Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will Geno's Comments Make a Difference?

After yesterday's UConn women's tournament game, coach Geno Auriemma made some harsh comments about fans not showing up for games.  They can host around 10,000 fans, and only about half of the seats were filled even for an NCAA tournament game.  It was Maya Moore's last home game, and it was surprising to see how few fans showed up to cheer on the game's greatest college player ever.  Geno said that his fans are "spoiled", and that they assume that the team will win, so they don't show up.  He went on to say that he would recommend that UConn not play in the tournament for the next five years, like that is a good way to get fans to show up.

I am not a woman's basketball fan, but I understand why Geno would be upset.  The reason that the women's game does not draw as much of a crowd is because it isn't nearly as exciting.  I am not going to say that men are more athletic as women, or that they are better at sports, but the men's game is just more exciting.  If you look at the current brackets for both the men's and women's tournaments, there are more upsets on the men's side.  In women's college basketball, the talent pool is not spread out as much as it is in the men's game, so you always see teams like UConn, Tennessee, and Baylor as #1 seeds and advancing to the Final Four.  In the men's tournament, there are "Cinderella" teams that make it far.  In the southwest bracket, there is a #12, #11, and #10 seed still alive, all of them fighting for an elite eight spot.  The women's game will never have that many lower seeds advancing too far, and that is why they don't draw much of a crowd.

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