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Thread: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    This guy was on Kravitz and Eddie's show yesterday - of course I agree with him 100%. The best and most correct thing he said is casual sports fans don't really love college basketball - they just love March Madness - but even during March madness - they love the brackets, the office pools, selection Sunday, the one-and-done format. But do they actually love the games - do they actually watch the games - not really.

    One huge advantage the college game has over the NBA is completely lost during March Madness. During the college regular season the crowds are really into the game - but then during the tournament all that is lost because everything is at nuetral sites. In the NBA regular season the crowds are mostly dead - but in the playoffs the crowds are great - as good as any college crowd

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sport...6,print.column

    OrlandoSentinel.com
    College hoops no match for the NBA
    Mike Bianchi

    SPORTS COMMENTARY

    April 5, 2009

    I'm going to let you in on a little secret about yourself.

    You do not really love college basketball.

    You love all that surrounds college basketball.

    But the actual game itself is too often painful to watch.

    The NBA is poetry in motion; college basketball is frequently drudgery in motion.

    "I like college basketball," says Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy, a former college coach, "but certainly don't think it's a better game than the NBA. The NBA has the greatest players in the world. You'll see more great plays in one NBA game than you'll see in the entire March Madness."

    Van Gundy's statement may seem like basketball blasphemy on this Final Four weekend, but it's true. Let's face it, casual sports fans don't really love college basketball; they just love March Madness.

    They love their brackets, the office pools and the drama and excitement of Selection Sunday and the one-and-done NCAA Tournament format.

    And don't get me wrong, I love it, too. You can't beat the passion and pageantry of college basketball. Give me the exuberance of college student sections over the affluent apathy that customarily crowds into the NBA club seats. And give me the exhilaration of a college pep band over the artificial noise pumped into NBA arenas.

    But when you peel away all this superfluousness and wade through the overstated, carnival-barking Dick Vitale hype and hoopla, the game of college basketball itself simply doesn't compare to the NBA.

    Why? Talent.

    Period.

    J.J. Redick was one of the greatest college players of all-time, but he can barely get off the Magic bench. Likewise, the most decorated player in this weekend's Final Four — North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough — is considered little more than a marginal NBA prospect.

    I'll give you five bucks if you can name five college players participating in the Final Four. ... I'm waiting ... Still waiting ... Give up yet?

    My point is this: At least in the NBA, you know the best players on the best teams. In fact, you know them on a first-name basis — LeBron, Kobe, Dwight and D-Wade.

    Star power is what drives sports, and college basketball has none. One of the reasons, of course, is because we never get a chance to know the great players in college because they have either turned pro right out of high school or were one-and-done college mercenaries.

    But another reason for the anonymity of college players is because the regular season is essentially meaningless and is therefore ignored by most casual fans. Consequently, when March Madness gets here, we have no idea who or what we're watching.

    The only star power college basketball has is the coaches themselves. And who among us actually turns on a basketball game to watch a slick-haired college coach in a nice suit stomp his Gucci loafers and yell at his team to switch from man-to-man to a 1-3-1 zone?

    And spare me the rhetoric about how the college game is more geared toward "team" basketball. Puh-leeze. Have you seen some of the scores in the NCAA Tournament? Like Michigan State advancing to the Final Four with a 64-52 victory over Louisville? Or what about North Carolina's 72-60 win over Oklahoma in another regional final?

    If the NBA played such low-scoring games, the fans would boycott and teams would get booed off the court.

    Too many college games are in the 50s or 60s because the players don't have enough talent and the officials call too many fouls. During one juncture in the East Regional final between Villanova and Pitt, a whistle blew on nine consecutive trips down the court. That's about as much fun to watch as Al Gore giving a speech on how America is perilously close to using up its zinc supply.

    Admit it, the allure of March Madness is not in the game itself, but in the atmosphere and aura surrounding the game.

    The NCAA Tournament is a more entertaining spectacle.

    The NBA is a much better sport.

    Mike Bianchi can be reached at mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-08-2009 at 08:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    good read, hits the nail on the head
    Yay, I don't know if we're going back to the play-offs!

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    One thing I've always envied about NCAA Division 1 games is that the crowds are unbelievable. Oh man, just look at Illinois or Vanderbilt. Illini fans go crazy at their home games. Vandy has an edge (no pun intended), since the fans actually stand next to the court.

    I really wish when we get on a roll, or are about to win a big game, everyone jumps up and down, chants, whatever. Standing and clapping, that's little league. "Good job, sport!"

    We all begged and complained for a pep band. All they do is play the same music (Bill, I am serious when I say this) and only during timeouts. I'm sure they can play some of the piped-in chants they do over the PA during possessions. I mean what good is a pep band if you don't have that whole "college feel" to it.

    Last edited by duke dynamite; 04-08-2009 at 09:18 AM.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    I know people like to say NBA crowds are "dead" but in a few cities (Indy included) fans really get behind their teams if they're having a good year and almost every home game has a great, playoff-like atmosphere. How many consecutive games did the Pacers sell out way back when? Quite a few IIRC.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    But like the dude said duke. The college crowd is neutered because of neutral sites. And for some reason when the teams are in big stadiums they are almost not there. Why? 70,000+ sounds like a thundering herd of lightning bolt buffaloes. I lived in Knoxville and you could hear the game 15+ miles away....through the hills and valleys.

    I think that if the Cavs and Lakers make it to the finals you will see an explosion of fan support.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Really? Is an apple better than an orange? Well that is what this writer and UB would have you believe. Hell he might have just as well compared high school basketball to the NBA as the comparison is fataly flawed. Is minor league baseball on the level with the major leagues? Is peewee tball better than little league? This whole arguement is ludicrous.

    BTW, it is my opinion that college basketball has become too much like the NBA in the style of play and the physicality of the way the games are played. The article mentions two college players who were great college players and are and would only have marginal success in the NBA. My arguement would be that the college game is fast closing out these type of players for the more athletic NBA type of players. Look at the top college teams, how many of these type of players do you see actually play on those teams? So to say that the college game is made up of a bunch of slow white unathletic players is just a complete fabrication to make some sort of contorted point in a completely flawed sports article.

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    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Is this thread a bump of 5 years ago? If not, UB just has a template he dusts off every year.

    For the newbies, what you should take away from this is Buck doesn't actually like basketball, just the NBA.
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Country Boy I agree with you on saying that the College game is becoming more like the NBA.

    I hate the argument that they never call traveling in the NBA. Jeff Green anyone?
    The many games I have seen in person and on TV this year they have called traveling and palming more than ever.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
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    Is this thread a bump of 5 years ago? If not, UB just has a template he dusts off every year.

    For the newbies, what you should take away from this is Buck doesn't actually like basketball, just the NBA.
    You aren't supposed to tell everyone - now what is the fun in that.

    Don't you like how I waited until after March Madness is over - didn't want to be accused of being a kill-joy. I like all basketball - but I only watch and follow the NBA - if that makes any sense

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Excellent article that pretty much nails it.

    College basketball will always be significant for two reasons:
    1) It's a big event for student/alumni participation
    2) The 64 (65?) team tournament in March and everything that goes along with it (the brackets, office pools, etc..)

    But he pretty much nails it as far as the the stuff about star power, talent and actual basketball skill. The NCAA is great, but most people watch it for the sake of it as a big event. When you actually break down the level of basketball being played, it's just not as good as the pro game. There was some pretty atrocious play I saw in the tournament, even in the Final Four.

    The writer is absolutely correct: if the NBA exhibited the type of quality of play in the playoffs as in some of the games in the tourney, nobody would watch the NBA. People talk about how the late 80's Pistons were any ugly team to watch (rightly so) and ruined basketball. If anyone objectively observed the type of basketball Michigan State has been playing all year long, they'd conclude that was uglier basketball than any game Bill Lambeer ever played in. But it's college and it's March Madness, so all we'll talk about is what a great group of kids they are.

    I do enjoy watching a lot of college basketball and I'm not trying to demean the efforts of any of those players, but from an actual basketball skill level, it's just not the same level.
    Last edited by d_c; 04-08-2009 at 10:28 AM.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Meh.

    I prefer professional ball over the Semi-Pro (kudo's to Mr. Boyle for that label) every day of the week.

    But I'm back to where I prefer D-III/ NAIA ball over either the professional or semi-pro leagues.

    Student-athletes playing a team game with little personal/ selfish agenda. They know this isn't going to be their career and they actually play because they love the game. Maybe not the greatest athletes in the world, like the NBA can boast of, but I'd rather watch teamwork.
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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    A little presumptuous for a writer to lump all of his readers into one pile and tell them they don't love college basketball. Even if what he says is true it doesn't change the fact that the NBA's premiere events aren't as exciting to most people as the NCAA's premiere events, it doesn't change the fact that more people watch the NCAA's on TV, and it doesn't change the fact that more people across the nation, in all demographics, in all areas, are more interested in NCAA basketball. Even if that interest is casual, that doesn't mean it's not there.

    And before anyone jumps all over me, the above is my OPINION. I don't have a link to back it up. It's just an observation I've made as a lifelong fan of both NCAA and NBA basketball. Bash away.

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    It is ka Thankee sai Major Cold's Avatar
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    My lowly college team played NAIA teams. We beat IU........East. I knew that after that season I was done with playing basketball outside of YMCA leagues. We played against a D-3 league that had a player who transferred to Wake and played with Christ Paul (although he never really played that season).

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Even though I didn't go to school there, I love to watch Butler play. Aside from that, I'm not much of a college fan, in fact there are some colleges I hate.

    This sounds like that real old thread -- Pacers, NBA, Basketball -- how do you rank the three as a fan?
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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    A little presumptuous for a writer to lump all of his readers into one pile and tell them they don't love college basketball. Even if what he says is true it doesn't change the fact that the NBA's premiere events aren't as exciting to most people as the NCAA's premiere events, it doesn't change the fact that more people watch the NCAA's on TV, and it doesn't change the fact that more people across the nation, in all demographics, in all areas, are more interested in NCAA basketball. Even if that interest is casual, that doesn't mean it's not there.

    And before anyone jumps all over me, the above is my OPINION. I don't have a link to back it up. It's just an observation I've made as a lifelong fan of both NCAA and NBA basketball. Bash away.
    I think the writer referred to the casual sports fans as those that don't really like the actual games or watch the actual games.

    The ratings are pretty similar. Although it is hard to compare because the NCAA has a game 7 every year. The NBA hasn't had a game 7 in the NBA Finals since 2004

    But if someone is interested in ratings.

    Monday nights game was watched by 17.6 million people.
    Game 6 between the Lakers and Celtics last June was watched by 16.9 million people.

    Both games were actually not that close. But if the Celts vs Lakers had gone to a 7th game it would have been watched by probably 21 or 22 million -

    It varies greatly from city to city. Taking away home town teams in either sport - it is interesting to see where the NCAA does well and where the NBA does well. In places such as Indianapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis, Louisville, Chicago - the NCAA does extrmely well. In cities such as NY, LA, Chicago (does well in both sports) DC.......

    So in the largest metro areas, the NBA does well, in some of the more mid-level cities the NCAA does better.

    The NCAA is very popular in Indiana - but there are vast areas of this country where the interest level is very low - the south, west coast, largest cities....cities such as Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, LA, S.F, Portland, Seattle - college ball isn't watched by many. Not that the NBA does great in some of those cities either

    And just to keep in all in perspective - the average late Sunday afternoon NFL games typical average 15 - 17 million people. The college football championship game typically get 24-30 million people watching. So football kills basketball. But I think if you live in Indy and have lived here most of your life, you have a skewed reference point on just how popular march Madness actually is
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-08-2009 at 11:19 AM.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    But the actual game itself is too often painful to watch.
    I really agree with this. If I wasn't looking at prospects I would barely watch any games.

    The thing is I think there are a lot of fans that mistake the simplistic, easy to recognize base strategies of NCAA ball as good fundamentals and the subtle, fast, complex, and extremely hard to follow strategies of the NBA as wide open and unorganized.

    Organization isn't 4 kids on the arc playing pass and catch while one drops to the FT line to break the same old 2-3 zone. Organization is the kind of help defenses and switching that goes on in the NBA even on plays where you let the other team score, or plays in which a back screen from 3 screens ago set up the open jumper that you think the other team "just let him have".

    I mean a dog of a team like OKC features 3 kids that were just monster players in college and were creating havoc for every NCAA team/player that faced them. That's the bottom of the league. And those 3 are even greatly improved at this point. Can you imagine what a college team of Westbrook, Durant and Green would do to the NCAA? Heck, we saw what a group like that did at Florida.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 04-08-2009 at 11:41 AM.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    The defenses in the NBA are so much more complex. NBA teams spend more time on "how to defense the pick and roll" than college teams do on defense as a whole.

    The one argument that I have heard against the NBA for as long as I have been alive is - "you only have to watch the last 5 minutes of an NBA game" I've never undertood what they actually means. In a way how is that different from any other sport. Every sport is better at the end of the game if it is close. I don't understand why the NBA is singled out on this point.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I really agree with this. If I wasn't looking at prospects I would barely watch any games.

    The thing is I think there are a lot of fans that mistake the simplistic, easy to recognize base strategies of NCAA ball as good fundamentals and the subtle, fast, complex, and extremely hard to follow strategies of the NBA as wide open and unorganized.

    Organization isn't 4 kids on the arc playing pass and catch while one drops to the FT line to break the same old 2-3 zone. Organization is the kind of help defenses and switching that goes on in the NBA even on plays where you let the other team score, or plays in which a back screen from 3 screens ago set up the open jumper that you think the other team "just let him have".

    I mean a dog of a team like OKC features 3 kids that were just monster players in college and were creating havoc for every NCAA team/player that faced them. That's the bottom of the league. And those 3 are even greatly improved at this point. Can you imagine what a college team of Westbrook, Durant and Green would do to the NBA? Heck, we saw what a group like that did at Florida.
    This post pretty much sums it all up, particularly the 2nd paragraph.

    This should be basic knowledge for anyone watching a good amount of basketball, but somehow this obvious and in front of your nose logic gets thrown out the window.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    I am not saying that the college teams could compete with the NBA teams, who would, however the article is flawed.
    The article was nothing but a hatchet job on college basketball, period.

    For those who are saying that the NBA plays fundamental basketball, give me a break. There are more uncalled travels and three seconds in the lane and palming and fouling in one NBA game than a whole season of college basketball. Matador defense is the mainstay of NBA style basketball, aka S. Jackson.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    I agree mostly with the article, particularly about the point that the regular season doesn't get the attention, and that the focus is on March Madness.

    However, I totally disagree about the crowds not getting "into it" because of the neutral sites. I attended the games in Indy this year. The crowd really got into all three games. I suppose you could argue that the proximity of the teams had a lot to do with that.

    However, I also attended the finals last year in San Antonio. Again, the crowds got into all 3 games. But the place was really rockin' for the final of KSU vs Memphis. There didn't seem to be anyone, even if they were wearing UCLA or North Carolina colors, that wasn't loudly rooting for someone in that final game.

    That final game will probably always be one of my favorites as a spectator for the emotion... and I had no skin in the game for any of the 4 teams.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Quote Originally Posted by beast23 View Post
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    However, I totally disagree about the crowds not getting "into it" because of the neutral sites. I attended the games in Indy this year. The crowd really got into all three games. I suppose you could argue that the proximity of the teams had a lot to do with that.

    However, I also attended the finals last year in San Antonio. Again, the crowds got into all 3 games. But the place was really rockin' for the final of KSU vs Memphis. There didn't seem to be anyone, even if they were wearing UCLA or North Carolina colors, that wasn't loudly rooting for someone in that final game.

    That final game will probably always be one of my favorites as a spectator for the emotion... and I had no skin in the game for any of the 4 teams.
    That doesn't come across on TV though -

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That doesn't come across on TV though -
    What, did you have the sound off?
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    No, just his hearing aid.

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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    In the NBA regular season the crowds are mostly dead - but in the playoffs the crowds are great - as good as any college crowd
    No. No NBA crowd could ever touch the Cameron Crazies or the epic Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk chant at Kansas. NBA crowds would be put to shame by any crowd at an Indiana University basketball game, Kentucky, Michigan State.

    Just like you can argue that the talent in College Basketball is watered down (no disagreement here), the crowds in the NBA are watered down. Playoffs or not. It's just the nature of the beast.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: "College Hoops no match for the NBA"

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    No. No NBA crowd could ever touch the Cameron Crazies or the epic Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk chant at Kansas. NBA crowds would be put to shame by any crowd at an Indiana University basketball game, Kentucky, Michigan State.

    Just like you can argue that the talent in College Basketball is watered down (no disagreement here), the crowds in the NBA are watered down. Playoffs or not. It's just the nature of the beast.
    Never been to Duke or Kansas - but just watching it on TV I think most NBA playoff crowds are as good as those places. From a TV viewing perspective.

    I have been to every Pacers home playoff game and have been to several home IU games and Pacers playoff crowd is comparable to IU's crowd

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