Every March, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament captures center stage of the sports world. It is arguably the biggest sporting event in this country besides the Super Bowl. 68 teams compete for the chance to cut down the nets after the championship game. Given that the tournament is so popular, you would think that college basketball is in fine shape and no changes should be made to the collegiate game. As a basketball fan, I could not disagree more. The collegiate brand of basketball is going downhill and some much-needed changes are needed, and in a hurry!
Before I go any further, let me say that there are many positive things about college basketball. The tournament games produce some of the most thrilling and memorable moments in sports history. The atmosphere at a big major college basketball game is second to none with the students, band and cheerleaders. It is far more enjoyable atmosphere than sitting in some NBA arena watching a bunch of millionaires play a meaningless regular season game. But any advantage the college game may have over the NBA stops there. When the actual game starts, the level of play is almost becoming unwatchable.
I have to say that most fans will probably agree with me in saying that pace and scoring are important factors in determining how entertaining a game really is. More and more college games are becoming nothing more than low scoring, foul fested, delay driven pieces of crap. Who wants to watch some game that ends up 55-50? Good defense? I say baloney to that!! It has more to do with some team running a tightly structured offense with no run and gun at all and poor shooting and lots of turnovers. Of those 55 points, 1/2 probably come from free throws. In addition, the games last an eternity will all the television timeouts. On top of that, a team is award 5 timeouts per game and many coaches will save their timeouts under the last few minutes. Watching the few minutes of a college basketball game is about as painful as going to a dentist to have a root canal job done! There is absolutely no flow to the game at all!!
So what can be done to make college basketball more enjoyable to watch. For starters, I want to see a 25 second clock be put into play. More possessions should equal more scoring. Nothing drives me crazy more than seeing some team slow the pace of the game down and hold the ball. Something has to be down about the constant fouling at the end of the game that turns the game into nothing more than a free throw shooting contest. I just want to scream at my television when some coach instructs his players to foul when down by 10 points with 20 seconds left. Hey coach, it’s time to raise the white flag!! And finally, there should be a 2 timeout limit for each team in the last 3 minutes of a game. A typical game might have as many as 18 timeouts in all counting the media breaks at each 4 minute mark. That is totally ridiculous!! It totally takes away from the flow of the game.
I hope some of the big wigs of college basketball will sit down after the season ends and try to implement some much needed rule changes to make the games more enjoyable to watch and create more flow to the games. This sports fan has seen enough! Limiting the number of seemingly endless stoppages and finding ways to increase the scoring per game will do wonders to make college basketball a much better game to watch.