UConn Back In The Final Four: Is Parity For Women’s Basketball Out Of Reach?

When I saw the score of the UConn-Duke game it made me wonder when women’s college basketball will achieve some sense of parity and competitive balance.  75-40 is a ridiculous score for an elite eight game, especially one that includes a 1st and 2nd seed.  So I did this short study to determine if this score is indicative of lack of parity or just an exception.  There were some mixed results that were also somewhat surprising.
As seen in the table below, Regional Final (Elite Eight) games show about a 5 point difference in scoring margin difference between the men and the women over the last ten years. 

That difference is significant and shows that there is still a measurable talent gap between the top 10 or 15 teams and the rest of women’s college basketball.  However, that is not the end of the story.  When you look at another measure, average scoring margin in games where both teams are at least a 2 seed, the parity gap between men and women narrows.  I use that measure because a 1 or 2 seed can’t play another 1 or 2 seed until the Elite Eight or Final Four, where presumably the pretenders and cinderellas are weeded out.  Since 2002 there have 24 of these games in the men’s tournament and 38 in the women’s tournament.  These numbers confirmed my suspicions; the men’s tournament doesn’t have as many 1 vs 2, 1vs 1, or 2 vs 2 games because there are more upsets.  However, the average scoring margin for men was 10.6 and the women’s was only slightly, if insignificantly higher at 11.3.

At the completion of this study I came to the conclusion that the men’s game has a minimal edge of over the women’s game when comes to parity amongst the top 15 teams. As for the rest of teams, a tremendous gap still exists and may never be closed. Additionally, part of the 5 point gap between women and men in Elite Eight scoring margins is that any cinderella or upstart team in the women’s game is usually overmatched and blown out in the Elite Eight.

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Duke/Michigan-Uncle Tom Who?:Grant Hill Owns Jalen Rose. A Head to Head Comparison.

People are making too big a deal out of Jalen Rose’s comments.  That “Uncle Tom” thing he said  about Grant Hill was said from ignorance and from a 17 or 18 year old kid who grew up hard and without a father.  If Rose were to say that now as middle-aged man, then that would be a story.  To be clear though, calling someone an Uncle Tom is wrong at any age, and Grant Hill had every right to shoot back.  Just because a black man was raised well in a two-parent household, it doesn’t make him less authentic; I would have loved to have grown up in a household like that.  The part Jalen said about Duke recruiting was true though; they do recruit a certain type of person, usually a well-to-do kid with a good head on his shoulders whether he be black or white.  All of that being said, Jalen should shut his mouth; Grant Hill owned him.

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Kyrie Irving, The Best Freshman at Duke in Years. (Click Table to Enlarge)

He may have been on the way to the best freshman season at Duke in the last 15 years!

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Duke beats UNC 75-58 for the ACC Title. This Quirky Stat "Predicted" the outcome.

Over the last 20 years Duke and North Carolina have played in 5 ACC Champ. Games.  I don’t know why, but every game has been a blowout.  Also, Duke has won the games played on odd days and UNC on even days.  So I guess I’m picking Duke by 20, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it.

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