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Why college basketball is better than the NBA

Joe Perry, Sports Writer

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The leaves have fallen, Thanksgiving has passed, and the temperature is dropping. This is the time of year that we are either holiday shopping or sitting on our couches, flipping between Hallmark and ESPN. Sadly, Hallmark can’t run a new movie every day; they have reruns. So, now you’re stuck with sports. The only question is: what shall you watch? Do you want to flip to the college basketball game or the Mavericks-Warriors blowout? Save yourself about two hours of watching Stephen Curry splash threes on Dirk Nowitzki and keep the television on the college game. Why is college basketball so much more fun to watch than the NBA? Here are a few reasons why:

 

  1. College basketball doesn’t have super teams

Of course, you will always have your good college teams. The teams that always get a top three seed. The teams who always have the best recruiting classes. However, in college, you can’t sign athletes for millions of dollars. The NBA is a different story.

For the past three years, the NBA Finals have featured the same two teams: the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors. This is because these two teams are loaded with talent, through free agent signings and blockbuster trades. Although the formation of these super teams has made them more dominate and allowed them to become championship contenders, it has taken the excitement out of pretty much every game except for the Finals, where I’m willing to bet that it will be the Cavaliers and Warriors again this year.

 

  1. The NCAA playoffs are more fun to watch than the NBA playoffs

As most sports fans know, the NCAA basketball playoffs are played in a single elimination bracket. Teams are given a seed and play other teams until a winner is decided after six rounds of play. Since it’s only single elimination, underdog teams have a chance to upset the top seeds, making the whole tournament fun to watch.

As for the NBA, their playoffs consist of sixteen teams, over half the league. It’s a large tournament, which is quite fun to follow. However, the individual rounds are not one game, but rather a seven game series.. This drags on the playoffs for two months, much longer than the three week long NCAA bracket.

 

  1. Halves are better than quarters (for basketball, that is)

Let’s be honest, quarters should be restricted to football. In football, the extra stoppage of play is necessary because some possessions tend to drag on forever. That isn’t the case for basketball, where the shot clock ensures that possessions don’t take too long. So, why does the NBA have quarters? They put an unnecessary stop in the middle, or quarter, of the game, prolonging air time, which is good for advertisers, but boring for fans.

In college, however, there are halves. You get a quick halftime report to update you on all the big games and then you’re back to the action. It speeds up the game and gets to the fun, energetic ending within a reasonable timeframe, unlike the drawn out snoozefest that makes up the first three quarters of an NBA game.

 

  1. College teams are teams, not a collection of players

When talking about college basketball, you talk about how #1 Duke beat #7 Florida, not about how Duke’s Marvin Bagley III scored thirty points. You talk about how #2 Arizona got upset by an unranked North Carolina State team, not about how Arizona’s Dylan Smith got shut down. That’s because college basketball is about the team, not the individual.

The NBA, on the other hand, is slightly different. Actually, they are basically the complete opposite. You don’t ask if the Cavaliers beat the Heat, you ask how many points Lebron scored. You don’t ask how the Warriors played, you ask about Steph Curry’s three point accuracy. That is because the NBA focuses on individuals more than the teams.

 

The evidence is there. College basketball is simply better than the NBA. So, next time you are sitting on the couch, wondering what to watch, just remember one thing: college basketball is competitive, and there’s still time in the day after it’s done. You can’t really say the same for the NBA.

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Why college basketball is better than the NBA