Caitlin Clark was upset when her and Angel Reese’s on-court beef surpassed Iowa’s performance in this year’s NCAA championship game.

Caitlin Clark opens up on ‘frustrating’ part of Angel Reese rivalry

Caitlin Clark wasn’t happy that her and Angel Reese’s on-court beef outshined Iowa’s run to the NCAA championship game this year.

After losing to eventual champion LSU in the 2023 title game, Clark’s Hawkeyes beat Reese’s Lady Tigers, 94-87, in the Elite Eight of the 2024 March Madness tournament — and came up short to South Carolina in the championship.

“That’s the only thing people wanted to talk about when we just went on this magical run and united so many people, and that, like, was frustrating to me,” Clark said of her rivalry with Reese in the ESPN+ four-part series “Full Court Press.”

Angel Reese (10) shows Iowa Caitlin Clark her ring finger during the final seconds of the women's 2023 NCAA Tournament national championship game.

Angel Reese (10) shows Iowa Caitlin Clark her ring finger during the final seconds of the women’s 2023 NCAA Tournament national championship game.Zach Boyden-

 

Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers reacts towards Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the fourth quarter during the 2023 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament championship game at American Airlines Center on April 2, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.

Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers reacts towards Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the fourth quarter during the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game on April 2, 2023.Getty Images

Clark — the No. 1 overall pick to the Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft last month — and Reese, the Sky’s No. 7 overall pick, have maintained their relationship is a competitive one on the court and that nothing is personal.

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Reese famously waved her hand in front of Clark’s face — the “you can’t see me” gesture — when LSU took down Iowa in the 2023 title game.

The former All-American forward also pointed to her ring finger while looking at Clark, which signaled the LSU women’s basketball program earning its first championship ring in program history.

Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers reacts during the fourth quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2023 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament championship game at American Airlines Center on April 2, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.
Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers reacts during the fourth quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game on April 2, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.Getty Images
Clark wasn’t bothered by the taunt and explained at the time that she “was just trying to get to the handshake line and shake hands and be grateful that my team was in that position.”

Reese received criticism and scrutiny on a national level for her showmanship and unapologetic attitude — and Clark defended her after it.

Reese then supported Clark when the Iowa-born guard broke the NCAA Division I women’s basketball scoring record this past season.

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) rushes up the court Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) rushes up the court Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK
Prior to the LSU-Iowa Elite Eight matchup, Reese described her and Clark’s relationship as being “super competitive” and explained they do not hate each other.

“I don’t think people realize it’s not personal,” Reese said at the time. “Once we get out between those lines, if I see you walking down the street, it’s like, ‘Hey, girl, what’s up? Let’s hang out.’ I think people just take it like we hate each other. Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other. I want everybody to understand that. It’s just a super-competitive game. Once I get between those lines, there’s no friends. I’m going to talk trash to you. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get in your head the whole entire game, but after the game, we can kick it. I don’t think people really realize that.”

LSU's Angel Reese, left, and Iowa's Caitlin Clark, right, pose for a photo before the WNBA basketball draft, Monday, April 15, 2024, in New York.
LSU’s Angel Reese, left, and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, right, pose for a photo before the WNBA basketball draft, Monday, April 15, 2024, in New York.AP


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“That’s fine. I’ll take the villain role. I’ll take the hit for it, but I know we’re growing women’s basketball. If this is the way we’re going to do it, then this is the way we’re going to do it. You either like it or you don’t.”

Both Clark and Reese — who became faces of the NIL (name, image, and likeness) era — have impressed in their preseason performances with their respective teams.

The Fever open the 2024 WNBA season against the Sun in Connecticut on Tuesday, while the Sky play the Wings in Dallas on Wednesday.

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