COLUMN: The NCAA is exploring an event featuring both men's, women's final fours. Let's make it a reality


Imagine a three-night event featuring the best collegiate talent in the country. 

Imagine a Saturday night featuring players such as Michigan's Hunter Dickinson squaring off with Gonzaga's Drew Timme, followed by a Sunday with Connecticut's Paige Bueckers taking on Iowa's Caitlin Clark. 

Then, a Monday night with the two best teams on both sides of college basketball battling for the men's and women's national championships. 

Imagine it all being played in the same venue, televised on the same channel. It would be electric, and it may be coming soon. 

The NCAA announced earlier this semester that it would be exploring the possibility of combining the two events, with the earliest implementation of a joint event to be held in 2027. While this means we'll never get to see the players listed above compete in this type of marquee event, it indicates that players who ascend to the level of those listed will get the chance to do so. 

Part of what makes March Madness so fun is the fact that the stars shine brightest, while others reach cult hero status with remarkable performances out of nowhere. It's a gigantic revenue generator for the NCAA, but the men's tournament has drawn much more attention than the women's. 

This difference between men's and women's tournaments was exposed this past year when the participants of the men's tournament received significantly more in care packages than that of the women. There was also a notable difference in workout spaces. 

This isn't the fault of the participants. It's the system.

Let's change that. 

There's so much talent to go around on both sides of the college basketball spectrum. For every earth-shattering dunk from a player like Dickinson, there's someone like Clark who hits an unbelievable step-back jumper. 

There's a show-stopping, ankle-breaking crossover from a player like Bueckers for every Timme that hits a dagger 3-pointer. 

More big-time women's programs are starting to get more national attention, as players like Bueckers have made it impossible for networks like ESPN to keep them off the center stage. Need proof of the talent on the women's side? Head to McGuirk Arena and watch coach Heather Oesterle's squad. 

There's plenty to be excited about on the men's side in Mount Pleasant as well, as the Chippewas start a new era under first-year coach Tony Barbee. The new-look CMU men's team played its first home game Dec. 5 against Western Illinois after a grueling non-conference slate. 

So no, we won't get to see all the high-caliber players of today in the same venue playing for titles. Because of their efforts, though, we will get to see the stars of tomorrow when their time comes. 

College basketball is awesome. Let's see it all together.