LSU Women’s Basketball Team Skips National Anthem Then Loses To Rival

LSU Women's Basketball / Facebook

Prior to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Elite 8 matchup on Monday night, one team stood for the National Anthem, and the other team left the court.

March Madness is underway for collegiate basketball. During the highly-anticipated annual tournament, 68 teams from across the U.S. compete in seven single-elimination rounds in hopes of being crowned the national champion.

On Monday, April 1st, rival teams LSU and Iowa went head-to-head in the Elite 8 round, only two games standing between them and the championship. While the game itself was fiercely competitive, it is what happened before tipoff that has the internet abuzz.

When the National Anthem was played in MVP Arena, the Iowa Hawkeyes stood proud and joined hands. The LSU Tigers however, left the court.

According to a local reporter, the LSU women’s basketball team regularly leaves the court for the National Anthem.

When clips of the LSU’s absence during the Star Spangled Banner began to circulate online, local Louisiana reporter Chessa Bouche noted that this is not a new occurrence and the team is never on the court for the anthem.

Quickly, internet users shared their distaste – many calling the move “disgraceful” and “embarrassing.”

LSU Women’s Basketball coach says missing the anthem was “not intentional.”

In a post-game press conference, coach Kim Mulkey said that she “didn’t even know when the anthem was played,” and explained that retreating to the locker room prior to the game is part of the team’s regular pregame routine. She concluded that skipping the National Anthem was “nothing intentionally done.”

Iowa beats LSU and advances to the Final Four.

The last time these two teams met on the court was in the March Madness finals last year when LSU triumphed over Iowa. The rematch was an exciting one, with Iowa star player Caitlin Clark scoring an astounding 41 points. Additionally, Clark tied the single-game NCAA Tournament record by scoring nine (of 20) 3-point shots, and becoming the all-time career and tournament leader in 3-pointers.

In the end, the Lady Hawkeyes beat the defending national champion Lady Tigers, 94-87. Iowa will advance to the semi-final round of the tournament while LSU’s March Madness run has come to an end.

Check out the video below for some game highlights!