The NCAA basketball championship concludes tonight, and with it, one of the most enjoyable spectacles in sport.
To me, this three-weekend playoff is much more exciting than it’s professional counterpart. Here are my top-three reasons why the NCAA tournament is better than the NBA playoffs.
- The sudden-death format creates a sense of urgency that makes players go all-out, all-game! No coasting, no “we’ll get them next time.” Plus, players who are trying to make it seem more motivated than players who already have millions in the bank.
- The referees actually call fouls – particularly traveling and offensive charging. The NBA brain trust is so concerned about keeping scoring levels high that they feel it’s OK to allow an extra step when attacking the basket. It’s OK for big men like Shaq to bowl over a smaller opponent if it ends in a basket. And a charge is seldom called under the net – that would reduce the number of slam dunks in a game.
- And that seques into the final reason I enjoy the NCAA tournament so much. The teams play defense. I enjoy watching players who work their butts off on “D.” And I love watching teams struggle to crack and opposing defensive scheme. The games I enjoy the most may involve only 50 or 60 points. When baskets have to be earned, they have more value.
NBA officials…wake up. The pro game is so slanted towards the offence that baskets mean very little. Games in which teams score 120 points aren’t as much fun to watch as you think. Soccer, hockey and baseball have all managed to survive without triple-digit scoring!
To me, pro basketball is the Hollywood version of the game. The NBA feels that reality isn’t dramatic enough, so they shade the rules to embellish the more specatacular elements of the sport. In fact, they’re wrong. I’d rather watch the real thing. And millions of NCAA basketball fans obviously feel the same way!
Dick Moss, Editor,
[tags]NCAA basketball,NBA basketball