LSU Women's Basketball Team Sparks Fury as They Leave Court Before the American National Anthem is Played Ahead of Game vs Iowa [WATCH]

Despite facing online criticism, LSU head coach Kim Mulkey claimed after the game that her players' absence from the court during the anthem was not "intentional."

LSU's women's basketball team sparked fury before their game against Iowa on Monday night by leaving the court before the American national anthem was played. The Iowa Hawkeyes beat the LSU Tigers with a score of 94-87 in Albany. Caitlin Clark, Iowa's star player, put on a 41-point masterclass, to help her team to reach the Final Four of this year's NCAA tournament.

Yet, earlier in the evening, social media footage surfaced suggesting that the LSU players bypassed the national anthem before it was played at the Times Union Center. In contrast, the Iowa players stood hand-in-hand while taking in the Star-Spangled Banner just moments before the Elite 8 fixture.

Boycotting the National Anthem

LSU empty court
The curt seen empty as LSU stars left before the American national anthem was played ahead of their game against Iowa X

After a video circulating showed their empty end of the court, fans quickly started criticizing LSU for their apparent failure to participate in the anthem on that particular evening. "LSU is a complete disgrace," one user wrote on X. "Their entire team should be expelled."

"Bad optics for the LSU team. How could they do such a thing?" another user wrote.

"If the team doesn't show for all parts of the game, including the anthem, disqualification is the only way forward. No more of this silliness," a third user wrote.

"They are a disgrace and should be kicked off the team!" another user fumed.

"Glad to see that LSU got their a***s handed to them," another wrote.

Despite facing online criticism, LSU head coach Kim Mulkey claimed after the game that her players' absence from the court during the anthem was not "intentional."

"Honestly, I don't even know when the anthem was played," Mulkey told reporters. "We kind of have a routine when they're on the floor and they come off at the 12-minute mark.

"I don't know, we come in and we do our pregame stuff. I'm sorry, listen, that's nothing intentionally done."

Facing the Heat

Iowa players
The Iowa players seen participating while the American national anthem players but the LSU players were missing X

In a rematch of the highly-watched game in women's basketball history, the 2023 NCAA Championship, coach Lisa Bluder's Hawkeyes prevailed over Mulkey's Tigers with a 94-87 victory.

Actor Jason Sudeikis, known for his role in "Ted Lasso," and Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy were among the spectators at Monday's game.

With the win, Iowa advances to its second consecutive Final Four, where they will vie for the coveted main course: the program's first-ever national championship.

It was 364 days earlier that the same two teams competed for an NCAA title, with Angel Reese and LSU defeating Caitlin Clark's Hawkeyes 102-85 in front of nearly 10 million viewers. This year, with both teams in the same region of the NCAA Tournament, the dynamics were notably different.

Reese fouled out in what is likely her final college game, while Clark's stellar performance of 41 points and 12 assists proved to be decisive across the full 40 minutes of play.