A week ago, the NCAA Division I basketball tournament reached its apex. And the University of Connecticut won. Nope, not the men's game, which was fantastic, sure, but the women's game which was truly historic, and not just according to the wonks at 538, the newly minted sports blog. While there have been undefeated teams playing for EM ostensibly EM a national championship before, in college football at least, that's never been the case in basketball.
Many say the latest victory for the UConn women represents an endorsement of their coach, Geno Auriemma. With long-time rival Pat Summitt retired, it seems as though almost no one can stand in the way of the Huskies and their long-running records. Notre Damn fought valiantly for their place as the spoiler, and maybe if they'd had Natalie Achonwa, or Ace, playing alongside her senior teammates, things could have gone differently.
There's no shame in losing to this UConn team, but there are definitely columnists who have wondered if all the Husky wins that are piling up are leading to Geno and Co. fatigue. While Mechelle Voepel seems to argue that UConn's winning ways are good for women's basketball overall there's definitely room for disagreement. Kate Fagan reasons that games are better when they're truly competitive and if Notre Dame represents the best team that UConn had to face, things are getting into a bad place. The bottom line: We need more better teams, not just UConn.
The takeaway a week later, with almost no one talking about the women's game, despite the WNBA Draft already occurring, is that NCAA Division I basketball is still all about the men's game. March Madness, to most people, means the men's games exclusively. Even if, or rather, when, two undefeated teams play, something that has never happened in the sport before, there's very little attention for the women. Something needs to change.