Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese’s Rematch Is Must-Watch TV

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

If you’re going to watch one game in the women’s March Madness tournament (or the men’s, to be honest), it should be this one. On Monday night, Iowa and Louisiana State University are going head-to-head in the Elite Eight — a rematch of last year’s championship game. Phenoms Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese will be facing off against each other again, this time to determine who will go to the Final Four.

Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes (No. 1 seed) are looking for a win against Reese and the LSU Tigers (No. 3 seed), not just to advance in the playoffs, but to make up for last year’s final. In 2023, LSU earned its first national championship by trouncing Iowa in the NCAA finals, 102-85. It was the most-viewed NCAA women’s basketball final in history, with nearly 13 million people tuning in at peak viewership.

The matchup was not without controversy, sparking a discussion about varying expectations for white players and Black players. Reese had celebrated her win by performing John Cena’s “You can’t see me” hand move, seemingly directed at Clark. Critics were quick to say that the taunt was “classless,” while ignoring the fact that Clark had been celebrated for the same move just a week earlier. There was lots of debate, and Jill Biden even wound up putting her foot in her mouth. One year later, Clark and Reese seem excited just to play against each other again.

In recent statements, both Clark and Reese have reiterated that while they’re excited for the game, there is no actual beef between them.

“It’s just super awesome. If I was just a basketball fan in general, I’d be glued to the TV like no other,” Clark said in a press conference on Sunday. “I think women’s basketball fans know how special and cool this moment will be. I think the viewership numbers will show that.”

“Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other,” Reese said in her own press conference. “I want everyone to understand that it’s just a super-competitive game and I just wish that people would realize that once I get between those lines, there’s no friends.”

The 21-year-old forward knows that her style is not for everyone, saying, “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.”

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese’s Rematch Is Must-Watch TV