“Women’s Basketball Tournament Should Eliminate Round”
Both NCAA basketball tournaments have completed their first weeks and have provided plenty of highlights. On the men’s side both a No. 1 and No. 2 seed lost their first games.
On the women’s side No. 1 seed Stanford lost in the second round to No. 8 seed Ole Miss in a stunner. Their side has a less competitive first slate of games. Which is why they should eliminate a round from the women’s tournament.
Going back to the last four tournaments, the No. 1 seeds have defeated the No. 16 seeds by an average of 38.31 points per game. That is not remotely close. There wasn’t one game that was decided by 20 or less points.
It’s not much better in the No. 2 vs No. 15 matchup either. The twos beat the fifteens on average of 35 points. Now at least in that category you had one game decided by five points and one decided by four. Those are at least entertaining.
While on the men’s side the games don’t usually come down to the wire, it is a little better. The top seeds defeat the No. 16 seeds by an average of 24 points. You also have to factor in the upsets which Farleigh Dickinson handed to Purdue this year and UMBC did to Virginia several years ago.
The No. 2 seeds defeat the No. 15 seeds on average of 19 points. But again, there were three upsets in those matchups the past four years. That matters.
Not Everyone Deserves to Get In
The top seeded women’s teams are beating the sixteen seeds by nearly 40 points. Like what are we even doing playing those games. What’s the retort? Well, they deserve to be there. Do they though?
If so, let’s just let everyone in, how about that. I’m sure players on other teams played really hard all year. They deserve to be in too. We can have a pizza party after the games too.
This has nothing to do with deserving or fairness. It comes down to entertainment value. And when your games are decided by 40 points, you have none, plain and simple.
And I agree at a margin of 24 points, those games probably aren’t much more entertaining either. But that’s still a 14-point difference which is significant. And those games are probably closer, longer into the game which does help a little.
This isn’t just a tournament issue either. There are more lopsided games in women’s basketball during the regular season too.
Purdue was the best men’s basketball team in the Big Ten all season. Their point differential per game was 10. On the women’s side, Indiana was their top team and their scoring differential was 20. That’s a big gap over the course of a season.
All I’m saying is we can shave a round off the women’s basketball tournament. I don’t think many people would even notice. Maybe you can try some unique thing where each region only has 12 seeds and the top four get byes in the first round. I think that could work.
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