First Lady Jill Biden’s idea of inviting the Iowa women’s basketball team to the White House has come to a screeching halt.
The press secretary to the First Lady posted on Twitter that Biden “looks forward” to welcoming the LSU women’s basketball team to the White House after they defeated the Hawkeyes 102-85 in the NCAA women’s basketball championship game Sunday.
“The First Lady loved watching the NCAA women’s basketball championship game alongside young student athletes and admires how far women have advanced in sports since the passing of Title IX,” press secretary Vanessa Valdivia said in the statement. “Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House.”
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The statement comes amid backlash following Biden’s suggestion of inviting Iowa along with LSU, despite the Hawkeyes’ loss. Biden was in attendance Sunday in Dallas when LSU won.
“I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come,” Biden said after the championship game. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”
Teams crowned champions are traditionally invited to the White House. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1800s, but Biden’s proposal to invite both teams would have broken precedent.
LSU star forward Angel Reese, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, tweeted “A JOKE” when word got to her about what Biden said.
The Golden State Warriors were the last team to go to the White House, making the trip in January after beating the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. The Celtics were not invited to join the Warriors at the White House.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.