There has been a little criticism on Bleacher Report and other outlets about the lack of coverage of women’s college basketball.
But a quick look at the women’s NCAA tournament is a good example of why the ladies aren’t getting the coverage they desire.
What we love about March Madness is simple: Watching the big boys (excuse me, big teams) go down, and savoring those last-second shots that catapult a team to victory.
A few examples from this year’s men’s tournament: Western Kentucky’s Ty Rogers’ 3-pointer to upset Drake; De’John Jackson’s last-second shot that lifted San Diego past perennial powerhouse UConn; the dreaded 5-12 curse coming true for two teams; and even Belmont’s near upset of Duke.
And that was just the first round.
In the entire first round of the ladies’ tournament, however, there were only three upsets, and that includes a nine over an eight (Purdue over Utah). The other upsets were a 10 over a seven (Hartford over Syracuse) and an 11 over a six (FSU over Ohio State).
In addition, there were exactly zero buzzer-beaters in the first round of 32 games.
The closest we got was a jumper with 17 seconds left in West Virginia’s win over New Mexico.
The rest of the games were comfortable wins for the higher seeded teams.
Through the second round, which concluded Tuesday night, two six seeds have upset their third-seeded counterparts, and two five seeds beat four seeds.
In one of those upsets, George Washington did provide some last second drama, as Sarah-Jo Lawrence hit a game-winner at the buzzer.
But here’s the catch: The shot that was supposed to win the game was an air ball by GW’s Kimberly Beck. Lawrence was in the right place at the right time and put the ball in the hoop from point-blank range.
Air balls are cool, but do you really want to tell your grandkids about the time your team won the game on your embarrassingly errant shot?
Currently in the Sweet 16, every one and two seed still is alive—and really hasn’t been challenged yet.
As usual, Tennessee and UConn continue to plow through their competitors, as does UNC.
The two seeds—Rutgers, Stanford, Texas A&M, and LSU—have also dominated their opponents.
For the most part, the women’s tournament continues to be a “pick-the-higher-seed-and-win-a-bunch-of-money-in-your-office pool” affair.
This is not an attempt to put down the women’s game.
But clearly, women’s college basketball has not reached the level of parity or excitement that the men’s game has, which is what the tournament is all about.