NCAA makes positive gender changes to March Madness

Farrah Goodall, Feature Reporter

Every year the National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, showcases the best basketball teams in the country through the March Madness tournament; often times fans focus on only the male teams, but this year the NCAA is making a considerable effort to ensure that the female athletes receive just as much publicity.

The amount of appreciation for female athletes has greatly increased over the years, especially as the NCAA included women’s basketball as a major sport when before it was only play intramurally. Testing an experiment in the 2016 tournament, the NCAA moved the women’s championship to the Tuesday following the men’s championship, and it was highly accepted by the sport as well as the fans. Interest and admiration grew and has inspired the NCAA to schedule the women’s championship for the Sunday night after the airing of the Men’s Final Four which should encourage viewers to enjoy the show.

There are still differences between the two tournaments, though. Unlike the men’s tournament, the women are only allowed 32 at-large bids, and there is no play-in game. At-large bids are the teams that are selected by the association after the regular season championships have been automatically scheduled in the tournament, and the play-in game for the men is in which the lowest ranking teams are forced to play each other before the tournament to determine their ranking and first game in the official March Madness tournament. Despite the differences, fans can still fill out brackets for the women and all the major sports channels will conveniently air the women’s games right alongside the men’s. Progression is being made, and with every year and increasing talent the NCAA expects there to be even more changes that will be beneficial to the women’s tournament.

Promoter poster for March Madness
Print Friendly, PDF & Email