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NCAAB | Mar 20

Shaquille O’Neal Is Only ‘Paying Attention to the Girls’ During March Madness

Women’s March Madness Is on a Whole Other Level This Year 🤩

Is Only Watching Women’s March Madness
Shaquille O'Neal/Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Shaq Is Onto Something!

It’s just a better game, just more competitive. – Shaq

Now, when you refer to March Madness you may need to specify which bracket you are talking about. With NCAA women’s basketball skyrocketing in popularity, fans are now locked into both tournaments.

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During an interview with PEOPLE, Shaquille O’Neal was candid about his desire to watch the women’s tourney over the men’s. O’Neal has mentored one of the sports stars in LSU’s Angel Reese.

 

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“I haven’t even been paying attention to the guys, only been paying attention to the girls,” O’Neal admitted.

“I hate to say it, but the women players are kicking the men’s butts. You’ve got my Angel Reese. You’ve got all the girls from South Carolina. You’ve got JuJu Watkins, you’ve got Caitlin Clark.”

“It’s just a better game, just more competitive.”

Star Power Is Making the Women’s Game More Popular

Shaq may have a point, but there is a reason why women’s March Madness has more upside than the men’s game. The sport’s best players are in school longer thanks to the WNBA’s age minimum of 22 years old.


This allowed fans to get to know both players and teams better than men’s college basketball which faces high turnover on the top teams. Stars like Reese, Caitlin Clark, JuJu Watkins, and Paige Bueckers are staying in college for at least three years.

Contrast that to the men’s NCAA tournament where the top players typically head to the NBA after one collegiate season. As the women’s game continues to grow in popularity, it will be interesting to see if there is pressure for the WNBA to lower the age minimum in the coming years.

 

Women’s Final Four Tickets Are Topping the Men’s Demand

Business is booming for NCAA women’s basketball. ESPN revealed that the ad dollars are surging for commercials sold during the women’s game. Tickpick revealed the site has already sold six times more tickets for the women’s Final Four than the men’s championship weekend.

There are a few contributing factors to this beginning with the reality that NCAAW basketball has the star power that the men’s game does not. We watch the men’s March Madness bracket for upsets and underdogs.


The years of Bird squaring off against Magic are long gone. Women’s college basketball has star power that has familiar faces over multiple years.

We would be remiss not to point to the Caitlin Clark effect. You don’t have to follow NCAAW news to know who she is. Clark is a generational talent and her mere presence has boosted interest in the entire sport.

Unlike the men’s bracket, the women’s tournament tends to almost always feature the top teams. Buying a ticket to the Final Four now gives you a pretty good chance to see Clark. Who ends up on the men’s side is anyone’s guess.

Watch out for those ticket prices if Clark once again lands in the Final Four.

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