The Green Bay Phoenix women’s basketball team is headed back to the NCAA
Tournament for the fifth straight season. At 29-2, it’s well deserved.
Green Bay’s 11-seed is a point of contention however. Especially coupled with the fact that they’re facing 6th seeded LSU on the Tigers home floor in Baton Rouge.
What does that mean? It means that once again, the Phoenix women are receiving no love at all. But why?
Green Bay is caught between a rock and a hard place. Clearly the NCAA selection committee has no respect for the league in which Green Bay is affiliated with, the Horizon League. Green Bay ranks 11th in conference power rankings and 13th in the NCAA’s Conference RPI rankings.
What’s the solution? There’s no real easy answer. Green Bay will most likely have to continue to do what they’ve done for the last few years, go on the road and win NCAA tournament games. They need to use the lack of respect as motivation and continue to show the rest of the country what Green Bay women’s basketball is all about.
Presently, the Horizon League is a bad women’s basketball league. Green Bay is so good and everybody else is really bad. Running the table in the regular season and then sweeping through the playoffs just doesn’t carry much weight with the NCAA Selection Committee because the league is so bad.
Of course, Green Bay could go find a better league, but that would only benefit women’s basketball. Unfortunately, none of the school’s sports teams are in the same predicament. Winning a Horizon League title in the school’s other sports is still a big accomplishment. For the women’s basketball team, it’s simply expected, almost old hat.
Green Bay’s only real hope of getting more respect is to see the other programs in the Horizon League pick up the pace. Better play from the other schools means better competition and subsequently a better conference rating. When that happens, Green Bay may still have to go on the road to play an NCAA Tournament game, but it could, at the very least, be in a neutral site situation. As it stands right now, the Phoenix has to play in Baton Rouge, which is the home court for the LSU Tigers.
Oh, one more thing. The Horizon League commissioner and Green Bay’s athletic director shouldn’t be afraid to call out the NCAA and stand up for the Green Bay women’s program. It may only be lip service, but stand up for the Phoenix women, I think they deserve it.