When Tiger Woods was dominating the sport of golf, no one said it was bad for golf. It elevated the game, improved ratings, and made other players play better golf. Other examples in sports abound. So why do people who are not women's basketball fans rip on Uconn on a daily basis? This topic came to a head when Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe tweeted that Uconn's exellence has ruined women's college basketball. What does he know anyway?
Google search for an article at ESPN.com for comments on this issue by Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo. (Search on this string: geno-auriemma-defends-uconn-huskies-dominance-rips-critics) Those two know a hundred times more about women's college basketball than all of us here on H&R combined. I couldn't agree more with their comments on this issue!
Why the double standard? Because it is a longer period of more dominance? Is Uconn cheating in attracting recruits? No. Do they have the best coach in the game? Yes. Do they know how to practice, develop players, and execute game plans better than anyone else? Yes.
I keep hearing how there used to be more parity in women's basketball. When? USC dominated when Cheryl Miller played for them. Louisiana Tech dominated when Leon Barrimore was the coach. Texas dominated when Jody Conradt was the coach. Tennessee dominated for a LONG time when Pat Summit was the coach. Did anyone complain that any of those dominant teams ruined the sport when they made their multi-year runs? But oh, this one of Uconn's is different. How? Longer? Maybe other teams need to start elevating their games and playing up to the highest standard.
Next year, Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson will be gone, and possibly Morgan Tuck. Baylor is going to absolutely compete with Uconn next year. Baylor has the number 1 recruit in Lauren Cox coming in as a 6-4 post player to an already loaded team. Other teams are out recruiting like crazy.
How about Washington this year? They are in the fricking Final four and no one on the planet predicted that. Kelsey Plum for Washington is an absolute phenomenon. Nina Davis for Baylor is another pure phenomenon. Uconn will not be a lock next year. But will that be a better season to watch? Why?
I get that watching a highly competitive, down to the wire game like last night's Villanova-Kansas men's NCAA game are fun to watch. Watching that game made me realize that we were fools to think that Purdue was final four material this year. They simply have better athletes, who are so much faster and athletic that it blew my mind. So yes, I like highly competitive close games like most fans. But I will say it right now, I thoroughly enjoyed when the '85 Chicago Bears annihilated New England in the Super Bowl. Nobody except maybe bitter Packer fans could really criticize such a dominant win. You say, well that was only one game in one year. True, but it was the championship, and it was a blow out. No one said to stop watching the Super Bowl after that one was over.
So everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you don't want a clearly dominant team in women's college basketball, then skip it this year. Just stop blaming Uconn for setting the standard of excellence. I'm a true fan of women's college basketball and I appreciate watching a team execute at the ultimate highest level ever, if in fact that is true. As for year in and year out, this is simply an anomaly of a year. Look how Baylor went down when the Brittney Griner senior season Baylor Bears lost to Louisville. The highly unlikely upset is still a reality. Let's put up a cheer for 7 seed Washington and 4 seed Syracuse for making it to the Final Four this year. If there is no parity in the women's game, how did they make it there? Rest assured I will be watching the rest of the games in the women's NCAA tournament and enjoying every minute of it. If you can't or won't, then don't.