The Downfall of College Basketball

Published on 24-Jan-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Basketball - NCAA Mens    NCAA Basketball Daily Opinion

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The Downfall of College Basketball

I remember when college basketball fans would be excited this time of year because we're just a few weeks away from conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament

But something is missing. The excitement. A significant number of big brand teams are struggling, and it's having an impact on the casual fan.

North Carolina, historically, has almost always been at the top of the college basketball world, but even its ship is listing. Last year, the Tar Heels were an NIT team, and they're threatening to repeat.

North Carolina. Take a minute to think about that. Head coach Roy Williams could be in trouble; this is a man who, just a few years ago, won the national championship.

I live in a part of the country where the college basketball season is almost non-existent. Outside of Kentucky, Florida and maybe Missouri, the SEC is terrible.

We have teams like Arkansas, who are 2-15 on the road the last few years. This is the same Razorback program that invented the legendary 40 Minutes of Hell:

And now it can't win on the road. 

Auburn hasn't won an SEC game this year and has been on a long SEC losing streak. Kentucky has even struggled at times this year.

And let's talk about the Big Ten and Pac 12 for a moment. Despite having probably the best basketball conferences in the country, they have issues, as well. The Big Ten has three teams right now who are 0-14 the last couple of weeks, and UCLA struggled a few weeks ago against, of all teams, Alabama.

The Bruins pulled away from the Tide in the end, but it was a close call against a team that doesn't have a quality road win this season.

Yes, my friends, the overall caliber of college basketball has gone 'way down. I blame this strictly on talent  --or lack thereof -- at the top name schools. Kentucky is a prime example, living and dying with the one-and-done policy. They'd rather have a player for one year, win a championship, and then let him leap to the NBA. Players aren't developing like they used to and it shows, even in the NBA. The game is poorly played and the great teams are no longer great.

It's now a wonderful world for schools like Creighton and Wichita State, which is 20-0 right now, but let's be frank, the casual sporting public isn't interested in seeing this game in the Big Dance's final four. 

We want to see North Carolina vs Louisville and Duke vs Kentucky, not Creighton vs Seton Hall or Wichita State vs Central Michigan.

Yes, diehard fans are fine with a bushel of new names emerging on the college hoops scene. But the NCAA should be concerned about the casual fan. That's where its numbers are made, and we know the NCAA is well aware of it. After all, the NCAA has implemented new rules this season to increase scoring, which is a blatant attempt to hold on to the casual fan's interest. But unless rules like one-and-done are changed, we will continue to see undeveloped players and watered down games.

In other words, bad basketball.

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