Scooter Hobbs: Give the people what they want

Published 5:08 am Saturday, March 30, 2024

The pressure is on LSU’s women’s basketball team Saturday.

The world is waiting apace on the rematch of last year’s NCAA championship game between the Tigers and Iowa, featuring the two most compelling players in the game.

It should be something else since the two teams and star players, not to mention LSU’s feisty coach, are Exhibit A to the seemingly sudden rise to the women’s game, why it’s legitimately challenging the men’s game for attention, has casual fans filling out office brackets and …

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Oh, wait. Sorry.

My bad.

LSU and Iowa don’t even play Saturday. And they shouldn’t be.

Why the bracket’s selection committee couldn’t fudge a tad and at least project LSU-Iowa into the Final Four is anybody’s guess.

It’s what everybody wants to see.

But both teams have work to do before they would play a winner-take-all showdown in Albany, New York, just to get to Cleveland for the Final Four.

So, best I can tell, LSU plays UCLA Saturday while Iowa does battle with Colorado.

Only then would they reach what is awkwardly named the Albany 2 Regional Championship.

It’s no easy task for either.

The Tigers, seeded No. 3 behind the No. 2 seed Bruins, are nevertheless a three-point favorite. Of course, LSU was a 28-point favorite in the first round against Rice and won by 10. In the second round the Tigers trailed Middle Tennessee State in the third quarter before getting their act together and winning respectably.

Neither performance will likely cut it against UCLA, which features 6-foot-7 center Laurie Betts.

Iowa gets the Colorado team that brought LSU back down to earth from its national championship by beating the Tigers in this year’s season opener.

But, since we’re under no obligation in this foxhole to take them one game at a time, let’s skip ahead to how much fun LSU-Iowa would be (on Monday).

It’s the game that everyone is waiting for.

Never mind that No. 1 and undefeated South Carolina has pretty well established that’s it’s the best team in the women’s game.

LSU-Iowa is the high drama that will move the ratings needle.

It’s hard not to pay attention when LSU head coach Kim Mulkey is stalking the sideline — and by all means stay tuned for her postgame news conferences, when the real theatrics often begin.

But it’s on the floor where it all happens, where you’d get the rematch between LSU’s Angel Reese and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.

Reese is edgy and in-your-face and certainly not allergic to the limelight.

Her trademark seems to be the long, flowing fake eyelashes, which can’t be anything but good for the game.

Clark, on the other hand, has spent most of her career as the refreshing (and sharp-shooting) Girl Next Door of the game. But recently … mmmm … the “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” image has faced accusations of being a semi-diva.

Her constant complaining to officials during a recent game even caught her father yelling at her from the stands to just shut up and dribble.

Dad may also have taken offense to her choice of words, which as any lip reader could tell were of the barnyard variety and probably not suitable for Clark’s adoring younger fans.

The language also would not have been any issue in any men’s game, so maybe the women do have some ground to make up, at least with their parents.

Some LSU fans, on the other hand, have taken offense to Clark passing Pete Maravich as the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer.

Never mind that it’s like saying that Tom Brady broke all of Mickey Mantle’s records — a classic apples to oranges comparison.

LSU fans will uncover their grudges where they may.

But, at any rate, just hope it comes to pass, where you can take your pick in watching for Reese’s taunting or Clark’s whining.

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at