Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Monday, March 15, 2004

Voepel goes ballistic over the women's tournament and its pre-determined sites.

Women's hoops fans, she says, "either are like me, feeling like they're screaming from a dungeon in Bedlam Hospital because this has driven them so bonkers, or they're still trying to find a reasonable explanation for it. Which doesn't exist."

It's true, of course, that the system is ridiculous and unfair.

But the women's tournament still can't fill stadiums at truly neutral sites. Until it can, you have to have home games in the tournament.

No one really likes home games. Either (1) the higher seed has home court advantage, giving them a too-easy time and making upsets nearly impossible (killing all the fun); or (2) the lower seed has home court, removing much of the advantage that the higher seed was supposed to gain for its better performance during the season.

Until we can fill seats at neutral sites, we're stuck with some mix of these problems. Much as Mechelle's complaints are valid, she doesn't offer any way out.

In my view, the current system is better than the previous system, which gave high seeds home court in the first rounds, essentially making the subregionals a formality. From what I understand, the next system (coming in '05) will be better than the current system.

Some day the women's game will reach a level of popularity that will allow neutral sites. That's what the men's side has. That should be the goal. But we aren't there yet.

Until we get there, we're stuck with second-best solutions. Beyond just venting about it, we need to keep trying to figure out what to do to move the game forward.