Men’s and Women’s College Basketball …

Briefly today …  I got the matchup I wanted to see coming out of the men’s semi-finals on Saturday night.  I have no connection to either school but the reason I wanted to see these two play for the championship is because I want to see UConn’s offense against San Diego State’s defense.  The line for the game has UConn as the favorite by anywhere between 6.5 points and 8 points; that is a pretty hefty number for a Final Game …

I must admit that I did not think the Aztecs were going to catch up to – – let alone get ahead of – – the Owls for much of the second half of that game on Saturday night.  They demonstrated outstanding poise in the end game and that poise led them to a slot in the Finals tonight.

I watched the women’s final game on Sunday between Iowa and LSU.  The game was a blowout for much of the time so it afforded me the opportunity to focus in minor things instead of watching offensive vs. defensive maneuverings on every possession.  Two things came from that focus on minor things:

  1. Let me just say that the officiating in the game was sketchy.  The technical foul on Caitlan Clark can be justified in the rulebook; the technical foul on Caitlan Clark for doing what she did is never called in a real game unless there has been “difficulty”: in the game prior to that call and the call is made to restore order.  Such was not the case on Sunday.
  2. When comparing men’s basketball and women’s basketball, the very obvious difference is the amount of action above the rim in the two versions of the game.  There is another difference that is related to the obvious one.  Interior defense in the women’s game is far less effective than it is in the men’s game.

ESPN says that the Women’s Final Four averaged 4.5 million viewers and that represents an audience increase of 66% as compared to last year.  The Final Game on Sunday had 5.5 million viewers.  All expectations have the men’s ratings and viewership declining in 2023 and the excuse given is that there are no nationally prominent teams involved – – like Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, UNC …  We shall see what the numbers for tonight’s final game are like.

Much had been made about the fact that secondary market process for tix to the women’s Final Four in Dallas were higher than for the men’s Final Four in Houston.  I suspect there are two factors that contributed to that reality:

  1. The women were playing in a basketball arena and the men are playing in a football stadium.  There are about 4 times as many seats available for the men’s games; the “supply side” of the Law of Supply and Demand may apply here.
  2. One team in the women’s Final Four (LSU) is not hugely distant from the site of the women’s Final Four; it is about a 6-hour drive.  None of the schools in the men’s Final Four are nearly as proximal to Houston; it is about a 18-hour drive from the Miami area to Houston – – and that is the closest campus.  The “demand side” of the Law of Supply and Demand may apply here.

Finally, here is an entry from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

Human:  Any of a species of hominids that insist on using the highways, grocery stores, banks and post offices as the same freaking time as you.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “Men’s and Women’s College Basketball …”

  1. As for me…the officiating was very tacky given the importance of the game. While Iowa certainly was stuffed regularly it did seem to me that the refs were overly tight.

    Now, for a really dangerous remark: RE the gesture of the LSU MVP…tourney MVP.

    It seems that years ago I read something regarding the difference in terms of men and women playing competitive/organized games…that is, boys and men generally spent much of their lives playing in games wherein rules etc., well “ruled”. So, things happened…and the process went on and when the contest concluded…there was a winner and a loser and the two teams went about their lives…albeit with both disappointment and joy.

    But, here we have two instances in the women’s tourney where one losing player slugs another player on the winning team and yesterday we have the now often discussed display of the…what?…taunting, rubbing it in…of the LSU player pointing to the finger where the championship ring will be placed.

    LSU played one heck of a game…and their coach was seen telling Clark of Iowa that she was a “generational” player (classy)…while a star member of her team was, and continues, to walk around with unnecessary boasting. Just my view…put a bit of a sour tone to end of the game and the tourney.

    1. UNC 65:

      I agree there was a large measure of poor sportsmanship on display after that game. Or should it now be called sportwomanship?

      A former colleague would have described that gesturing as evidence that the LSU player had lots of class – – except it was low class.

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