The NCAA women’s basketball hasn’t been shown as much respect as its counterpart in the men’s division.

That statement was made even truer when the NCAA released information showing that men’s college basketball teams are paid for each tournament game they participate in.

According to an article published by the New York Times, each game a team plays (not including the championship) earns the team’s conference roughly $260,000 this year, plus $260,000 each of the five following years.

So the total value of a victory in the men’s tournament is approximately $1.56 million.

Which brings the question: How much do the women make? The answer is none.

The NCAA doesn’t reward colleges for women’s basketball tournament games, nor do they really seem to care that they are happening.

Turn on ESPN and watch for an hour. Odds are you won’t hear a peep about women’s basketball, but when it comes to the men’s tournament, that’s a whole different story.

Or go to ESPN.com. Men’s college basketball is on the front page, and in order to find the Women’s division, you have to dig a little deeper.

It’s poor representation of women’s basketball, and the quality they put forth each game.

Whether that’s a fault of ESPN or the NCAA, it doesn’t really matter. The point is that women do not get the same respect as men when it comes to athletics.

I’ve watched every game of the tournament so far, both men’s and women’s. Both are about the same quality, and boy can some of those girls play.

Syracuse’s Brianna Butler can hit a three-pointer that’s like a work of art, and she’s not even the best player on the team.

Chantel Osahor of the Washington Huskies is one of the most dominant centers I’ve seen in basketball. She can take it up near the basket, or drop back for a quick shot.

Not to mention the University of Connecticut who has yet to lose a game. Do you know how hard it is to not lose a game? It’s near impossible, and those girls almost make it look easy.

Yes, the men’s basketball tournament is important—it is one of the most thrilling events of the year, but in my opinion we should give the women some love to.

The Final Four play April 3 when No. 2 Oregon State plays No. 1 UConn at 5 p.m. on ESPN. The day ends with No. 7 Washington taking on No. 4 Syracuse in a quality matchup at 7:30 on ESPN2.

Can Washington continue its unlikely journey to the championship as a No. 7 seed? Will UConn remain undefeated? Those are but two stories heading into the Final Four.

If you are a fan of good sports, then Sunday is the day for you. Take a little time and give the women the respect they deserve—you can watch the men play the day before.

Nathan Cavitt
Sports Columnist

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