NCAA Women’s Basketball and Men’s March Madness


Image via The Plaid Press

Priscilla Solorio, Writer

March Madness is the NCAA men’s basketball single-elimination tournament in which the 68 best college basketball teams play once a year during the month of March. This is one of the biggest college basketball tournaments. The tournament started on March 19 and will end Monday, April 4th when the last two teams compete. At the moment the final 4 are UNC, Duke, Kansas, and Villanova, which is definitely far from what most people predicted. The women’s NCAA tournament, unlike the men’s, is currently looking a lot like most people expected, with the last four teams being South Carolina, Louisville, Connecticut, and Stanford.

What is the difference between NCAA Women’s Basketball and Men’s March Madness? For a long time, a very major difference between the two tournaments was their names. As of 2022 what was previously known as the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament is now for the first time being branded as Women’s March Madness, and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament we’ve always known as just simply “March Madness” is now officially “Men’s March Madness.” Some say this was done because they represent a long-overdue recognition of women’s college basketball and, Meghan Durham, NCAA Associate Director of Communications, adds “The national office and basketball committees prioritized the student-athlete experience.”

Yes, of course, the wait for proper equality in women’s sports has been a long wait, one we hope to continue to see slowly become a reality over time and it seems sports events directors have even begun to recognize this, but who most fans have been giving credit to is not the organization itself but to Sedona Prince, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Oregon who plays for the Duck’s women’s basketball team. Sedona Prince is well known for her social media presence where she often posts videos of her and her girlfriend’s dramatic height difference, videos at the WMM tournament, and videos of her and her team, but after the 2021 Women’s NCAA Basketball tournament she becomes slightly more known for her impact on women’s college basketball.

On March 18th while at the 2021 Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Sedona uploaded a video to TikTok showing the large inequality difference she noticed when it came to the women’s tournament weight room and the men’s tournament weight room. The men’s weight room was shown to be a large size room filled completely with professional weight lifting equipment and the women’s so-called “weight room” was a single twelve sets of dumbbells beside the team’s practice basketball court. Sedona in the video goes on to talk about the NCAA´s response to the picture of the two weight rooms getting leaked saying they stated the problem was not money but it was space that was the problem, as Sedona continues to show the full large empty room behind the 12 sets of dumbbells. Two days after the TikTok was posted, Sedona made a follow-up video showing the new weight room that was made as a response to her video and also thanked the NCAA for listening to the player and fans.

2022 Women’s March Madness, as of this year for the first time in 40 years after holistically being reserved for men, the women´s NCAA tournament is now officially recognized and branded as March Madness. Changing ways of past years where male players were given special treatment such as better meals, gifts, advertisements, and practice/ workout areas, the two tournaments are now much closer to being equal with the additional changes the organization has made. Very happy to say we have finally begun to see a large step in the right direction when it comes to equality in women’s D1 Basketball.