March Reveals Truth: College Basketball Rules the World


Starting tomorrow … or last night if you like the new 68-team format … we will be treated to weeks full of drama and last-second shots. If you love hoops, this is a terrific time. In my opinion, it’s the absolute best time. I can understand the argument that because players now hop to the NBA, the tournament is watered-down to a degree.

I’ll take the tournament over the NBA playoffs any day of the week … and twice on Sunday. Sure it was exciting when you-know-who was in town, but if I was truthful to myself I’d admit I still liked college hoops better.

I read things about NBA officials and their make-up calls, and I have no doubt that nonsense occurs in the professional game. What is called a foul in the first minute isn’t in the last minute and sometimes you get three steps and later you’ll get six. The continuation calls star players benefit from are insane – they’ll get what seems like minutes after they were fouled to complete their drive to the basket.

At the beginning of the season, you could have scanned over NBA rosters and told us who would be good. Of the top 10 teams in the preseason rankings, eight are still in the top ten. Why play? We know what’s going to happen.

What’s going to happen in the next few days and weeks in the college game? Who knows. I picked Kansas to win it all in my bracket, but I’m not putting any money on them in Vegas. Anything can happen. I don’t get that feeling when I watch the NBA.

Above all, college basketball is played the way Dr. James Naismith intended. More often than not, it’s about the team, not the individuals. We’ll see some outstanding, unforgettable individual performances in March, but they’ll be within the team concept. In the NBA, guys are worried about getting triple-doubles, missing shots at their opponents basket as Ricky Davis did eight years ago today.

Enjoy the games. Enjoy the three-point shooting and the charges. Enjoy that referees will call traveling when a player takes more than three steps. Enjoy a team you’ve never heard of beating a big-time school.

Enjoy college hoops. Enjoy March Madness. It’s the ultimate basketball experience.

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