UConn, LSU to celebrate national championship wins at White House on May 26
UConn beat SDSU to win the men’s title last month, and LSU beat Iowa to win the women’s title
Both the UConn men’s basketball team and the LSU women’s basketball team will visit the White House to celebrate their respective national championships on May 26, the programs announced Monday.
The Huskies rolled over San Diego State, 76-59, in the national championship game last month in Houston. That marked UConn’s fifth national title, and its first since 2014. The Huskies have celebrated every championship with a White House visit.
The Tigers beat National Player of the Year Caitlin Clark and Iowa, 102-85, in the women’s national championship game last month. LSU coach Kim Mulkey has now won four titles as a coach — her first three came at Baylor, most recently in 2019 — and LSU picked up its first program title. Mulkey has visited the White House after every win, too.
While the men’s side never doubted such a trip, though UConn coach Dan Hurley actually ignored a phone call from President Joe Biden after the win accidentally, LSU’s trip was up in the air for a while after the Tigers’ win over the Hawkeyes.
First Lady Jill Biden, who attended the women’s national championship game in Dallas, said after the game that she wanted to invite both LSU and Iowa to the White House. Traditionally, only the champion visits the White House to celebrate — though that dynamic changed both during the COVID-19 pandemic and during former President Donald Trump’s time in office.
“I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do," Jill Biden said at the time. "So, we hope LSU will come. But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come too because they played such a good game.”
Jill Biden quickly walked that back after criticism, and Iowa — though never officially getting an invitation — declined such a visit. LSU star Angel Reese, after initially calling Jill Biden’s comments “a joke” on social media, later said she would attend with her team.
“At the beginning we were hurt, it was emotional for us because we know how hard we worked all year for everything and just being able to see that, that hurt us in the moment,” Reese said last month. “But just going back on it, you don’t get that experience ever so being able to go back, and I know my team probably wants to go for sure and my coaches is supportive of that so I’m going to do what’s best for the team and if they would like to go and we decide we’re going to go, then we’re going to go.
“But it was tough just seeing that in the beginning but I think we’ll all come together and I think it’ll be good.”