At least one AP writer thinks tonight could be a watershed moment for women’s hoops, as it marks the first time in history that two undefeated teams have squared off:
But this isn’t the first time the game has stepped into the national spotlight.
The great rivalry between UConn and Tennessee and its Hall of Fame coaches Geno Auriemma and Pat Summitt drew national attention – except they haven’t scheduled games against each other for years.
But the sport hasn’t moved on, and the casual interest has.
”The women’s tournament has continued to get great buzz, but the real challenge is how fast it can develop,” said Robert Boland, who is the Professor and Academic Chair of the sports management program at NYU’s Tisch Center. ”The men’s tournament was being won through the ’70s by UCLA, but it kept growing and growing and exploded with the Magic-Bird game. The historical parallel is sort of where the women’s game is now. For the sport to sustain interest, it needs the players to move on and have compelling rivalries in the WNBA.
”For women’s basketball, college is the pre-eminent level.”
And that hasn’t been enough to grow the sport.
If this columnist is right, that no one cares about women’s basketball, why do you think that is, readers?
What would it take to grow the sport? What do you think?