Team Melli Once United Iran at World Cup. Now It Reflects Its Divisions.
The United States’ first team’s participation at the 2019 World Cup in the United States was marked by a sharp contrast to the current state of play for the USF men’s basketball team.
In this first phase of the program, which ended with the 2019 NCAA Sweet 16, the USF men’s basketball team won an unprecedented 19 games, which included a 16-0 first round win over then-number-one ranked Virginia Tech on Saturday and a second-round victory over number-one ranked Gonzaga. USF went to the Final Four after a third-round win over then-No. 1-ranked Purdue.
The team’s run at the tournament marked its first-ever appearance at a major men’s basketball tournament. The team was one of eight colleges and programs in the country to receive a bid to the 2019 NCAA Tournament, a jump from the four teams that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament in a field of 41 schools.
The team’s run to the tournament will be remembered for its historic first. But it will also be remembered for its recent divisional history with the program’s women’s program, which has suffered from a lack of playing time and a constant state of turmoil.
The program, currently the top-ranked men’s basketball program in the country, is currently a season-opening set of games just a day after the USF men’s team plays against Duke in a tournament that will include the top-ranked player – Markelle Fultz of Gonzaga.
This season’s NCAA Tournament has been the first time that the men’s men’s basketball team has competed against the women’s program. It was an interesting juxtaposition that the program didn’t seem able to fully embrace as the USF men’s team was the first to play against the women’s program.
The men’s women’s basketball program was one of the top programs in the nation for years. After a decade of competing against the men’s team, it