What happened to Hannah Hidalgo? Exploring reason behind Notre Dame star getting sidelined during Sweet 16 matchup against Oregon State

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Hannah Hidalgo gets sidelined against Oregon State
Hannah Hidalgo gets sidelined against Oregon State

Notre Dame's rising star, Hannah Hidalgo, found herself unexpectedly sidelined during the Sweet 16 matchup against the Oregon State Beavers due to her nose ring.

During a critical moment in the game, Hidalgo was forced to exit the court as referees deemed her nose ring a violation of NCAA regulations. This unexpected turn of events caught many off guard. Hidalgo violated Rule 1, Section 25, Article 7 of the 2023-24 women's basketball rules book. The rule states:

“Head decorations, head wear, helmets, and jewelry are illegal. Religious head wear is permitted provided it is securely fashioned to the head and is subject to the approval of the referee per Rule 2-5.1.”

The rules leave no room for exceptions, prompting a swift removal by the training staff.

The incident drew attention not only for its impact on the Sweet 16 game but also for highlighting the strict adherence to NCAA guidelines.

Also read: Who are Hannah Hidalgo's parents, Orlando and Tamara? Looking at Notre Dame guard's family and background

Hannah Hidalgo hailed by Oregon State coach

Oregon State coach Scott Rueck had nothing but praise for Notre Dame freshman Hannah Hidalgo, recognizing her impact on the court despite her stature. Standing at 5-foot-6, Hidalgo's versatility and defensive abilities have made her a standout player in college basketball.

Describing her as a "dynamic player," Rueck said (h/t Yahoo Sports):

“She impacts the game in so many ways. Her pace and her speed is special. Her skill set is special. Her ability to score is special, and her ability to disrupt defensively is special.
"She's gotten the keys to the team. She plays with that confidence and that swagger that she has the green light."

Hidalgo's defensive acumen is particularly noteworthy, with her keen ability to anticipate opponents' moves and create turnovers.

Ranked fifth in the country for scoring average, Hidalgo's all-around game, coupled with her defensive intensity, makes her a tough opponent for any team in the NCAA Tournament.

Despite her height disadvantage, Hidalgo's determination and confidence have taken her to excel, especially in scoring over taller defenders.

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Edited by Ribin Peter