Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Bried And Obvious Point About College Basketball

Rick Pitino lost, so, um, yay
As I wrote this, the people I follow online (well, on Twitter anyway, and feel free to join me there at #dmtshooter) were going batspit for the 5-overtime Notre Dame vs. Louisville battle, to the point where I tuned in. And, well, I get it: the players give maximum effort and the crowds mark out for it like nobody's business. Since the refs put the whistles away on internal contact and three pointers are comically short, the game favors upsets and random events, even more the usual hoop game. And snarling at a game that everyone else is going to call a classic seems mean at best, and trollish at worst.

But, um, still.

The #1 team in the land is now 2-5 over their last seven games (whoever that may be). All five of the losses were to unranked teams on the road. The 35 second shot clock and 40 minute game, along with the refs and the three point line, create a borderline tyranny of the underdog... and when that happens, you get something akin to the NHL's problem. How, exactly, are you supposed to care that much about anything when it all seems like random chance, assuming that you aren't personally invested in a particular set of laundry?

The end of the Louisville-ND game was marked by godawful free throw shooting, exhausted defenders giving up layups, guys who never play getting on the floor due to foul outs, no one executing, and the #25th-ranked Irish beating the 11th-ranked Cardinals. Both teams will, of course, go to the tournament, and the kids who were at this game got to run on the floor and yell a lot. And there are people in my world who tell me all of this matters, that this is what they love, and that I am wrong for strongly preferring the best hoops league in the world, staffed by grown ups and drawing talent from six continents.

I don't get it, and never will. Moving on.


CMJDad said...

Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

snd_dsgnr said...

Just for the record, the cluster of losses by teams ranked #1 overall in the last month or so is fairly unusual. It's a product of there not really being a great or dominant team this year, there are probably 12-15 teams that have a fairly realistic shot at winning it all this season.

Personally I find these kinds of seasons more entertaining (unless the dominant team is UNC), but to each their own.

Though come to think of it I've probably watched more NBA ball in the last year or two than the previosu decade combined.

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