Sam Thomas and her former teammate Dominique McBryde mentioned that it was not an April Fool’s Day joke that a tweet from the NCAA women’s basketball Twitter account did not include Arizona in a video of the Final Four teams but displayed Stanford, UConn and South Carolina.
The NCAA has since taken down the tweet that promoted the teams as they were about to take part in their press conferences Thursday leading up to Friday’s Final Four.
Arizona (20-5) takes on UConn (28-1) in one matchup while Stanford and South Carolina play each other in the other. The Wildcats play the Huskies at 6:30 p.m. Tucson time following the Stanford-South Carolina matchup.
Reactions from Thomas and McBryde:
— Sam Thomas (@s_thomas14) April 1, 2021
The whole weight room situation was a cute lil early April Fools joke but promoting the “Final Three” on April Fools Day is even funnier 🤣 @ncaawbb Y’all are on a roll this year…
Arizona vs. UConn | 4/2 @ 9:30 ET
— Dominique McBryde (@dlmcbryde_) April 1, 2021
Aari McDonald said during the press conference that the video was “a sign of disrespect.”
“I re-watched it a couple of times and I was like, ‘Wait, I didn’t see any red,'” McDonald said. “I know it was myself, Sam, Cate (Reese) and Coach Adia (Barnes) (watching) … I didn’t see any red.
“It was frustrating. I definitely took it as a sign of disrespect, but it is what it is. Gotta get it to together. We’re not worried about that. We’re going to do our thing. Definitely you’re going to see that translate to the court.”
Barnes was disappointed in the video, saying, “Stuff like that shouldn’t happen.”
“The situation today, there was a highlight video, and we weren’t even on it,” she said. “Those are things that are missed sometimes and shouldn’t be because there are four teams that worked really hard to get here.
“They have put in the same amount of work and wear the same shoes and uniforms and enjoying the experience. Stuff like that shouldn’t happen. Along the line people drop the ball and that has to change.”
Barnes mentioned the NCAA needs more accountability when it comes to promoting women’s basketball and making it more on a level playing field as the men. She was outspoken two weeks ago about the meager weight room facilities for women in San Antonio compared to the men in Indianapolis during the NCAA Tournament.
“There has to be accountability just like me as a head coach. If I don’t win games, I’m probably going to get fired. In other areas, there has to be accountability. If you drop the ball, you need to fix it or figure it out.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.