Despite cutting down the nets Sunday, the UTEP Women's Basketball team fell out of the AP Poll this week. (Photo by Steve Kaplowitz)

Legendary comedian Rodney Dangerfield made the line "I get no respect" famous, and had thousands of jokes to support it. Maybe he could've added this one to his arsenal: "My basketball team gets no respect. Every time we lose a tough game, the polls treat us like we're in Juarez." That is exactly what happened to the UTEP women after yesterday's 52-48 loss to Rice. The Miners fell to 64 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index (courtesy of, and the team did not even receive one vote in the latest Associated Press Poll. UTEP had been 30th in last week's ratings with 24 total votes. How does that happen? Each of the AP voters must have felt that head coach Keitha Adams' team was a pretender all season long. Despite their 25-3 overall record, the Miners have a very low strength of schedule, causing their RPI to be about 30 spots lower than it should be.

UTEP's drop in the RPI and lack of votes in the AP Poll confirms one thing: they will need to win next week's C-USA Tournament in order to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Miners will be the top seed in Memphis and will automatically get a bye to the quarterfinals. Winning three games in as many days will not be easy, but they should clearly be the favorite. C-USA is not nearly as strong a conference as they've been in recent years, and UTEP is easily the class of the league. Coach Adams is always looking at ways to motivate her team and the home loss to Rice will be something she can use heading into the tournament. Hopefully, her team has saved their best for last.