By Jordon Lawrenz, Greg Bintz, Zach Glander, and Daniel Bestul
On Friday, March 31, Good Times Programming hosted a Final Four Watch Party for the Women’s Final Four in the University Union.
Along with the pair of games, students were able to delight in free food, which included wings and a dessert. Students shared their thoughts on the importance of women’s basketball and women’s sports overall being in the spotlight more recently, plus how their brackets fared in this year’s March Madness.
Two individuals who came to the event were UWGB students Nia Jones and Karina Dominguez. Both said they were casual sports fans but were looking forward to the food and social side of the event. Both Jones and Dominguez had a strong opinion on getting women’s sports more in the picture.
“Like here [at UWGB], our women’s sports are better than our men’s sports right now,” explained Jones. “Especially this year, our women’s basketball team did really well, while our men’s team wasn’t very good. Yet, the men’s side of the sport still attracts well and gets more profit.”
Women’s sports, more so basketball, have picked up major steam in recent months. Women’s March Madness games were broadcast across the ESPN family of networks, including national games on ABC, gaining massive nationwide attention along the way. It culminated with phenoms Caitlin Clark of Iowa and Angela Reese of LSU taking center stage in the women’s National Championship game. However, the game brought about unwanted criticism due to extremely poor officiating and an incident towards the end of the game that sparked controversy about taunting from Reese to Clark.
Despite the setback in momentum, fans and students still enjoyed March Madness, both on the men’s and women’s sides. While Jones and Dominguez did not fill out a bracket this year, the team of Daniel Bestul, Greg Bintz, Zach Glander, and Jordon Lawrenz created a survey to see how other students filled out their brackets.
Jay Conrad, a junior majoring in computer science at UWGB, filled out a bracket for the first time ever in 2023. “I picked my bracket based on whether or not I recognized the school name,” Conrad said. “If I knew the name, I said they’d win their matchup. That was a bad strategy.”
Another student, Hunter Ubinger, a sophomore at UWGB majoring in accounting, didn’t do so well. “My bracket did not do well. I started off hot in the first round but then ended up not getting any of the Final Four correct.”
Kate Wagner, another sophomore at UW-Green Bay, chimed in with, “Not amazing. I took 2nd in one league and 6th in another. I do not watch college basketball during the regular season. I trusted the seeds, and we all know what happened there.”
To go along with Wagner’s response of how often she watched college basketball, “I watch quite a bit of college basketball. I would say not as much this year as in the past tho. I did watch probably 90% of the march madness games this year. and often put on basketball games as background noise.” Commented Jenna Kohl, a sophomore who is an elementary education major.
Will Soquet, a fellow junior majoring in communication, added, “Filling out a bracket is less an exercise in sports fandom and more an exercise in societal status.”