Archive for Saturday, March 29, 2008

Commentary: Forget NCAA; NBA more interesting

March 29, 2008


Dick Vitale, Billy Packer and college basketball's other TV publicists, er, analysts are probably on bended knee right now praying to their carved wooden idol of Mike Krzyzewski, pleading with him to forgive me for what I am about to write:

But this needs to be said, and so here goes:

You can have March Madness.

Give me May Madness.

This season, give me the upcoming NBA playoffs over the ongoing NCAA playoffs. Put away your pom-pons and admit it: The story lines in the NBA are infinitely more interesting than college basketball this season.

Don't get me wrong, I love college basketball. I love March Madness. And admittedly nothing can touch the sheer drama of the NCAA's one-and-done format.

But let's be honest, most fans who watch the NCAA Tournament couldn't name five college basketball players. They watch for the spectacle, not the sport. It's more about what's happening on their bracket than what's happening on the floor.

Give the NCAA credit for creating the most massive marketing machine in sports. Think about it, has there ever been a sporting event with more cliches and catchphrases? It's bracketology, it's the Big Dance, it's One Shining Moment, it's Cinderella waiting to put on her glass slipper, baby.

But take away all the hype and the hoopla and the bracket and the racket, and the NBA is far more intriguing this year.

Even without the Magic, the NBA season, with its monumental trades and manic scramble for the playoffs, has been far more compelling than college basketball's.

Have you seen what's going on in the wild, wild West?

The Houston Rockets are coming off a 22-game winning streak - the second-longest in NBA history - and they're still considered a long shot to win out West.

The Denver Nuggets are one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA. They scored 168 points recently against Seattle. They have Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. And if the season ended right now, they would miss the playoffs.

The San Antonio Spurs, the defending champs and a franchise that has won four of the last nine NBA titles, are now a No. 6 seed - a couple of games out of first, a of couple games out of eighth.

"This is the most competitive I've ever seen it," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before Tuesday night's game with the Magic. "There's no difference between the first seed and eighth seed in the West."

Hey, Dickie V., you want PTPers? How about Lebron and Kobe (no last names necessary) possibly playing for the championship?

You want diaper dandies? How about Dwight Howard in the East and Deron Williams in the West?

You want traditional powerhouses and potential No. 1 seeds? How about a possible Los Angeles-Boston final that will have the romantics hearkening back to the days of Magic and Larry?

Cinderella teams like Siena may provide great one-day stories in March, but when the NBA playoffs start we're going to have two months filled with commotion and emotion.

The NCAA Tournament should be called the Little Dance this year.

The big boys will provide the real madness.


Steve Jacob 10 years, 1 month ago

People here will laugh, but the NBA has been pretty good this year. Alot has to do with the West, where all 8 playoff teams will be around 10 games wins of each other. And the East will be good too, with Boston-Cleveland and Detroit-Orlando second round series.

davidsmom 10 years, 1 month ago

I've never watched an NBA game in my life and I have no intention of starting now. I love college basketball! I even watched the Division II championship today and enjoyed it. I hear all the talk about this player or that planning to go pro, and I realize that I should enjoy them now because I will not have the slightest interest in them when they are in the NBA making millions. There's something about rooting for this school or that one. I just don't care about the NBA.

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