Ohio State star suggests Caitlin Clark received favoritism from ref at NCAA Tournament

After Caitlin Clark confronted referees on multiple occasions during Iowa’s win over Holy Cross in the NCAA Tournament, Ohio State star Cotie McMahon suggested the Hawkeyes player gets away with things.

Caitlin Clark spoke aggressively with the referees during Iowa’s 91-65 win over Holy Cross in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

She went unpunished over the heated exchanges, and Ohio State forward Cotie McMahon pointedly suggested the lack of a technical foul showed favoritism from officials.

Caitlin Clark got into several heated conversations with refs on Saturday

McMahon wrote: “I’d have a tech in a heart beat. Actually ejected …”

The comment may have been partly inspired by the questionable technical foul McMahon received following a tie-up with Clark when the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes met earlier this month.

As Ohio State and Iowa went toward their respective benches with less than a second left in the second quarter of that contest, McMahon was issued a tech for lightly pushing the Hawkeyes star out of her way.

The ensuing free throws from Clark gave her the all-time NCAA scoring record, as she surpassed Pete Maravich.

On Saturday, Clark was instrumental in helping Iowa secure a 91-65 victory in its NCAA Tournament opener, finishing the game with 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Yet it was the 22-year-old’s multiple outbursts – not strong play – that became one of the main talking points of the game.

Clark repeatedly went over to the refs to voice her displeasure about calls not going Iowa’s way, and as the star guard emphatically pleaded her case on one occasion, cameras captured Brent Clark – Caitlin’s dad – yelling at her to stop.

At halftime, Clark rushed up to one referee’s face and continued to give him a piece of her mind. Iowa teammate Kate Martin quickly separated the two before any technical fouls were issued.

When asked about the incidents with the referees after the game, Clark attributed it to emotions running high in the heat of the moment.

Cotie McMahon suggested the refs held Caitlin Clark to a looser standard

“I should probably smile more. I’m a competitor,” she told reporters. “I love this game. I’m a perfectionist. But hey, I’m competitive. I want to win and I want our team to play our best basketball.”

Several fans joined McMahon in opining on the situation on social media, with one arguing on X, “More players need to be pointing out the disparities in how CC is treated compared to everyone else,” and another adding, “For sure. Double standard!”

Clark will pay no mind to the criticism as she looks to finish her collegiate career on a high note.

No. 1-seed Iowa will face off against No. 8-seed West Virginia on Monday with hopes of advancing one step closer to the national title game.

Given the rivalry with Ohio State, it would be high drama for the Big Ten teams to meet in March Madness. However, such a showdown couldn’t occur until the Final Four, should each squad advance that far.

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