this is one you should probably let go. If LSU head coach Kim Mulkey isn’t getting a technical for chewing out the refs on every possession, Clark should be fine here.

You may have thought you were going to watch Iowa’s Caitlin Clark battle Angel Reese in what is perhaps the most anticipated women’s basketball game in history.

Instead you got a big dose of Lisa Jones, Pualani Spurlock-Welsh, and Michol Murray; the three referees selected to officiate the 2023 NCAA national championship game between No. 3 LSU and No. 2 Iowa.

For context, 30 total personal fouls were called in the LSU-Virginia Tech semifinal game, and 38 were called in the Iowa-South Carolina semifinal game. At halftime of the championship game, the officiating crew has already called 21 personal fouls — 12 on LSU and nine on Iowa.

The sports world — commentators, fans, and athletes alike — have chimed in on the questionable officiating in this game on Twitter. Clark and Reese both now head into the half in foul trouble.