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Jay Greeson
It's been a debate-filled stretch in regard to women's sports.

There was the tennis tournament executive who ended his career with his poorly worded diatribe about the state of women's tennis and how it owes so much to the stars of the men's game.

There was the legal action taken by five of the biggest U.S. Women's National Soccer Team stars against this country's governing body to be paid the same as their men counterparts.

The discussion of equality in the workplace goes far beyond sports, of course, and it has been a fight that started long before we knew the names of Serena Williams and Alex Morgan.

Sadly, that struggle will continue far beyond this generation of stars.

The other storyline hinged on the Connecticut women's basketball team and a level of dominance seldom seen in sports.

These Huskies are rolling like an avalanche. They are the Dream Team but for real. They are a team comprised of Tyson in his heyday, the late 1970s USSR hockey team and the 1927 Yankees, and then add Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods and Mia Hamm.

OK, maybe that's a touch strong, but not by much. Consider the numbers:

UConn has won 73 straight games. It has won 120 of its last 121, and all of the wins have been by double digits. The Huskies are participating in their ninth consecutive Final Four and are overwhelming favorites to win their fourth straight title.

How big a favorite? Well, to win $100 on UConn outright in its Elite Eight game against Texas, you would have had to bet $63,000 on the Huskies.

This one-sided dominance caused a Boston columnist to suggest that UConn's winning ways are bad for women's basketball.

There's almost always someone who jokes that a really good college champ could compete with the professionals. That's nuts. (Last year's Alabama team would be at least a two-touchdown underdog to the Titans, who were the worst team in the NFL.)

Here's betting that this UConn — the team that beat a ranked team by 60 to get to the Elite Eight — would be able to play in the WNBA.

As for columnist Dan Shaughnessy's comment about the UConn dominance being bad for the game, well, maybe not.

The first two rounds of the NCAA women's tournament were up 46 percent in TV numbers. UConn, heading into Sunday's Final Four date with Oregon State, has been the most watched team in the tournament by far.

Also, we have always been in the camp that a truly dominant force in any sport is good in general for the sport. Think Tiger at his apex. Or the Warriors today. Or the Yankees back in the day.

It gives the casual fan a couple of connections to the random sport. Everyone wants to see excellence, and those examples were/are truly excellent. Plus, that excellence gives most a rooting interest one way or another. And that excellence has us talking about women's college hoops as much as the men's game heading into the Final Four for the first time in a long time.

That possibly can't be bad for the game in general.

That said, the overwhelming dominance of this run — while it has merits — also is sucking any drama out of this. At some point that finality and certainty — when the tournament started, UConn was a 1-to-9 pick in Vegas, meaning you had to bet $900 to win $100, and the rest of the field was 6-to-1 (and that's crazy, and correct) — hurts the game.

And that's not UConn's fault. That's on the rest of the game to get better and match that excellence.

"When we get up 10, if you don't play hard against us, that's why 10 becomes 20, and if you don't dig in, it becomes 30 because we don't know how to let up," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said on ESPN Radio on Friday.

Simply put, Geno's statements are clear and concise. Don't hate UConn for being excellent. Wonder why the rest of the college women's teams can't keep up.

As for the blowouts, well

"It's on you to keep playing hard," Auriemma said.

In a lot of ways, UConn is close to becoming a sunrise, even to the casual fan. You occasionally will make the effort to get up and see the sun rise, and it can be glorious viewing, even if it doesn't last that long. But you know there will always be tomorrow, and another chance to watch that excellence.

Man, that's dominance — and it's beautiful to watch.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6343. Follow him on Twitter @jgreesontfp.

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