Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Charlie’s Crossover: Women’s college basketball is overtaking the men's

While scrolling through Twitter, a video clip of the 2009 Kentucky Wildcats and UConn Huskies piqued my interest. The main selling point of the video was that Kentucky’s John Wall and UConn’s Kemba Walker went head-to-head. Two college basketball stars and future All-NBA players battled all game, with Kentucky coming out on top. 

At the time in 2009, Wall and Walker were freshman guards who were box office players, yet the college basketball landscape still had a plethora of stars. Tyler Hansbrough was the National Player of the Year at North Carolina and a young Stephen Curry was setting the world on fire in that year’s NCAA tournament. 

Fast forward a couple of years to 2011, and Jimmer Fredette was the biggest name in sports, carrying BYU through March Madness only to see an older and more improved Kemba Walker win a title with his UConn squad. College basketball used to be a star-studded game, with players performing at high levels in both the regular season and the NCAA tournament. 

Times have changed, as the casual college basketball viewer seems to be losing interest year after year in the men’s product. One of the many reasons for that is the lack of male stars playing today at the college level. 

During these years in the early 2010s, the women’s game was a complete afterthought in the world of sports, particularly in college. In today’s world, they are anything but. Take a moment and think to yourself, “Who is the most popular star in college basketball today?” Chances are you thought of Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Paige Bueckers or other women’s basketball stars before you landed on a male player currently playing college basketball. 

Many would argue Purdue’s Zach Edey is the biggest men’s college basketball star playing today. Edey was the 2023 National Player of the Year, yet his Boilermaker squad was bounced in the first round by 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson. Edey and Purdue became the second team ever with a one-seed to lose in the first round to a 16-seed. 

While college basketball’s biggest male star lost in the first round, Clark took Iowa to the National Championship with her stellar performances. Clark was must-see TV during her tournament run, and although her Hawkeyes didn’t go all the way, Clark cemented herself as one the biggest stars in college athletics today. The team she lost to, the LSU Tigers, had plenty of stars of their own. Star forward Flau’jae Johnson doubles as a rapper — she has even collaborated with Lil Wayne on one of her upcoming songs — and Angel Reese has been featured alongside Johnson in Amazon commercials

People are talking about women’s college basketball more than ever in the mainstream sports world. The ratings also back that statement up more than ever, with the 2023 NCAA women’s championship game shattering records with 9.9 million viewers. While the women were breaking records, the men’s championship game between UConn and FAU set record lows for men’s championship game viewership. Instead of the public looking forward to the men’s battles, more and more are tuning in to see the biggest stars in women’s sports facing off. 

The WNBA has only been increasing in popularity. The 2023 season was a record season for the WNBA, and with many of the stars in women’s college basketball’s time in college coming to an end soon, expect the ratings and revenues to keep increasing when players like Clark, Reese and Bueckers make the jump to the pro level. Things are ever-changing in sports, and the flip that college basketball is going through will only continue. 

Charlie Fadel is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Charlie know by emailing or tweeting him at @CharlieFadel or

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH