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Friday Flakes: Is College Basketball Dying A Slow Death? What I Would Do to Save It

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2005-06 NCAA Basketball: Duke Blue Devils at North Carolina Tar Heels Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The following tweet was dropped in the Corn Nation slack room and it generated a little bit of a discussion.

It was notable to me because last Sunday I stumbled upon the Duke-North Carolina game as I was scrolling through the channels. I had to stop and watch it because of course it’s Duke-North Carolina. I told my son, who was sitting next to me, about the rivalry and how close the campuses are to each other.

Then I realized at some point that I was actually watching a replay and that the game actually happened the night before.

The game that used to be appointment viewing within my circle of friends is no longer even on my radar. In fact, I knew only a couple of players on North Carolina’s team and none on Duke’s team.

I can chalk this up to a change in priorities (I have a wife and children now) but there is something right now about college basketball going on right now. It might be dying a slow death.

We can have a conversation about ratings and all that but is college basketball even a part of the national sports conversation anymore?

The NCAA tournament is a lot of fun but as they continue to add teams it becomes more meaningless as the years go by nationally. It is still a big deal locally for the teams and their fans.

Collegiately my heart is wrapped around Nebraska basketball. However, I used to follow college men’s basketball like a hawk.

We can debate whether it’s dying, but for the sake of this conversation what are some things I would change about college basketball if I was King?

  1. Get ride of the one-and-done rule. Let a kid go straight to the NBA. However, if he/she decides to play college basketball then they cannot go professionally for three years. I think we need J.J. Redicks to root against. We need to get to know some of these players as they grow up on our basketball teams.
  2. Adjust the rules of the game. There needs to be more freedom of movement. The game is not as appealing to my eye as I think it absolutely could be. Defensive 3 seconds? I don’t know.
  3. Get rid of the 20 minute halves. It is dumb. The women are definitely ahead of the game. The end of quarters are infinitely more interesting to watch than 10 minutes left in the first half.
  4. Gut the transfer portal. I’ve said this with football. Player cannot transfer without sitting out unless their coach or position coach leaves. Or at least give them only one free transfer then any other after (with hardship waivers obviously) would require them to sit out.
  5. Reduce the number that make it to the NCAA tournament but keep the same number of automatic qualifiers.
  6. Too many timeouts and stoppage of play. Nothing makes me want to turn the channel more than when there is a dead ball and we then watch all of managers sprint out to the court with a chair because it is time for commercials. Then, oh wait, we are finally back and the coach calls a timeout. I might as well turn on the NBA.

Are these changes all thought through and with no negative repercussions? Nope. But in this scenario I am a King and I get to do what I want!


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