Friday, February 8, 2008

Agreeing with Dicky V (exhales)

Most of the time, Dicky V is a guy I don't agree with.

I don't hate the guy, he's extremely charismatic and comes off as pleasant on and away from the microphone, made popular for his undying love for collegiate basketball. His passion is his livelihood and you can't knock someone for that.

The reason my view on college basketball is polar opposite from Mr. Vitale's is that I'm a West Coast basketball boy, rooting for the Arizona Wildcats and Gonzaga Bulldogs over Duke and North Carolina. He views the start and finish of college basketball as in the eight mile stretch of road between the two mentioned schools, barely considering another university worthy of handling a Blue Devil's jockstrap.

However, the point he made during the Duke-North Carolina game about college basketball needing to find a way to avoid the drain at the end of games is spot on. Vitale talked about the up-tempo feel of college basketball being killed by the foul-and-stand method that every school takes in the last 90 seconds of a ballgame, no matter if it's a three point game or 30.

I'll expand that theory a little more to the fouling aspect, a good way for players on winning teams to get banged up just because the team needs to show the refs that their foul is a damn foul. This point was proven last night during the Washington State-UCLA game, when Darren Collison was lashed by Derrick Low with mere seconds left in the game that was already decided by double digits. Collison, who took over the game in the second half, scoring all 18 of his points during that stretch, held his arm in agony as he walked to the free-throw line to finish up the job.

I guess this is a coaches problem, not coming to grasp with the fact that your team is going to lose. Fouling with 20 seconds left when you're down by 10 isn't smart. You're not going to come back, it isn't going to change the win-loss column and margin of victory isn't that important in college basketball.

Doing something at the end of decided basketball games would be a good thing for an already popular sport. The reason most love college basketball over the NBA is the true passion of both players and fans, so maybe that has something to do with it, but the coaching could alleviate this problem. Give us all a break and save us that last minute of a basketball game that takes up 20 minutes of our real life. We hope our team wins, but when the game is over, it's over.

I hope this picture didn't scare you.


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