Wait? The Women’s Final Four? During March Madness? Yes, it’s true. Women’s college basketball participates in March Madness as well, and have produced some good games and we’ve seen great players over the years. Some of my personal favorites of Final Fours past include Alana Beard (Duke), Ivory Latta (UNC), Candace Parker (Tennessee) Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi (UConn), and Candice Wiggins (Stanford). All of them were fantastic college players and played on fantastic teams. They may have been overlooked in favor of their male counterparts, but not on this side. They could really, really ball. This matchup should be no different, because there’s a dominant player on each team, with Brittney Griner from Baylor and Maya Moore from UConn.
However, even with these ingredients in place, there are people (folks I know personally) who will refuse to watch this game, because it'll be women who are out there playing. The funny thing is some of the ones who say it, and claim to hoop, would get worked out by some of these same women in a pick-up game, and also in a structured game. Seriously, I’ve seen it plenty of times to know it can happen. Personally, there’s plenty of enjoyment in watching women play basketball, whether it’s on the college or pro level, and while the WNBA seems to be declining in popularity, the women’s college game seems to be (at the worst) holding steady.
In case you don’t know about Baylor, their star player is first-year sensation/dunking wonder/shot blocking extraordinaire Brittney Griner. Some people have made it a point to highlight her goin’ all Cassius Clay earlier this season, but there are even more who understand how valuable she is to Baylor’s success. The last time the Bears were in the Final Four, they won the national championship, so the big stage shouldn’t rattle them, even with their opponent being someone who’s shown they’re the definition of dominant in all of team sports.
Allow this to be said right now: what the Connecticut Huskies are doing is one of the most remarkable accomplishments that’s ever been seen in team sports, gender be damned. When you win 76 games in a row, it deserves to be mentioned alongside some of the greatest feats of all-time, but when you hear some people say what they are doing is bad for women’s basketball, or that it's not that impressive, it just lets you know there are still people in the world who are as dumb as a bottle of Sunkist. I don’t give a damn if it’s men, women, dogs, cats, frogs or whatever. What they're doing is absolutely ridiculous. When the 1995-96 Bulls won 72 games, there weren’t cries from people saying what they were doing was bad for the NBA. For the most part, we were in awe by the greatness of that time, and relished every bit of what we saw, and to this day, people still refer to that team as arguably the greatest NBA team of all-time. We see teams go undefeated in college football, and people don’t say it’s bad for them, so why it’s bad for women’s college basketball is beyond me. Then again, The Great Geno Auriemma pretty much put it out there, when he said it plain as day: “nobody likes people who win all the time.”
Make no mistake about it; there will be some great ball played this weekend, but make sure you do ourselves a favor, and tune into see how the women get down as well. As for me, don’t be surprised if you hear or read about this man making a Shock the World trip on down to San Antone to witness it in person.
WHAT’S IT GONNA TAKE FOR WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TO GET MORE RESPECT? ARE YOU WATCHING THE GAME ON SUNDAY NIGHT? GET AT US!!!