Update: This post was originally published on March 4th. It has been updated slightly and republished because the women’s tournament selection show is tonight. Get the complete women’s NCAA Tournament bracket breakdown right here at MSF.
Admit it: when I say “March Madness” you immediately think of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
It’s okay, I do the exact same thing.
This is not a particular knock on women’s basketball, but facts are facts and the facts are that men’s basketball is much more popular than women’s.
However, the likelihood that you are far more excited about the impending men’s tournament does not mean that you should ignore the women’s tournament. In fact, I can think of some pretty compelling arguments for why you absolutely should pay attention to this year’s female version of March Madness.
So call it the women’s NCAA borenament if you want to. Refer to it as “March Padness” if you must. I personally always end up filling out a bracket, becoming intrigued, and tuning in by the Sweet 16 or Elite 8.
If you are planning to attend any games during the 2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, whether because I convince you below or because you were already predisposed to do so, here are some relevant ticket links for your convenience. At the bottom of this post you will find the schedule and site info.
2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Tickets
- StubHub: 2010 NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament Tickets – all dates and sites
- RazorGator: 2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Tickets – all available dates and sites
- TicketsNow: 2010 NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament Tickets – all available dates and sites
- TickCo: 2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Tickets – all available dates and sites (Save $10 on Orders of $100 or More at TickCo.com. Use Promo Code ORDR10TC)
And now, here are five reasons why you should not ignore the 2010 Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.
1. The UCONN Lady Huskies are historically good.
This absolutely has to be reason #1.
If you are a men’s basketball fan in your 20s, 30s, or even early 40s, have you ever said to yourself, “boy, it sure would have been fun to watch those old John Wooden UCLA teams.” I know I have. Think about how exciting it would have been to be able to marvel at the historic crew that won a ridiculous 88 straight games and all of the teams with Alcindor, Walton, et al, that basically owned an entire decade of college basketball.
The current edition of the UCONN women are that dominant.
With a win in their first round of the Big East Tournament, the UCONN Lady Huskies will tie the women’s Division I record of 70 straight wins. 70!
My Indiana Hoosiers have won four Big Ten games in the last two years. The UCONN Lady Huskies haven’t lost in 70 f’ing games! Furthermore, no one has even come within 11 points of beating them this year.
I don’t care what sport it is, watching one of the all-time great teams play is compelling. Plus, think about the drama if anyone does actually come close to beating them. I doubt it will happen, but what an exciting game it will be if it does. Definitely worth watching.
2. The Nebraska Lady Cornhuskers are working on an undefeated season
It’s hard to carve out many slices of recognition with UCONN and their historic run hogging all of the limelight, but an undefeated regular season is nothing to take lightly.
If the Lady Cornhuskers can keep on winning, they will do just that. Currently sitting at 28-0 and ranked #3 in the nation (behind UCONN and one-loss Stanford), the Huskers are five games better than anyone else in the Big 12.
Are they good enough to battle toe-to-toe with UCONN? Who knows. Probably not. But as they say, that’s why they play the games, and a title game matchup pitting two undefeated teams against eachother would make for a compelling game in any sport.
Update 3/15: Well, this one didn’t work out so well. The Lady Cornhuskers lost in their conference tournament.
And Pat Summitt is still coaching and going strong, very strong.
Despite a rough year in 2009, Summitt has the Lady Vols back atop the SEC and near the top of the national rankings with a 25-2 record. Barring a late season collapse, the Lady Vols will be a #1 seed and will be seen as one of the prime challengers to UCONN’s run towards more history.
Considering the fact that very little love is lost between Summitt and UCONN head coach Geno Auriemma, a potential title game matchup between the two biggest titans of women’s basketball would be even more compelling than UCONN-Nebraska. You just know that Summitt would be burning to beat Auriemma and remind him who still reigns supreme in women’s basketball; and, of course, vice versa.
Independent of all of that, Summitt is a college basketball coach with an astounding 1,030 career wins. She has won 8 – 8! – women’s college basketball national championships. Say whatever you want about where women’s college basketball ranks in the sports hierarchy, but Summitt is one of the best coaches in the history of college sports…bar none, and you cannot really argue that point.
Just as watching a historically great team go to work is compelling, watching a historically great coach work his or her magic is compelling. Pat Summitt is definitely a reason to pay attention this year’s women’s tournament.
4. It’s college, it’s a tournament, it features a bracket, and there are upsets
Let’s not forget about the most important reasons why we love the men’s NCAA tournament:
- It features the passion and tradition of college sports.
- It is a winner-take-all tournament.
- It gives us a chance to fill out a bracket and enter pools, which everyone loves.
- There are thrilling games, exciting upsets, and unexpected twists and turns.
Guess what: all of these apply to the women’s tournament too.
If you’re the kind of person who has more fun watching sports when you have money on the line, fill out your bracket and throw some money down on it. If you simply fill out a bracket for the potential pride boost of being right, then fill it out and track it. You can even enter one of the bracket challenges on a site like ESPN.com.
The point is, you love doing this for the men’s tournament so do it for the women too.
The game may be played at a slower pace and much further below the rim than the men’s game, and you may not be as familiar with the players and teams, but don’t forget that the men’s and women’s tournaments share many of the same elements of excitement. So why not double your March Madness enjoyment?
5. You never know when Brittney Griner might unleash a thunderous dunk…or punch someone in the face
You’ve seen this, right? (Kudos to loyal Baylor Bear and MSF reader Jake for the tip.)
That is Baylor center Brittney Griner straight up punching Jordan Barncastle from Texas Tech in the face. You’ll remember Griner as the girl who dunked twice in a game earlier this year that Baylor won by a score of…99-18.
Here is more video of Griner, which shows just how easy she can dunk.
So yeah, between the dunking and the punching, I’d say that Brittney Griner alone makes this year’s Women’s NCAA Tournament worth watching…assuming she isn’t suspended after last night’s display of aggression.
Women’s basketball fans, what did I miss? The comment section is yours to list other compelling reasons to watch this year’s women’s NCAA tournament.
2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Schedule and Key Dates
- March 14: Selection Sunday
- March 20 & 21: First Round Games
- March 22 & 23: Second Round Games
- March 27 & 28: Sweet 16 Games
- March 29 & 30: Elite 8 Games
- April 4: Final Four
- April 6: 2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game
2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Sites and Locations
(H/T: much of the following information was taken directly from the Wikipedia page for the 2010 NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament.)
1st and 2nd Round Sites and Locations (March 21-24)
StubHub: 2010 NCAA Womens Tournament 1st and 2nd Round Tickets – all sites and locations
- Frank Erwin Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
- Haas Pavilion, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
- Thompson-Boling Arena, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
- Williams Arena, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Ted Constant Convocation Center, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
- Edmund P. Joyce Center, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
- Wells Fargo Arena, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
- Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky (Host: University of Louisville)
- The Pit, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
- Lloyd Noble Center, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
- Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- Petersen Events Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Cintas Center, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Florida (Host: Florida State University)
- Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
- Maples Pavilion, Stanford, CA (Host: Stanford University)
Regional Sites and Locations for Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Games (March 27-30)
StubHub: 2010 NCAA Womens Tournament Regional Tickets – all locations and sites
- Dayton Regional, University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio.
- Kansas City Regional, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri (Host: Big 12 Conference).
- Memphis Regional, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee (Host: University of Memphis).
- Sacramento Regional, ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California (Host: University of the Pacific).
Women’s Final Four Site and Location (April 4th and 6th)
- The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (hosted by University of Texas-San Antonio)
StubHub: 2010 NCAA Womens Final Four Tickets
RazorGator: 2010 NCAA Womens Final Four Tickets
TickCo: 2010 NCAA Womens Final Four Tickets (Save $10 on Orders of $100 or More at TickCo.com. Use Promo Code ORDR10TC)
TicketsNow: 2010 NCAA Womens Final Four Tickets
* – Geno Auriemma photo credit: Brian Pohorylo/Icon SMI via Fan Nation
* – Pat Summitt photo credit: Wade Payne / AP via NBC Sports
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