UConn women are headed to 13th straight Final Four led by two of the most would-be profitable players in college

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It’s a 1-on-5 as Paige Bueckers goes to the basket.

It’s a 1-on-5 as Paige Bueckers goes to the basket.
Image: AP

Just days after Megan Rapinoe spoke at a White House for Equal Pay Day, and on one of the final days of Women’s History Month, the UConn Huskies reminded the world just how invaluable and profitable women have always been.

On Monday morning, Axios released a report by Opendorse that listed the combined Twitter and Instagram follower counts for the 20 most-followed players in the men’s and women’s Elite Eights, along with what their estimated annual earnings would be if players had full control of their name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights. UConn freshman Paige Bueckers was No. 1 on the list while her teammate Olivia Nelson-Ododa was No. 9.

Later that night, the No. 1 Huskies knocked off No. 2 Baylor 69-67 to advance to their 13th consecutive Final Four. 2007 was the last time UConn wasn’t playing during the season’s final weekend, as it looks to capture its first national championship since 2016. Five years is the longest UConn has gone without winning a national title since capturing their first in 1995.

“One cannot simply outperform inequality or be excellent enough to escape discrimination of any kind,” said Rapinoe.

“I know there are millions of people who are marginalized by gender in the world and experience the same thing in their jobs. And I know there are people who experience even more, where the layers of discrimination continue to stack against them. And I and my teammates are here for them.”

Last week, NCAA President Mark Emmert told Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon, Rutgers’ Geo Baker, Michigan’s Isaiah Livers, and other players from over 15 teams that are involved in the #NotNCAAProperty movement that he would meet with them after the NCAA Tournament about NIL rules. When that meeting happens, women should have multiple seats at that table, given that their value and play are just as profitable as the men.

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