The sad demise of college basketball

As recently as three years ago, there were few people who watched more college basketball than Scott Peceny. I was never a big fan of the pro game, but NCAA hoops got me going.

Big Monday, Super Tuesday, ACC Wednesday and throwdown Thursday is what my week consisted of. Two games a night, four nights a week. And if there were good games on Saturday, my social life was tossed aside.

But those good ole days are quickly slipping away. I now find myself barely able to watch the college brand of hoops, and I miss the game that I grew up watching.

Remember when Wisconsin and Iowa would get together and battle on the hardwood? These games, like many other Big Ten contests, were of the “first-to-50 wins” variety. Was it hard to watch Bo Ryan losing his mind on the sideline after Devin Harris (or whoever Bo was steaming at on that particular day) missed a defensive assignment? Maybe so, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

What’s harder to watch than a 48-41 slugfest that features more turnovers than field goals?NCAA-Referees

A 90-82 game with a million free throws and a million more bad calls.

Is it just me, or does everyone feel as though they could officiate these games better from the couch? Where do they find these officials? Are these zebras even quizzed on the rules of the game?

Some of the problem is the new rules. Officials are obligated to call every little thing a foul, and that is plain terrible. But I had to change the channel last night after watching a guy lower his shoulder into the defender and draw a foul. And it wasn’t like it should have been a charge either- there was basically no contact at all. This, of course, was followed up by a big man getting HACKED at the other end, but no whistle there.

This is getting out of control, and in a hurry. I remember when I used to think that NBA officiating was awful, but now they seem like the chick that you never noticed in high school but has since turned into a swimsuit model.

College basketball has just gotten to the point where I’ve about had it. I’ll watch my Spartans and Wolverines, but that’s about it. The Louisville-Cincinnati game I spoke about earlier was entertaining at times, but when a guy gets a technical foul for doing nothing at all, I’m opting for I Am Legend every time.

There is no easy answer for the officiating conundrum that faces all of sports, but there can be changes made to the rules that would make a heck of a lot more sense. For example, the whole block vs. charge argument seems ridiculous to me. In most cases, it’s easy to tell which player was initiating the contact. But due to the rules (are the defender’s feet set?), officials’ hands are tied.

We’ll never be able to resurrect the days of Bird and Magic, but we may be able to duplicate the Redick and Morrison era if the right changes are made.