I Have Indeed Gone Mad for March Madness

Women’s college basketball has been popping off like never before, and with good reason. Basketball prodigies, like Caitlin Clark dropping infamous “logo threes” (shots launched from so far away that the shooter is still standing on the center court logo), are making highlight reels and drawing huge viewership — now that women’s games are actually being shown on major sports networks. (Better late than never.) 12.3 million people tuned in to watch the LSU vs. Iowa Elite 8 match-up on Monday, which is more than almost any sports game last year and any college or NBA game since 2012. And, what a match it was to tune in for!

Iowa came out firing and put quick buckets on the board, followed by LSU suddenly lighting up and going on tear, which led to the match being tied at half. Watching Flau’jae Johnson’s spin-orama lane drives and Angel Reese’s dominance in the paint was so entertaining, but it ultimately wasn’t enough as Caitlin Clark scored 41 points to lead Iowa to a 94-87 victory. The least probable shot – an often off-balance or highly pressured shot on the run – seems to be more consistent for Caitlin Clark than an “easy” shot. It’s remarkable to watch.

While watching, the thought occurred to me that the women’s game is probably more what James Naismith had in mind when he created basketball, rather than a game played by the tallest 2%. Otherwise, he’d probably have raised the basket another two feet. 

The other aspect I’ve enjoyed at the college level is the clear youth of the players. You see more mistakes, more rushing – after all these aren’t professionals (yet) – they’re still learning how to handle pressure moments and large crowds. 

The matches this weekend are bound to be epic with NC State vs. South Carolina at 4pm PT and Iowa vs. UConn at 6:30pm PT on Friday, followed by the final on Sunday. I highly recommend tuning in! I may have come for the logo 3 Caitlin Clark Kool-Aid, but I ended up getting a March Madness basketball buffet. Join me!