Is UConn good for Women’s Hoops?

There has been much debate as of late on this very topic. It’s all over the media, attached link as evidence

 http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/02/472731311/womens-ncaa-final-four-is-uconns-dominance-bad-for-womens-basketball

At first brush my immediate reaction was UConn Women’s hoops is TERRIBLE!!! for women’s basketball. I was actually at that game where the controversy started and UConn absolutely hammered Mississippi State by 60!!! It wasn’t very enjoyable, non-competitive, my kids were checking their phones the whole time and one was falling asleep! My wife and I and 3 little girls sat amongst all the UConn fans, whom, can be a little much at times. I mean come on, you’re up by 40 and they’re screaming for blood at the colosseum. I was asked who I was rooting for by the loudest 75 year old retiree behind me and I said “Notre Dame”, to be a smart-ass of course  He and his surrounding accomplices stared at me dazed and confused. Notre Dame had lost the day prior. They were trying to figure what to make of me. Then I was asked which team I was a fan of again and I said “I’m a basketball fan…” Then the cross examination ceased and back to the game. My daughter later said, “Dad, I was wondering where that conversation was headed…kind of odd…” Yes, I suppose.

Anyhow, back to the question, I pondered the idea of UConn Women’s basketball dominance, had some conversations with various friends, and came to the unfortunate conclusion that UConn women’s basketball program is actually very GOOD for women’s basketball. Mind you, full disclosure, I don’t really like UConn women’s basketball. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, I prefer to beat a team by 25 to 30 and leave it at that. But to beat a team by 60? Put a boot on their throat and crush em? That ain’t me. Show some sportsmanship, pull off the dogs, pull back on the press and play your subs. Show some decorum, some chivalry perhaps? Being an American we tend to root for the underdog, it’s in our genetic makeup as a people. We love to see the little guy pull off the upset, the big dominant nation go down. Opps, I see the enemy and it is me!? Ok, back to the topic at hand, I digress.

Why is UConn good for women’s basketball? Well here goes. I think simply put, they force everyone else to get better. Obvious, but perhaps an example would help. Let’s look at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill women’s’ soccer program. Do you know how many national NCAA D1 championships they’ve won over the past 33 years? Anyone, anyone, Bueller, Bueller…the answer is 21 national NCAA D1 championships over the past 33 years. WOW!!! What??? What?????? Seriously Kelty??? Yep, that is the case. 21 NCAA National Championships. Talk about dominance. Soccer is a big sport too! Carolina smacked down all comers. Crazy good. But, other programs have started to figure em out, got better, stepped up their coaching their recruiting efforts. Welcome to America. Competition lives. Now over the last 5 years North Carolina has one once and the likes of Florida State, Penn State, UCLA and Stanford have taken the crown the other years.

Hence, from an entertainment perspective, UConn women’s basketball is tough to watch, they attract the best women’s talent across the land with basketball scholarships now but in the long term better women’s basketball will likely be the outcome. Everyone will be elevated. However, the beatings from here to there won’t be fun to watch.

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