Saturday Night Live' spoofs LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey in opening skit

There are any number of recent examples showing how the women's NCAA Tournament has risen to a status comparable to the men's.

For starters, there's the intense national attention on superstars such as Caitlin Clark of Iowa, Kamilla Cardoso of South Carolina and Angel Reese of LSU.

In addition there are the record-setting TV ratings for this year's women's tournament − not to mention an unprecedented volume of sports betting on the Elite Eight matchup between Iowa and LSU.

But perhaps the best evidence women's basketball has entered the mainstream is having it featured in the opening skit on "Saturday Night Live".

"SNL" cast member Heidi Gardner stole the scene with her hilarious impression of LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey − poking fun at Mulkey's iconic outfits: "I got this custom-made. I just told them, 'Make me look like the Riddler went to Talbot's.'"

"I work my girls hard every day," she said. "I make them run 10 miles breathing in Louisiana swamp gas. Then we practice full-contact. And if I don't see hustle, I'll throw a live alligator on the court."

And in a running joke throughout the segment, neither Gardner's Mulkey nor Keenan Thompson as Charles Barkley could remember which two schools were playing in the men's final.

Among many basketball experts, there's the growing consensus the women's game may be more entertaining to watch than the men's.