Slam dunk, shoot a two, women play basketball, too

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Humor columnist Cate Streissguth reminds readers that there are multiple U.Va. basketball teams.

Max Patten | Cavalier Daily

While my favorite team on Grounds is the women’s water-polo squad, my second favorite is the basketball team. U.Va. basketball not making it into the NCAA Tournament this year was a tragedy! After making it as far as the second round last year, I was hoping that we would make headway and at least get to the Sweet Sixteen. We were not so lucky. After accumulating a 5-11 ACC regular season record and finishing 12th in the ACC, the Cavaliers missed the cut off for tournament play. 

No, this is not some belated April Fool’s Day joke about Bennett’s team not making it to the Final Four. This is not a weird time capsule article that was written a couple years ago that The Cavalier Daily is now publishing. This is also not me joking about not knowing anything about men’s basketball. This is just an article showing you how women’s basketball is not given the attention that it deserves and how basketball has become synonymous with the male gender. 

For the record, the women’s team has played in the NCAA Tournament more times than the men’s team. The men, including their current run, have made it to the Final Four three times, so have the women. The men have been conference champs three times, so have the women. The men have made it to the Sweet Sixteen nine times, the women have made it twelve times. The men have made it to the Elite Eight seven times — So. Have. The. Women. 

The women’s team had a serious heyday. I’m talking Jane Fonda-meets-David Archuleta type heyday. The 1990s are known for “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” spikey hair, King Princess being born and really good U.Va. women’s hoops. And if you only got two of those references, you need to get with it. They made it to the Final Four three years in a row during the 90s. When the majority of the current U.Va. student body was born, Coach Debbie Ryan was coaching a team that was cranking out 16-0 conference play seasons. How was the men’s team fairing in the 1990s? If Wikipedia is correct, they were heroically and without fail producing conference play records that looked like: 7-9, 3-13, 4-12. Aka really bad seasons — seasons almost as bad as the one U.Va. football had my first year.

Women’s basketball games are fun! If you love free food, the games are the place for you. They usually give out Chipotle or pizza and a serious amount of Sabre points. The games are also for you if you love hanging with an older crowd. The baby boomers of Charlottesville love women’s b-ball, almost as much as they loved contributing heavily to climate change. The average age in JPJ during the games is usually 65. While there is nothing wrong with all of Charlottesville’s senior citizens being there, they do get really feisty and it can get uncomfortable. Something about a 70-year-old woman yelling at a referee from the upper tier seating while the whole stadium is quiet is unsettling. Let’s try to bring the average age down a bit. 

I am happy that the men’s team won the National Championships — it’s fun to watch in-shape people do athletic things while you’re on a couch. They have also put in a lot of hard work to be where they are, and that’s impressive. I’m not happy that the women’s team gets no hype or recognition. Across the board of college athletics, women get looked over. One of the only sports where they don’t is softball, and that may only be because there are no NCAA men’s softball teams. 

TLDR: Support the women’s basketball team next season. 

Cate Streissguth is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

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