16 February 2010

Everything you need to know about Oxford Women's Basketball...

I haven't talked much about my involvement with the Oxford women's basketball team (club) up until this point. That is largely because it is difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced it (the sheer glory) first-hand. So, let me catch you up to speed.
1. I play in a gym that is green (see below). I am not sure why we chose to paint them gym bright, grass-green, especially since our mascot is a color--specifically 'blue'--but this is what we call a "sunk cost". Now that we have invested in the green gym, I think it is unlikely that it will change any time soon.

2. If you think the BCS system is messed up, you will LOVE the UK basketball play-off system. There are five (or six, I am not sure) teams in a division and in the regular season, you play each team twice (once home and once away--pretty standard stuff). Basically, the worst thing that can happen is that you take last place. If you take last place, you move down a division and if you win, you move up. It would essentially be the equivalent of the NCAA being divided into a bunch of smaller (ideally UK-sized regions) with the worst team in division I moving to division II, etc. So, as long as you don't take 5th (in our division) you make the play-offs. Then, you play one play-off game against a team that is drawn randomly. That's right. If you have engaged in some debate about how the BCS system is unfair, imagine if the slots were pulled out of a hat. I probably should add that part of the reason for this system is that you have two "premiere-league" divisions, so it is difficult to compare the number one seed in the premiere league south to the number one in the premiere league north. The only thing that your seed gets you is, if you are one or two, a guarantee that you will not play the one or two from the other division. What you should know is that we lost to the number one seed by forty-plus and beat the team below us by fifty-plus, so the difference between a two and four seed is significant.

3. We took third, so maybe this rant is a bit biased by our finishing position. We like to talk about how random it is that you could finish third and play the first place team while the team who finishes fourth plays someone from the lower divisin. But, let's be realistic. If you finished third, you probably won't win the entire tournament (which you qualify for if you win your first round game), so I guess the system works in terms of picking the best team. Perhaps the BCS should move to the random, "draw-out-of-a-hat system" in order to avoid controversy. Just a thought. (Then again, anything would be less controversial than the current system).

4. We play tomorrow. We drew a team that is coming up from a lower division. This sounds (sounded) like great news, but that remains to be seen. This team is from London (which apparently makes them automatically better than a team from anywhere else), and they have been moving up divisions for four consecutive years now (aka, they have been better than their division).

5. Tomorrow is the biggest game in Oxford history. We have never made the tournament before.

The walls will be green. The competition will be intense. I'll keep you posted. (Or if you don't hear anything from me, you will know that we probably lost....)

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