Tonight's non-conference women's basketball showdown between No. 16 Colorado and Iowa, who has been to the NCAA tournament each of the last six seasons will likely be seen by a full student section - but for all the wrong reasons.
After the game, students will find their way onto the court, exchange their wristband they received at the gate in return for a ticket to Dec. 7 men's game against Kansas.
In the interest of fairness: the ticket-pickup policy has been misinterpreted, which is largely the fault of the athletic department itself. Tonight's game is not the only chance students have of obtaining a ticket to the Kansas game - a minimum of 500 will be left over for an online claim process. But if you want to ensure yourself a seat at the Kansas game, the only safe option is to attend the women's basketball game tonight.
This sets up a troubling implication that a ticket to perhaps the most anticipated matchup in Coors Event Center history is a reward for having to sit through an entire women's basketball game. As former Buff and current ESPNW columnist Kate Fagan put it, the claim policy "sets up the idea that women's basketball = eating your vegetables; men's basketball = dessert."
I happen to like women's basketball. One thing I've learned is you cannot FORCE people to like women's basketball. I'm sure the claim policy was born with the noble intention of exposing more students to the women's game - that's great. But, I'm sure the majority of students will spend most of the game checking their phones, and making fun of the women's game.
Why am I so sure of this? Last year, before the CU-CSU men's basketball game, the Rams' and the Buffs' women's teams squared off. As Colorado cleaned up on the court (they won 72-46), students began to stream in for the beginning of the men's game. I listened to fellow students laugh about the low release point that some women utilized on their jumpers, berate a female official's haircut, and joke about the number of rebounds that got tipped out-of-bounds instead of landing in one of the players' hands.
I've come to grips with the fact that not everybody likes women's basketball. That's fine with me - some people enjoy watching basketball for dunks and the high-flying ability that the best men's players possess. Those people likely won't enjoy the women's game. There's nothing wrong with that.
Students who are avid fans of the men's basketball team shouldn't have to go a women's basketball game to gain admittance to a men's game. It's patronizing to the players and fans of women's basketball.