The NCAA finally got some fitness equipment to its tournament bubble in San Antonio, which doesn’t excuse the organization’s failure to provide it in the first place or explain the difference in COVID testing protocols between women’s basketball and men’s basketball, or any of the other differences in the way that college sports’ ruling body treats men and women who are the best in the country at the same sport, while receiving none of the money that their athletic labor generates.
But they did get the equipment there. And colored lights for some reason.
Congratulations to the women, and only to the women. The NCAA can try again next time, and let’s not forget that South Carolina coach Dawn Staley’s extremely good point on Friday night has in no way been addressed, that “what we now know is the NCAA’s season-long messaging about ‘togetherness’ and ‘equality’ was about convenience and a soundbite for the moment created after the murder of George Floyd.”
Doing the right thing only because you were shamed into it, and even then pretty clearly not making things equal, is easy to see through. It’s really the only way the NCAA is transparent.
In the meantime, women were busy on Saturday getting shit done. It’s championship season in more than basketball, after all, and Daryl Watts gave Wisconsin its sixth national championship in hockey, and second in the last three years, with an overtime goal in the Frozen Four final in Erie, Pa.
Meanwhile, in Morgantown, W.V., Denver won the Big 12 title — the Pioneers are an affiliate member of the conference for the sport — also in dramatic fashion, as Lynnzee Brown put on a perfect bars routine.
Alabama also is an affiliate member of the Big 12, although for women’s rowing, not gymnastics. The SEC has gymnastics, and the Crimson Tide won that.
In the pool, Virginia won the national title for swimming and diving, led by Paige Madden’s three individual titles, her win in the 1,650 free following victory Friday in the 200 free and Thursday in the 500 free.
And since it’s also spring now, Texas’ Aria Adams tossed a no-hitter in a five-inning, 12-0 victory over New Mexico, and the 11th-ranked Longhorns went on to sweep the Lobos in their doubleheader.
It’s soccer season, too, because of the pandemic, and Maliah Morris scored a screamer for No. 8 Clemson in a 3-1 win over Georgia.
Lacrosse is going, too! And Belle Smith thinks that softball players shouldn’t have all the bat-flipping fun, so she went with a stick spike after her goal against Hofstra in a 19-7 Boston College triumph.
And, yes, of course, it’s March, so basketball. While the NCAA Tournament starts on Sunday, the NIT has been going, and California Baptist — ineligible for the national championship because it hasn’t been in Division I long enough — went to 26-0, remaining the nation’s only undefeated team, with a 90-82 victory over San Francisco.
But the best play of the day was Emerson Green’s game-winning layup for Northern Iowa to beat Creighton.
And professionally, there’s Australian football, where… yeah, it always looks cool even if you can never quite figure out what the rules are other than “it’s good when the ref does that two-fingers point thing.”
Quite a day of sports.