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LSU Tigers women’s basketball star Angel Reese made headlines during the round of 32 in the tournament for waving goodbye to a Middle Tennessee State player who fouled out in the third quarter. Reese had been battling with Middle Tennessee State’s big players throughout the game, and when Anastasiia Boldyreva fouled out with 59 seconds left in the frame, Reese was caught on camera waving goodbye as she returned to the bench. Despite LSU only being up six points at that point, the gesture seemed to turn the game around, as LSU went on to win 83-56. While Reese’s action sparked controversy on social media, with some accusing her of lacking class, her fans defended her, praising her confidence and energy on the court.

Reese had previously faced criticism for trash-talking during last year’s national championship game against Iowa. In that game, she engaged in a heated exchange with Caitlin Clark, ultimately helping LSU secure the victory and clinch the national title. Despite the backlash over her behavior, Reese’s performance on the court was impressive, finishing the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Her point total was just one shy of tying the record for the most points scored in the game, showcasing her skills and determination as a player.

Looking ahead, the Tigers will advance to the Sweet 16 to face the winner of the UCLA and Creighton matchup. If Iowa advances past West Virginia and Colorado, they could potentially face LSU in the regional final, setting up a potential rematch between Reese and Caitlin Clark. Middle Tennessee State, which finished the season with a 30-5 record, had caused an upset by defeating Louisville to reach the round of 32, showcasing their competitive spirit and talent on the court.

Despite the controversy surrounding Reese’s actions during the game, her fans remained loyal, praising her authenticity and boldness on the court. Many supported her right to express herself and engage in trash-talking as part of the competitive nature of sports. While some criticized her behavior as lacking class, others viewed it as a display of confidence and assertiveness, attributing her success to her fearless approach to the game. As Reese and the Tigers continue their journey through the tournament, their performance and sportsmanship will continue to be scrutinized and debated by fans and critics alike.

The ESPN broadcast captured the moment when Reese waved goodbye to the Middle Tennessee State player as she fouled out, sparking a wave of reactions on social media. Some fans criticized Reese for her perceived lack of sportsmanship and class, while others defended her actions as part of the competitive nature of the game. Reese’s confident demeanor and willingness to engage in trash-talking have drawn both praise and criticism, with some admiring her boldness and others questioning her behavior. As Reese’s career continues to evolve, her approach to the game and interactions with opponents will likely continue to generate attention and controversy among fans and observers.

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