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Editorial: Women’s basketball deserving of higher praise

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Editorial: Women’s basketball deserving of higher praise

Women's basketball celebrates following their BIG EAST championship in March.

Women's basketball celebrates following their BIG EAST championship in March.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Women's basketball celebrates following their BIG EAST championship in March.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Women's basketball celebrates following their BIG EAST championship in March.

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Marquette basketball is preparing for another record-setting season this year. With a cohesive roster, an enigmatic head coach and an exciting progress streak, Marquette women’s basketball will almost assuredly be among the best teams in the country this season.

The women’s basketball team has made great strides over the past few years. The Marquette community should be excited about the tangible progress being made and the team deserves more student support.

The 2014-’15 season was Marquette women’s basketball’s worst season in two decades. Now, two years after that brutal season, the women’s team is ranked number 17 in the country, while the men’s team isn’t ranked at all. This is actually the first year the women’s team has been ranked before the start of the season, so to be in the top 25 is outstanding.

To go from a 9-21 season to being in the NCAA tournament and winning the BIG EAST tournament is a monumental achievement. Not only has the women’s team never been ranked, but prior to last year they had only been in the NCAA tournament a couple times, so this is the best they’ve ever been as a team. If students were going to start supporting women’s basketball, now would be the time.

Men’s basketball has been emblematic of Marquette. But the men’s team is not the only exciting component of Marquette Athletics. Statistically, the women’s team is dominating.

The women’s team was seeded fifth in the NCAA Women’s tournament last year, while the men were seeded 10th in the men’s tournament. There was no question of whether the women would make the tournament, while it was unclear if the men would be given the opportunity.

The women ended their 2016-’17 season with 25 wins and only eight losses, while the men ended with 19 wins and 13 losses. If students want to see a team statistically likely to win, they should look no further than the women’s basketball team.

Not only is the women’s team talented, but they’re fun to watch. They play fast, they move the ball around and they make an effort to be exciting. Head coach Carolyn Kieger has become a kind of icon, always eager to rev up the audience and her team. She is always maintaining the energy of the event.

Another reason to more heavily consider women’s basketball is that they play at the Al McGuire Center, which is right on campus. The games are also free and the team often hands out free merchandise. And because the games are free and on campus, they feel like less of a commitment than men’s games, which require a ticket and transportation.

It is a common occurrence for women’s teams to be taken less seriously than their male counterparts. It would be a lapse in judgment to subject the Marquette women’s basketball team to the same inequity. This team deserves to have the support and affection of the college they represent. The Marquette student body must give the team the support and respect it deserves.

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