NCAA Women’s Tournament Recap: A Turning Point in the Sport
The 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament was one of the best in the history of the sport. The Stanford Cardinal left San Antonio with the national title, defeating conference rival Arizona 54-53 in a thrilling title game. This tournament showed the nation that the future is bright in the game and put everyone on notice.
The tournament started with extreme controversy over the weight room in San Antonio for the women. A video taken by one of the players in the bubble went viral over the discrepancy of the weight rooms between the men’s and women’s tournament. The men’s room was a lot larger and had much more equipment, while the women only received a couple dumbbells in a small room. Once the video went viral the NCAA made the necessary changes to update the women’s weight room, and they received a room similar to that of the men. The women spoke up for the difference between the men and women and got the equality they desired in the end.
The champion Stanford possibly had the toughest path to the title in the history of women’s basketball. The Cardinal were forced to start the season playing in Las Vegas, as the Cardinal had to leave home due to coronavirus restrictions in Santa Clara County. The team had to live out of a hotel for a couple of weeks and used that time to connect as a program which helped the team chemistry improve. The Cardinal used the experience of being away from home, as well as the chemistry built up in Las Vegas, on their way to a national title, the third for head coach Tara VanDerveer.
The runner-up in this year’s tournament was the Arizona Wildcats. The Wildcats had an impressive run to the title, including a huge upset over favorite UConn in the Final Four. They were carried to the title by star guard Aari McDonald who dominated for the duration of the tournament. Arizona made a very impressive run to the national title and will hope to keep its momentum rolling into next season.
The best thing to come out of the tournament might have to be the star freshmen that were on display in Texas over the last few weeks. The two freshmen who stood out the most were Iowa star Caitlin Clark and UConn star, and National Player of the Year, Paige Bueckers. Both first-year players were fabulous in the NCAA Tournament and had one of the most anticipated Sweet Sixteen games in recent memory when Iowa and UConn faced off. These two freshmen were magnificent in the tournament and have shown the nation what the future of women’s basketball has to offer.
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament was one of the most exciting ever and gave the entire audience a sneak peak at what is to come with the future of women’s basketball.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.