The month of March means March Madness. This is the biggest time of year for college basketball. The tournament is finally back after the cancellation of the 2020 season due to Covid-19. With the long-awaited excitement and return of the tournament, it had finally arrived however, didn’t start the way the NCAA had hoped in regards to the women’s side of the tournament.
When the 2021 Women’s tournament started the NCAA didn’t give the women anywhere near as much equipment for working out and recovery compared to the men. Players, coaches, and professional athletes took to social media to give their thoughts on the detrimental mistake the NCAA had made. After being held accountable on social media by players and coaches, the NCAA admitted their mistake. Although the NCAA fixed the problem they hurt their image and what they stand for. The NCAA plays a big part in Title IX and how they stand for equality. The NCAA has since spoke publicly about the incident. Although the women’s tournament doesn’t produce the amount of revenue as the men’s tournament they produced nearly $300,000 from the 2019 NCAA Women’s tournament. The problem was worked out fairly quickly. One person who shared their thoughts on this situation is Greenville University Women’s basketball player Lauren Eagleson. “Hopefully this is enough awareness that future tournaments will be catered more to the needs of athletes.” Eagleson believes that this is a good way to bring these differences to light.
The women’s tournament was played in Texas at various sites across the state. The National Championship was hosted at the Alamodome San Antonio, Texas. After the tournament was canceled last year there was no champion crowned in 2020 with the reigning National Champions from 2019 being the Baylor Bears. The Bears fell short by two points to the Connecticut Huskies. With the final four being set with matchups of 3 seed Arizona Wildcats versus 1 seed UConn. The Final Four features some fairly familiar programs that are typically at the top. Arizona made their first-ever Final Four appearance, while the other three schools have been featured in the Final Four since 2017. A few headlines were talked about heading into the Final Four. One is that it was the first Final Four to feature two African American women coaches. Another is the star play of freshman Paige Bueckers for the UConn Huskies. Bueckers is the first freshman to ever win an AP Player of the Year.
The tournament was a joy to watch with various star players featured as well as outstanding coaches. The championship was interesting with a 54-53 nail-biter with Stanford coming out on top knocking off 3 seed Arizona. It is Stanford’s first national title since 1992.
Media by Justin Cross.