Women’s College Basketball Achieves its 1979 Moment


Women’s college basketball has had its fair share of breakthroughs over the years, and it only seems to be growing in popularity. We can now look back to the tumultuous year of 1979 when two superstars, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, faced off during the NCAA Final Four and changed the game of basketball – and college athletics – forever. From 1975 when there were only a mere 32 teams in the tournament until 1985 when the tournament saw its first expansion to 64 teams, it was the legendary game of Johnson and Bird that took College Basketball to new heights and created the organized chaos that fans know and love today.

But to what degree did this monumental moment set the trajectory for Women’s college basketball? We can clearly say that the women’s college basketball has been steadily growing in popularity, especially in the recent years due to TV broadcasts and live streaming of games. The recent Women’s NCAA Tournament championship game between Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and LSU was a great TV success for ESPN and also notably set new records for Women’s basketball ratings and fan interest. The NCAA is now exploring the possibility of a separate media property for the women’s tournament. This could potentially lead to a great financial windfall for some programs and conferences.

In terms of the two most important figures in the article, they are easily Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Together, these two players propelled the wider sport of basketball into the spotlight. On the flipside, Caitlin Clark and the rest of the Iowa Hawkeyes have done the same for Women’s basketball. The Game of Johnson and Bird might have raised the sport to even greater heights, but the recent game between Iowa and LSU could be the wave of the future. It is a moment that marks the magnitude of women’s college basketball and all of the future promises to come out of it.

The company mentioned in this article is ESPN. ESPN is an American multinational basic cable sports channel that broadcasts live sporting events and associated programs. Since its launch, ESPN has become one of the leading sports broadcast networks, not just in the United States, but the entire world. ESPN provides coverage and analysis of a wide variety of sporting events from National College Basketball Championship tournaments to professional competitions like The Masters and the UEFA Champions League. ESPN is able to gain great viewership for its broadcasts, thanks to its wide reach of properties and content, which include robust fantasy sports leagues, TV shows, podcasts, and articles.

Ultimately, the looming question of whether women’s college basketball has just had its 1979 moment remains one to ponder and reflect on. As we look ahead, it will be interesting to see how the sport of basketball – both men’s and women’s – will continue to grow and revolutionize the game. The signs are certainly pointing positively for women’s college basketball, and if recent stars like Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes continue to make their mark, the possibilities for where the sport could go are endless.