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Courtside Conversations ? Jan. 22, 2007
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/22/2007
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There is a move afoot to compromise the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.  Some powerful people are suggesting that March Madness should become April Madness as to not compete with the men’s action.  This move would do more harm than good.

 

The United States has been conditioned to watch college playoff basketball in March.  In February, the nation’s talk-show hosts and T.V. clones drone on incessantly about bubble teams and number-one seeds.  It all works up to a grand crescendo at the Final Four in April and then it’s done.  America tunes out.  It’s time for the Masters golf tournament.

 

The women are so afraid of being overshadowed by the men that they’ve forgotten about a very important concept.  This concept is referred to as coattails.  When a sport, as popular as men’s college basketball, is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, why not take advantage?  The powers in charge of NCAA Women’s Basketball have done some very wise things of late.  They’ve moved to alternate days as to not directly compete with the men.  The women’s Final Four takes place at a slightly different time in order to grab an audience of its own.  This has worked. ESPN’s numbers have climbed, and while America is thinking basketball, a great Tuesday night game between LSU and Tennessee isn’t a bad option, even for the most die-hard men’s fan.

 

So, why not continue to suck up America’s energy at a time when all it cares about is college basketball?  NCAA Women’s Athletic Officials must learn to understand the cycle of interest that runs through the sporting public of our nation.  In the dead of summer baseball is king.  In August, the National Football League begins to dominate.  College Football owns Saturdays.  In December, the BCS is all that matters and the NFL play-offs own January.  But then, until the first weekend in April, it’s all about college basketball.  This is the cycle that Americans are conditioned to accept and they like it.  There’s a piece of the pie for everyone, so why not be there to eat when the darn thing comes out of the oven.

 

Under this current plan, the pie will be cold and disgusting by the time the women get a chance to grab their piece.  Americans will have moved on.  Baseball will be starting, NASCAR will be starting their engines, and the Majors will be high-lighting the golf circuit.  A women’s basketball game, no matter how good the match-up, will simply not fit in.

 

So, the women should stop trying to compete with the men.  Instead, they can drive behind the men, and use the existing draft to make the way easier to get women’s basketball noticed.  There is nothing like March Madness.  I would hate to see the women miss out.

 

See you on the radio!

Paul Johnson

 

Each Wildcat Women’s Basketball Game is heard live on AM 1400 KTUC.  To learn more about Paul visit: http://www.pauldanieljohnson.net.

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