Thoughts about the first 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

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Thoughts about the first 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

By Bill Smith

College basketball has been hurt by the lack of upper class stars.

The quality of play has degraded over the last few year. Part of that is due to a lack of upper class stars from big schools. One of the reasons that small school teams are competitive with much bigger schools is that small school players tend to be more experienced and older.

College basketball suffers from a lack of fundamentals.

If you follow College BB, you must have noticed the explosion of unforced turnovers and the poor shooting percentage in mid range shots and at the free throw line. This is a lack of fundamentals. Players in todays game are much more athletic and rely on that quality to make up for poor technique.

Many players can not even dribble at full speed, let alone pull up and hit a 12 foot shot consistently. College coaches just don’t have the time to work on fundamentals the way they would like due to restrictions on practice time. As more and more players leave after 1 year, that will only get worse.

The players experience shows most clearly at the end of games. Way too many times teams with a 5 point lead try to milk the shot clock too far and end up forcing a bad shot rather than working for a good shot. That cost more than one team a win in the first two rounds of the tournament.

It is time for college presidents and the press to quit complaining about basketball graduation rates.

One and done is a problem for everyone involved. There is no other business except sports that prevent a young man or woman from earning money at their given line of work. In my opinion, the NFL rule (out of high school for 4 years or completion of a college degree) has much more logic than the NBA one and done rule. All but a thimble full of high school football players would be at risk if they tried to play in the NFL. However, we have enough experience in high school players going directly to the NBA and being competitive that this rule should be eliminated.

A lot of really good players just are not college material but could help themselves and their families by going directly to professional ball. While they can play in Europe for a year, they should not have to.

By accepting the one and done rule, colleges are accessories after the fact to falling graduation rates. So shut up about it or drop the one and done rule.

As I predicted, the top seeds are the best bets.

Except for a few fraudulent seedings like Wake Forest, the top teams are moving on. Last year for the first time in the history of the seeded tournament, all 4 1 seeds made the final four. We could easily see that same situation this year. In all four regions, the top three seeds have advanced.

That proves that the committee got it right.

Basketball is the hardest sport to officiate but that is no excuse for what we have seen.

Unfortunately, the officials are not getting it right. Last year on another site I wrote a column titled Please excuse the officials from the Big 10 and Pac 10 from the NCAA Tournament. The officiating this year has not improved. Calls are missed; the refs can’t seem to make any call without a conference or visiting the TV replay. They also don’t seem to be consistent at all. All any player asks is make the same call the same way all game long. That is not happening. I don’t believe that the refs are favoring one team over another. The calls are just inconsistent. As player get more athletic, the officials MUST improve mechanics and work together.

The there was the missed time out call in the Gonzaga vs. Western Kentucky game. There is NO EXCUSE for the refs missing the call. It very likely would have changed the game. The refs claimed that they missed the signal from the bench. But how do you miss a player calling the time out? If you clowns can’t do the job, call somebody that can.

The replay system is not a system at all.

Let refs in the booth overturn calls when asked. Don’t send the refs over to the scorers table to check every play. It takes too long, steals momentum from the teams, and creates too many commercial time outs.

Let someone in the booth check close calls. Hold up the throw in for just a second while the official in the booth checks the play.

Will somebody please take the remote out of CBS’s hand!

CBS changes games faster than a 4 year old switches channels looking for Sponge Bob. The coverage on NCAA.COM is greatly appreciated by all BB fans. CBS made one cut as a ball was released so that we couldn’t even tell if the shot went in. Worse yet, the switch of games went to another team shooting free throws.

Nobody minds showing a last second shot when that shot can change the outcome of the game. But those can be shown in replay in a break in the action of the game we are watching. That is what REPLAY is for—use it!

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: NCAA Tournament,College Basketball,March Madness,officials,missed time out,CBS,NCAA.COM,TOP SEED,Big Ten,Pac Ten

Thoughts about the first 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament. by
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3 Responses to “Thoughts about the first 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament.”

  1. Acai Burn
    on Mar 23rd, 2009
    @ 9:50 pm

    You are right, this is the second year in a row where there are no Cinderella stories which hurts the story lines to some degree.

    Acai Burn’s last blog post..Acai Burn – Quick-Loss Secret of the Amazon

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  2. Sportsbook
    on Mar 24th, 2009
    @ 6:25 pm

    What about Davidson last year??!?

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  3. Sports Basketball
    on Mar 25th, 2009
    @ 8:30 pm

    Yeah pretty much all the # 1,2,3, and 4 seeds have advanced, and the only cinderella story now is AZ, which should get owned by Louisville. Ive never been a big fan of college ball because there are too many teams to stay on top of and its a lot funner watching the superstars play, such as LeBron and Kobe.

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