NCAA to begin branding women’s basketball as ‘March Madness’

Women’s tournament will take on trademark previously only held by the men’s


Stanford Athletics

The Stanford women’s basketball team won the 2021 NCAA tournament. The 2022 women’s tournament will be branded as “March Madness”.

Emma Siebold, Managing Editor

After allegations of gender inequality, the NCAA announced that for the 2022 college basketball playoffs, the women’s tournament will also receive the “March Madness” trademark.

On Sept. 29, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that the term usually reserved for the men’s tournament will now be coined for the women as well.

In a statement, the NCAA said that the change is focused on “increasing opportunities for planning collaboration and cross-promotion, as well as making the two championships more financially equitable”. 

The fight for gender equity and equal pay in sports is ongoing and not specific to basketball. In 2016, the U.S. women’s soccer team filed wage complaints against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The four-time world cup champions’ appeal was rejected by the Central Court District of California after four years of fighting.

“In basketball and sports in general, I feel like everyone only ever cares about the men, and that they only prioritize men’s sports,” said Mikayla Jimenez, a junior on the girl’s basketball team. “I mean, the NBA gets paid much more than the players in the WNBA.”

Earlier this year, the NCAA was attacked after images arose featuring discrepancies between the men’s and women’s weight rooms during college basketball playoffs.

The men’s amenities consisted of rows of benches, barbell racks, multiple sets of dumbbells and plates of various weights. On the flip side, the women’s weight room had the only two things that ladies need to work out: sanitized yoga mats and a single rack of dumbbells.

The NCAA fixed their mistake by refurbishing the women’s equipment after being called out, but the damage was already done. By branding the women’s collegiate tournament as “March Madness”, the NCAA is helping to promote equality for the women.

“Women in the WNBA don’t get paid nearly as much as NBA players and don’t even get equal recognition,” said Analisa Alicea, another junior on the girl’s basketball team. “So without many people recognizing and supporting the women’s basketball industry, there is no chance for equal opportunities and fairness.”

Though gender divides still exist between men and women’s sports, the NCAA is taking a step in the right direction towards equality in sports.

“I believe women finally having a ‘March Madness’ title is a progressing step to gender equality in society,” Alicea said.