“You’re Crying, You’re Upset…”: Caitlin Clark Recalls Iowa’s Locker Room After Angel Reese Snatched NCAA Title From Under the Rug

angel & Caitlyn Clark


The 2023 Women’s basketball tournament was one for the books. With neither the LSU Tigers nor the Iowa Hawkeyes backing down, the final game had basketball fans on the edge of their seats. However, it was Angel Reese and her team that took home the ring. The LSU put up a 102-point performance, to secure their first-ever national championship title. The game’s intensity reached its zenith in the waning moments, with Tigers’ star forward Angel Reese pulling off the same “Can’t See Me” move that Caitlin Clark used during Iowa’s semifinal victory over South Carolina.

Most recently, Caitlin Clark sat down with Stephen A Smith and Mark Shapiro to recall Iowa’s locker room after Angel Reese snatched the NCAA title from under the rug.

Caitlin Clark reflects on her championship loss

The University of Iowa’s homecoming celebration took center stage on Friday night as thousands gathered at the Pentacrest to watch basketball star Caitlin Clark, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, and UI alumnus Mark Shapiro. The buzz began at the homecoming parade, where Clark served as grand marshal. Families and students then gathered at the Pentacrest to catch a glimpse of the basketball sensation.

The highlight of the night was a 20-minute discussion outside the Old Capitol Building. They talked about Clark’s role in women’s sports, her time at the university, and her place in college basketball. During the conversation, Caitlin Clark was asked about the painful memory of her loss to the LSU Tigers and the lessons she learned from it.

She responded, “Yeah, I think the biggest thing for myself learning is how hard it is to get there. There’s what, 360 division one basketball teams? It is really hard to get there. It’s really hard. It’s gonna be really hard to get back there.”

angel & Caitlyn Clark

Clark then revealed the biggest lesson she learned, “So I think the biggest thing that I learned for myself is to enjoy every single moment. But when you’re in the locker room, at that end of the game you know, you’re crying, you’re upset. But I think the thing you realize is you’re not upset…

You’re upset that you lost. But you’re most upset that your season’s over and the girls that you did it with, you don’t get to go back and practice with them the next day. And I think that just speaks to how close our team was and how much fun we had together.”

Clark continued, “You know the year before we lose in the round of 32 to Creighton, you know, that’s a failure in itself. But I think if we didn’t have the fire inside of us to, you know, be motivated the next year we knew it was our last year of having all five starters together.

You know, I think that’s what really drove us, you know to get to the final four, reach the national championship and really just believe in ourselves.”   While the loss was heartbreaking for Iowa, Caitlin Clark undoubtedly had a remarkable year.

Caitlin Clark’s remarkable 2022-2023 season

Caitlin Clark may not have been able to secure the national title for the Hawkeyes. However, she still made an unprecedented imprint on the NCAA Tournament. The 6-foot guard scored 30 points in the championship game to finish the tournament with a record-breaking haul of 191 points. This accomplishment surpasses men’s tournament greats Glen Rice (184) and Sheryl Swoopes (177).

Clark became the first female player to have back-to-back 40-point performances in the NCAA Tournament when she sank a jaw-dropping 41 points against previously unbeaten South Carolina in the semifinals. Her 11th triple-double in her career helped her win the regional final.

She extended her double-digit scoring streak to an NCAA Division I-best 90 straight games in her 100th game with Iowa. She is the only Division I player, male or female, with a career total of more than 2,700 points, 700 rebounds, and 700 assists, as well as 43 double-doubles. However, the statistics don’t stop there.

Caitlyn Clark

The women’s NCAA Tournament this year broke attendance and viewership records on all of ESPN’s platforms. 5.5 million people tuned in to watch Iowa’s national quarterfinal, a 72% increase for the network over the previous year. However, beyond the statistics and star-making performances, Clark hopes to inspire future generations of basketball talent.

She stated holding back her tears, after her loss to Angel Reese and team, “I want my legacy to be the impact that I can have on young kids and the people in the state of Iowa, and I hope I brought them a lot of joy this season. I hope this team brought them a lot of joy. I understand we came up one win short, but I think we have a lot to be proud of and a lot to celebrate. I was just that young girl, so all you have to do is dream, and you can be in moments like this.”


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