Tag:Memphis Tigers
Posted on: March 27, 2009 4:17 pm

OK Memphis, Respect must be earned.

 I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that all the talk about Memphis not getting respect and being good enough to be a #1 seed over dramaticized their situation. Are they a good team? Yes. Do they have great talent? Yes. Are they a battle tested, top 5 team? No. I'm sorry, Memphis, but you have to earn respect. Beating the pulp of an average basketball conference (1 bid this year) year after year and making history does not impress me. Sure, its hard to win all those games in a row, but when you are playing with a team of men in a league of boys, its not THAT hard. The reason nobody REALLY respects Memphis is because there is no barometer to measure them with. They play a few high calibur teams early on, when neither they nor the team they play are in top form, and then begin the bullying of Conference USA.

There is no denying that Memphis is a quality team capable of beating anyone in the country on a given night, but there are many teams that fit that description. Teams are given respect when they prove over the course of a season that they can consistently win big games. Memphis, quite frankly, does not play many big games. Perhaps, Memphis' success in last years tournament produced a feeling of entitlement, but each year is a different team and when you're relatively untested year in and year out, its hard to really hang your hat on something that happened the year before.

But Memphis grabbed a #2 seed and a potential meeting with the last #4 seed and team that supposedly got the nod over Memphis, so the motivation was there to prove once again, that they were a top flight team. How did their tournament go? A scare in round one, a rebound and sound beating handed out in round 2, and then last night. Missouri controlled the entire game and was quite obviously the better team on the floor.

All the fuss was for naught. And there was a fuss. The media fell in love with the Memphis cause and in the process probably overhyped the team. They were, as we saw, far from perfect. The mid-majors produce some highly competetive teams, but the reason there is a major conference bias is because the are more clearly measured and test throughout the season. Every year there is call for more teams and more love for the mid majors, which I can understand to a point. However, when you throw up the resumes and perform the 'who did they play and who did they beat' test, the edge will almost always go to a power conference team. I love a cinderella story and upset as much as the next guy, but the tournament is ultimately about crowning a champion and the power conferences produce that team 99 times out of 100.

So, to Memphis and all the other 'step-children' of the NCAA. Stop asking for respect and go out and grab it. And when you aren't getting the love again next year, go out and grab it again. After all, the game of basketball plays out on the floor, not in the polls.

Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com