Wednesday, March 25, 2009


March Madness is one of the greatest tournaments and sporting events of the year as it is exciting and gives fans a better look at the future of the NBA.  With that being said though the NBA is much better to watch than NCAA basketball, even the tournament games.  I'm not saying NBA playoff games I am talking about any NBA game during the season is better than any NCAA game whether it be during March Madness or not.  There are a few exceptions, Duke vs UNC and the NCAA Championship game, but for the rest of the games it does not even come close to comparing.

Now one thing I do love about the NCAA is that the players truly care about whether they win or lose.  They don't play for money and it shows when young guys like Blake Griffin dive into the stands for a loose ball and when guys cry during games that they lose.  Imagine seeing Allen Iverson cry on the bench if his team got knocked out of the playoffs?  Doesn't happen.

This however does not take away from the overall much inferior play in the NCAA.  Watching March Madness has reminded just how bad some of these college players are.  Not only can 98% of guards and forwards not drive the line but with the exception of Thabeet, Blair, and Hansbrough none of the big men can finish around the basket.

Too many NCAA teams rely too heavily on the 3 ball and instead of creating open looks by driving the lane and kicking out or simply beating someone off the dribble teams simply work the ball around the perimeter and then toss up a prayer with the clock winding down.  A few times over the weekend I would see a team jack up a 3, miss, get the offensive rebound, then jack up another 3 ball within 2 seconds of getting the ball.  God forbid you run some sort of offense.

If a player did that in the NBA he would be benched for the rest of the game, unless of course he is Zac Randolph who is just unconscious and shoots from everywhere on the floor with little or no consequence.  Teams in the NBA run offensive plays that they work on all week in practice and then utilize in games to score points.  This leads me to wonder what teams in the NCAA do all week.  Practice jump shots from half court for 90 minutes a day?

Another reason I prefer the NBA is because at the NBA level a fan can really get attached to a team and a player.  For instance if you are a Lakers fan then lucky for you Kobe Bryant is on your team and has been there for years now.  He will more than likely end his career there and you can always look back at how he made the Lakers great.  In the NCAA players go for 1 or 2 years and then leave.  Players like Tyler Hansbrough and Lavance Fields who are 4 year players are the exception.  This makes getting attached to a team more difficult as when you look back at the history of your team it is a long list of people you only have fleeting memories of.

Lastly there are the crowds.  While crowds at the perennial Duke vs UNC game are always crazy they set the benchmark and no rivalries even come close.  Fans go because it is free but their passion and love of their team is more often than not alcohol induced.  Look at the first two rounds of March Madness.  There were empty seats as far as the eye could see and the crowds never seem to get into the games too much.  Compare that to the NBA where every night at the ACC the crowd goes crazy or at the Cavs games where people are constantly on their feet for LeBron James.  Some schools in the NCAA have amazing crowds that are legendary but they are few and far between.  The NBA overall has a much stronger fan base that doesn't go to the games cause their free and to get wasted.

While the NBA has been somewhat tarnished over these past few years as more and more players don't care about winning but only making money it is still a game that is far superior to the college game.  The players are better and fans can form a stronger attachment to their team through these players who are the face of a franchise.  The average crowd is there to watch great basketball and are much more into the game than the average college crowd. 

Really if you need to settle any sort of debate just ask this question.  Would you rather watch Blake Griffen (best NCAA player in the country) play the best game of his life or watch any regular game with Kobe, LeBron, or Dwyane Wade?  The answer I hope is obvious.

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Anonymous said...

I actually prefer watching NCAA, but that is based more on the fact I prefer the 3-ball over driving the lane.

My issue is that you are trying to compare talent levels, and clearly the best player in the NBA is going to be better than the best players in the NCAA. Players in the NCAA are there because they hope to one day make the NBA, or becuase they have already realised they won't make the NBA. So clearly judging the game on talent and inferior play is kind of weak.

And honestly, I would rather watch guys like Blake Griffen play the best game of his life than watch guys like Lebron or Kobe play the best games of their lives. Griffen plays hard because he has something to prove and we can see where he is going with his career if he keeps playing like that. Guys like Kobe play hard because its what they are paid to do, and we aren't going to be following his career to see where he ends up because we already know, and it is nothing new if he puts up ridiculous numbers.

I just generally prefer watching NCAA because those guys play hard because they have something to prove, not because they are trying to put on a spectacle for the crowd. It's more about the game and less about "watch me twitter at half-time to see what kind of shit I can stir up".

I do however completely agree with your comment on loyalty. One of the reasons why I don't follow NCAA that much is becuase there are far too many teams and i don't care enough to follow an individual player or team.

JC SportsBlogger said...

hahaha as if you referanced the Charlie V twitter half time update.

Way to stay current Draper, I love it.