The late Rodney Dangerfield, a standup comic and movie star, was , perhaps, most famous for his one-liners that premised, “I don’t get no respect.” The “I don’t get no respect” was followed by quips such as, “I looked up my family tree……….I found out I was the sap!” or “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I wanted a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too!”
All of this “No Respect” led me to March Madness and the bracket that houses the NCAA Basketball Tournament. There is a lot of “no respect” to be found. Some newspapers, including the Hutchinson News , listed in their television times the Kansas State game as “Wake Forest vs. Kent State.” Talk about no respect! First the Wildcats are forced into a play-in game and then their area newspapers list them as Kent State!
No respect for the Missouri Valley Conference. 27-6 Illinois State was told by the selection committee that they are “too ugly” to come to the Big Dance and 30-4 Wichita State was relegated to a 10-seed. Yet, most everybody in the ratings game for college basketball had the Shockers as a possible 4 or 5 seed. No respect? Rodney would have loved that one!
Illinois State head coach Dan Muller complains that, “The selection committee makes it nearly impossible for a mid-major school to qualify because they give a priority to teams that have played Top 50 teams during the year. It is almost impossible to get a Top 50 school to schedule a mid-major in a home and home series. The deck is stacked against us.” Even Rodney would agree with that one!
Coach Jim Boeheim and Syracuse fans are complaining because the Orangemen didn’t make the tournament even though they have numerous wins over Top Twenty Five teams. Uh, Jim, that 18-14 record might have something to do with it! I think most of America would rather see Illinois State and their 27-6 record than your team with 14 losses.
No respect for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships. I’m not saying that the Women’s tournament should command the same respect as the men’s but they do have the greatest story line going with Connecticut and coach Geno Auriemma on a streak of 107 straight wins. More respect might be garnered by not playing this tournament at the same time as the men do.
The selection committee didn’t give much respect to mid-major schools as they scheduled at least four of them to play each other, thus eliminating the chance that those schools would have more opportunities for deep runs into the tournament. Dayton vs. Wichita State and Saint Mary’s vs. VCU eliminates two teams very capable of beating some other opponent in the tournament and moving on. Wichita State coach, Greg Marshall aptly pointed this out when he said, “It’s like the committee wants to protect the five power conferences.”
Finally, not much is being made of a big-time accomplishment by the Kansas Jayhawks. They just set an all-time record with their 28th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. It is the longest streak in NCAA history and would probably be even longer if Kansas hadn’t been put on probation following Larry Brown’s stint as the Jayhawk boss. The 28 consecutive appearances is split evenly between former coach Roy Williams’ 14 and current coach Bill Self’s 14.
If your team is getting “no respect,” hang in there. It can’t be as bad as it was for Rodney Dangerfield who said, “I’m so ugly—My mother had morning sickness—After I was born.”
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.