No one is surprised to learn basketball is a pretty physical game this time of year.

March Madness tends to bring out some of the most ferocious competitors the sport has to offer. And sometimes that can go a little too far. Iowa star Caitlin Clark learned this firsthand on Saturday in the No. 1 Hawkeyes’ tournament-opening victory against No. 16 Holy Cross.

While on defense, Clark took a swing to the face from Holy Cross senior guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy. The refs called it an intentional foul and awarded Iowa two free throws and the ball, but after checking out the replay fans couldn’t believe the act didn’t lead to an ejection on Power-Cassidy.

They called this an intentional foul, 2 free throws and possession. A 2-year-old could see this wasn’t intentional.

It was just a stinger to the nose folks 😤ðŸ˜

Intentional or not, this is about as clear of a flagrant 2 foul as it gets. Iowa won, 91-65, while Clark finished with 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Totally normal basketball move. Should’ve gone to the body first though.

Holy Cross can only win if they punch Clark in the face. Hey refs kick 13 out!!! #iowabasketball


That’s a left hook. Also not a basketball move.

Classic accidental fully-cocked haymaker to the opponent’s best player

Listen, I’ve seen live fish on dry land that flop less than Caitlyn Clark but number 13 is lucky she’s still in the game. That’s a sucker punch.

She’s lucky she wasn’t ejected. That was blatant.

caitlin clark got straight elbowed in the face and people are calling her “soft” and a “flopper” she’s truly made it as a superstar athlete

Today against Holy Cross, Caitlin Clark of @IowaWBB recorded her fourth career NCAA Tournament game with 25+ points, 10+ assists & multiple steals.

All other D-I players (men’s and women’s) have combined for six such games this century, with no individual having more than one.