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GLIAC used to getting little respect in national hoops poll

By BRIAN LESTER

If there is ever a national poll that fails to make sense on more than one occasion, it’s the National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 NCAA Division II men’s basketball poll.

At least when it comes to teams in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Take the University of Findlay men’s basketball team as an example. The Oilers dropped from 13th to 24th this week after losing to a very good Michigan Tech team on the road last Thursday.

I understand that a team should fall when it loses. But 11 spots?

Of course, I’m not sure if that tops the move the voters made a few weeks ago when they bumped the Oilers down from 13th to 16th after they won a game.

I realize the polls mean very little. In the end, it’s all about what you do on the floor and no team has ever won a title because of where it is ranked.

Still, it still amazes me at how the GLIAC continues to lack respect on a national level.

Since the 2008-09 season — the season the voters had no choice but to keep the Oilers at No. 1 — the GLIAC has only had three or more teams ranked 11 times.

The league was fortunate enough to have four teams ranked once when UF, Grand Valley, Hillsdale and Wayne State all made an appearance in the poll in January of 2011.

But there have been 15 other times where the GLIAC hasn’t had a single team ranked in the Top 25.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t at least one GLIAC team worthy of being ranked in those instances.

Last year, the GLIAC only had more than one team ranked once.

What is interesting, though, is that the other conference in the Midwest Region, the Great Lakes Valley Conference, had two more teams ranked nationally in every poll I looked at between the 2008-09 season and the 2011-12 campaign.

The GLVC had at least three teams ranked in every poll last season.

When you take that into consideration, it’s no surprise that the GLIAC is hurt when it comes to strength of schedule.

The league hasn’t had more than two teams make the NCAA tournament since 2009, but it’s tough for the GLIAC teams to look good when they rarely have an opportunity to play another ranked team in conference action.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of good basketball teams in the GLVC.  The league’s track record speaks for itself.

But there are also good teams in the GLIAC and it would be nice to see more than one or two get a little more respect once in awhile.

Follow me on Twitter @BLester1993 or send me an email at brianlester@thecourier.com. For a complete look at the history of the poll, check out this link.