West Virginia coach tones down Caitlin Clark trash talk as teams set to meet


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West Virginia women’s basketball coach Mark Kellogg toned down some of the trash talk about Iowa and Caitlin Clark, as the No. 8-seeded Mountaineers are set to take on the Hawkeyes in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kellogg was heard telling players and their families at a Selection Sunday watch party they were looking to send Clark “packing” if they met up in the tournament. The remark quickly caught the attention of the college basketball world.

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Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, #22, reacts to a foul call during the Iowa Hawkeyes game versus the Holy Cross Crusaders in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship on March 23, 2024, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. (Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I’m not a trash-talking … I wasn’t out to get Caitlin Clark. It’s not Mark Kellogg versus Caitlin Clark,” Kellogg said before the team defeated Princeton in the first round, via the New York Post. “Somebody else in the room is the one that used the ‘packing’ line to me, and it turned into, ‘Well, guys, if we want to do something special, we have to win one, and then we’d have to send Caitlin Clark home.

“You know how social media works. The clip just keeps getting shorter and shorter, and then finally, by the end of it, it was Mark Kellogg is calling out Caitlin Clark.”

Mark Kellogg talks to reporters

Mark Kellogg, head coach of the West Virginia Mountaneers, speaks to the media after the Mountaineers beat the Princeton Tigers during the first round of the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 23, 2024 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Rebecca Gratz/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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Clark scored 27 points against Holy Cross, and her game against West Virginia will be her final in Iowa City as she is set to play in the WNBA later this year.

West Virginia beat Princeton 63-53, with Madison St. Rose scoring 22 points.

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Mark Kellogg coaches his team

Mark Kellogg, head coach of the West Virginia Mountaneers, talks to his team in a timeout against the Princeton Tigers during the first round of the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 23, 2024 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Rebecca Gratz/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The Mountaineers will certainly try to pull off a major upset in the second round, but the task is much easier said than done.

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