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Shaquille O’Neal says he's only watching women's college basketball this year: 'The boys suck'

NBA great Shaquille O’Neal is among the many fans tuning into the women's college basketball tournament this year.

NBA great Shaquille O’Neal has not shied away from his support of the LSU women’s basketball team and star player Angel Reese, but the former Los Angeles Lakers star recently expressed his interest in the women’s game as a whole over the men’s. 

During a recent episode of "The Big Podcast with Shaq," special guest Kirk Cousins asked O’Neal if he’s been tuning into any of the NCAA tournament games. Despite admitting that he hasn’t, when asked if he’s been following LSU’s run, Shaq made it clear that he’s only been keeping up with the Lady Tigers.

"The boys suck so I’m not following, but I’m definitely following the girls," O’Neal said. "Actually, women’s basketball is kicking a--."


He continued, adding that he had an "epiphany" while watching the women’s tournament exclusively. 

"Last week was like the first time I watched all girls' games. Like I’ve never done it before, ever. It was crazy – Juju Watkins, Caitlin [Clark], my girl Angel Reese – they just killed it. 

"I don’t think I know any men’s [players]." 


The interest in women’s college basketball has reached new heights this year thanks to stars like Reese, Clark and Watkins. 

Iowa’s rematch of last year’s national championship game against LSU in the Elite Eight drew record numbers, averaging 12.3 million viewers on ESPN for what is now the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history. 

Ticket sales for the women’s Final Four are also the most expensive ever recorded on the secondary market, with the average semifinal ticket going for $1,994 on StubHub, according to TicketIQ. 

LeBron James, whose son declared for the NBA Draft on Friday, also spoke about the surge in interest. 

"I don't think there's much difference between the men's and women's game when it comes to college basketball. I think the popularity comes in is the icons that they have in the women's game," he said Wednesday. 

The women’s Final Four begins with South Carolina vs. NC State Friday at 7 p.m. ET. 

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