The UConn women’s basketball team received a plethora of scrutiny during the past few weeks for becoming too dominant of a team. Many critics believe their prevalence is unfair and ultimately detrimental to the NCAA women’s basketball program as a whole.
After winning their fourth consecutive championship you have to ask, is it a bad thing to win all of your games all of the time? Many people believe it takes the thrill out of the games, that the constant winning streak is unfavorable for ratings; many people won’t tune in because they already can assume the outcome. Why watch the games if you can already assume that UConn will win?
Many people have over-exaggerated UConn’s dominance. Yes, they are currently the greatest women’s basketball program, but, contrary to popular belief, previous to this run they have not been winning every year. In order for this UConn fatigue to have actual merit, they would have to continue to win in a dominant fashion for a few more seasons to come.
Breanna Stewart, one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time, is the first player to win four straight national championships, and is the main reason for UConn’s recent dominance. As fans, we should appreciate this history. We may never see this in college basketball ever again. If UConn went on to win another four championships in a row, then the argument about them being bad for basketball would have some merit. Instead, we need to appreciate the history that’s been made and stop finding ways to discriminate the sport.
If you don’t like that UConn Women’s Coach Geno Auriemma has 11 national championships, find a way to beat him. John Wooden, head coach of UCLA experienced a similar dominant run in men’s college basketball as his team won seven straight championships from 1967-1973. During this time, people didn’t look down on his dominance, but appreciated his greatness.
People who claim that the UConn women are bad for the sport act as if this is the first team to dominate. People don’t complain when they watch Usain Bolt sprint past people or Michael Phelps out-swim everyone. When Tiger Woods was in his prime, people didn’t ask if he was bad for golf. People sat there in awe of these athletes’ dominance and cheered them on.
What’s the difference now? We loved Michael Jordan when he won three championships in a row twice in the 90s, but we hate that the UConn Women blows everyone out and continues to go undefeated?
Women’s college basketball isn’t for everyone, and like Auriemma said when asked if their winning was bad for the sport, “don’t watch” if you don’t like it.
Golf, Nascar, tennis, and track aren’t for everyone either, but don’t write off what we are witnessing at UConn. One day, like all great programs, UConn won’t be the best and spectators will look back and ask what happened to the once great Huskies. Until then, let’s appreciate the greatness and stop asking ourselves if the team is too good or if it’s killing the sport. Lets clap our hands because we may never see a player win four NCAA championships in a row again. We may never see a coach win as many championships as Auriemma.
Appreciate this great team for their dominance; don’t depreciate the value of the sport because of their dominance.