I’m still grieving over the night of the NCAA championship.
We, as UNC students, were sold on the dream of our team — our boys — being able to pull off what would have been a historic, miraculous tournament win. Despite the dreams Armando, Brady, RJ and company gave us, we fell short. We lost.
To get over this grief, I’ve had to come to one logical conclusion: college basketball is bad. The NBA is where it’s at.
In defending this opinion, a crucial question has to be asked: what makes a fun basketball game?
For one, I want to see high-quality, competitive matchups. The intrinsic nature of college basketball is counterintuitive to this desire. All of the top talent is generally assembled at just a few schools, and they all rarely play each other due to regional differences.
The logical thing to do when you’re stuck with just a few great teams is to only let those few great teams play against one another, but instead, the NCAA lets 64 (or 68, depending on how tolerant you are of the play-in games) teams have at it. This kind of tournament setup is predictable — only one seed lower than three has only won the NCAA tournament in the 21st century — and deprives the audience of matchups between truly great teams.
The counterpoint to this kind of setup is that "Cinderella stories", like St. Peter’s in this year’s competition, are greatly celebrated because of just how unlikely they are. However, lest we forget, St. Peter’s tournament run ended with a 20-point blowout to UNC.
Because talent is so inequitably distributed in college basketball, these "Cinderella stories" usually count for nothing. They’re magical for a moment, but the spark fades away. The NBA is certainly not an unpredictable tournament, but at least upsets result in fixtures that are still competitive.
Secondly, I want to see points being scored — a controversial opinion for some reason. I recognize that good defense can be entertaining to watch and is an admirable quality, but the extent to which good, tough defense is highlighted in college basketball is laughable to me.