March 16, 2022 2 min read
If you don’t know the name Sedona Prince, google her. Her viral Tik Tok video in the 2021 Women’s NCAA tournament last year spurred sweeping changes in the college basketball landscape that we have never seen before. For the first time in NCAA history, we are about to witness a gender equity tournament. This is the first true step to equal investment in the women’s game. The vision and support is bigger than ever before.
Below are the three reasons I am excited for this year’s March Madness tournament.
A 68-team tournament. The women’s tournament now has 68-teams (compared to 64 in previous years) participating in the show. You may not think an extra four teams matter, but it does. Think about the opportunity gap that has compounded over decades. More teams means more players getting an opportunity to play in one of the most beloved tournaments in the sports landscape, more staff to hire (aka more jobs), more financial support due to more ticket sales, and the list goes on. Give women more opportunities, everyone wins.
March Madness branding. This billion dollar brand has now been expanded to the women’s side for the first time ever. Historically, it has been called the NCAA Women’s Tournament, now the moniker March Madness will move throughout the women’s tournament freely and (hopefully) prosperously. Adding this brand to the women’s side will come with equal swag bags, mobile apps will be more compatible, beefed up staffing on the women’s teams (10 for each, previously women only had 7 staff members on each team) and both men’s and women’s committees will now meet quarterly. Huge wins all around.
Sedona Prince. I have to show our University of Oregon girl some love. Without her courage to post that video last year these changes probably would never have happened. She’s a 6-foot-7 junior at Oregon, our home state, so I am going to cheer her on with all my might. The Ducks are a No. 5 seed in the Wichita region and will play their first game against No. 12 seed Belmonth on Saturday, tune in!
Our friends over at Just Women’s Sports have created a March Madness bracket that us Mendi folks will be participating in. Go join their bracketology and enjoy the show!
JWS Bracket Challenge
Just Women's Sports are giving away $150k this March, the largest ever in women's college basketball history. Check out their bracket challenge and make your picks by March 18th to be entered to win.
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