The Other March Madness tournament…


Did you know that there is a women’s March Madness? Or that the women’s games get half as many fans?

Ellie Lieberman | Staff Reporter
Creative Commons photo by Dinur on Flickr

Unless you have been totally disconnected from society, I’m sure by now you’ve noticed that it’s March Madness, one of the greatest sporting events of the whole year. A time for unknown schools to get their moment in the limelight (think Georgia St. or Wichita St.), powerhouses attempting to go for a perfect season (Kentucky), and an event that allows fans from every county in the country to laugh, gasp and even cry as they watch the games. Brackets are filled out, money is lost, everyone seems interested. Heck, the student center TV is surrounded by a crowd of students during every game.

But, I bet you had no idea that not only is there a men’s college basketball tournament, but also one for women’s basketball. I can’t say that I’m a women’s basketball fan, or that I view women’s sports for that matter. As sexist as it sounds, there are reasons for why no one watches women sports, because genetically women aren’t built like men, and also because their games are not publicized or as popular. According to the NCAA, major women’s basketball game has at most 11,000 fans in attendance, while men’s games can reach up to 26,000.
Well, what can be done to make women’s sports more interesting so that people actually want to watch? It’s a very complex question, and surely one that will take a while to answer. But, there are certainly possible ideas.

Recently, I was reading a Sports Illustrated that had an article featuring brainstormed ideas to make men’s college basketball more interesting. Less timeouts, further three point line, and limiting shot clock to less time were among the mentioned ideas. It would take years to implement these ideas into men’s college basketball because the industry is flowing with cash and has higher stakes. However, what if these ideas were experimented in women’s college basketball games? The games certainly aren’t at as high stakes because there are not as many viewers. There wouldn’t be as much to lose, while still having the possibility to gain a lot. The women’s game could be modernized and transformed. For example, three point phenoms could practice their precision skills from further away than ever. The pace of the game overall could pick up as well, with two to none timeouts and a shot clock, it wouldn’t be hard to tune in at all. There may not be prolific dunkers in women’s basketball (except Brittney Griner), but there are still fascinating story lines ( UCONN went undefeated), it is just a matter of time before America figures that out.