The opportunity is there. It's a matter of being able to close the gap and win some games. You've got to win the right games.

One year, that really isn't a complete analysis. You've got to do it every year. I think for both the Valley and us some of the other guys that haven't advanced ... I think the basketball community realizes there's great parity out there.

We're very thrilled that we got the recognition that I felt has been due for a long time. It's always been the goal. The first thing we need to do is do it again and start stringing years like we've had this year together. Then the next step is to take it further.

These aren't hollow, computer-generated numbers. They're there. They're real, I think. This could be a defining year with the conference, if things play out. You need to get over the hump, and once you do, you have a better chance to continue to build on it.

These kids had to listen to people say they didn't belong. That's [garbage].

I don?t think it takes away from the luster of the conference. It?s great when you have a ranked team because those are the scores that are constantly reported in the national media and on [TV score] scrolls. It helps get face time on TV, but it?s not necessarily bad. Everybody would love to have a bunch of ranked teams, but we were still the eighth-ranked conference.

A lot of lower-seeded teams have senior leadership, and they can be really tough in the pressure situations you get in the NCAA Tournament. At the end of the day, experience can carry you over the sheer athletic ability of younger players.

In Division I, you can probably count on one hand the number of people who even come close to that kind of longevity. Of course, Jim became an athletic director when he was 8 years old.

Delaware was selected among several institutions that were interested. There is tremendous interest in women's basketball in Delaware and we know that the university will do an outstanding job of hosting our premier women's championship.