The 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament is underway and things are going very well for the UConn women’s basketball team. On Saturday, March 17, the UConn women defeated St. Francis (Pennsylvania) 140-52 in the first round of the NCAA tournament setting a new record for points scored in an NCAA tournament game. Additionally, they set records for most points scored in a period (55) and in a half (94). UConn’s 88-point margin of victory was the second largest margin in tournament history. By the time this column is published, the Huskies will have defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats and will have qualified for their twenty-fifth straight Sweet-16, which takes place this year in Albany, New York.
However, whenever greatness rises, there’s always someone who tries to rain on another’s parade. As the women have continued to dominate on the court, once again going undefeated, the trolls and nay-sayers have come out of the woodwork. Just hours after Saturday’s game finished, USA Today columnist Josh Peter penned a story titled “UConn’s 88-point win in the NCAA tournament is a loss for women’s basketball”. The general gist was that UConn is too good and therefore stifling the growth of the program.
WBB was almost unwatchable before UCONN ruined it the rest of the way, now it's all the way unwatchable. If these any of these girls cared about the sport, the top players wouldn't all go to the same school and they'd make it more competitive. #NoParity #TotallyLame #WWE2.0
— Kyle Cox (@BeardedLegend23) March 18, 2018
Peter isn’t the first person to come out with this opinion that UConn is bad for the game. More than one twitter troll has said that women’s basketball is unwatchable because of the lack of parity. Darren Rovell, an ESPN Sports-Business writer, is in some kind of passive-aggressive war against the UConn women winning by large margins. And then of course there are the people who just like to bash the team because it’s women’s basketball, which is apparently not a sport. Apparently greatness doesn’t apply to a team if they play a women’s sports.
I’m tired of them period, their accomplishments are like being the sharpest pencil in a pack of pens in a society where real writing endeavors are done in blue or black ink. Women’s B-ball is a joke
— Richard Grey (@RichardGrreat) March 17, 2018
America has a gender issue. This isn’t something new and is rooted in the sexism that built this country. The sports world seems to have especially sexist issues. We’ve seen this sexism rear its ugly head before for instance when both the U.S. national teams for women’s soccer and women’s ice hockey faced damages related to equal pay for the work they were doing. All of this sexism comes to the forefront when scared males realized that a woman is actually better than they are at something. You might not have noticed it, but all of the trolls complaining about the UConn women are ruining the game are dudes.
And all of these dudes who complain about the lack of parity or say the women’s basketball isn’t a real sport have never actually watch a game get played. If they did, they would see the sheer athleticism that these ladies put out every single night that they hit the court. It doesn’t matter whether UConn is up by two points or by 30. They are fighting for every rebound and forcing turnovers. They are looking for gaps in their opponent’s game and doing everything they can to play their best game possible. And the game is better off for it.
If these trolls really want to make the sport better, then maybe they should start watching it. They should turn on their TVs or stream it online. Have a local women’s basketball team in your area? Then buy a ticket and go see them play.
David Beri’s puts this really well in a piece for Forbes. The problem with women’s basketball has nothing to do with the dominance of UConn. The problem is all the nay-sayers who judge the sport without watching it. Contrary to popular belief, a balanced league does not make things better. We can name top teams in every single league because they win games and were dominant for a stretch. We never say that they were bad for the league or for the sport. Find me one person who complained about Tiger Woods, or the John Wooden era at UCLA being bad for the sport, I’ll wait.
If you say you find women’s basketball unwatchable but you enjoy watching basketball, then frankly you’re just sexist and you’re the problem with the game. The only reason you should find a game unwatchable is if you can’t find somewhere to view it.