Posts Tagged ‘Basketball’

Night after night, the number one story on SportsCenter is college football realignment.  This is great and all, but there is that beautiful thing known as college basketball.  The sport as we know it could be completely different by the time all of the realignment dust settles.  Teams like Kansas and UConn could be left out of a power conference because they aren’t traditional football powers.  Despite this, there is some good that will come out of this mess.

The Good:

With less major conference automatic bids, the regular season will mean even more.  It appears that the ACC is partially absorbing the Big East, which means teams like Syracuse and Pitt will be in direct competition with Duke and North Carolina.  This also adds pressure to potential bubble teams like

Will Clyburn
Will Clyburn, Senior Guard for the Utes

Boston College and Virginia Tech who will now have to face all of these power houses twice in a season.

Next, it will improve the talent level at schools like Utah.  Utah has been a solid team in the past decade, making five NCAA tournaments since 2001.  But in that time, they’ve only made it past the second round once (2005).  The addition of Utah to the Pac 12 (or Pac 16 depending on when you’re reading this) will help them with recruiting.  A high school senior would much rather hear, “we play two games per year in Los Angeles” than “we play the New Mexico Lobos twice per year.”  This should make for a very interesting and more parodic March.

The Bad:

All of the conference realignment is centered on football.  This means that teams like Kansas, Kansas State, and even Iowa State will be left out of the super conferences.  Kansas is one of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball.  As it should be, considering Dr. James Naismith was their first coach.  Of course, Memphis has dealt with this for years, considering they play in the C-USA.  But still, Kansas and Memphis aren’t in the same class.  Memphis wouldn’t have even gotten to the championship game in 2008 if Derrick Rose didn’t have some help taking his SATs.  At the end of the day, it’s just hard to imagine Kansas playing in the Sun Belt Conference or C-USA.

Secondly, many conference rivalries will be destroyed.  Every year, fans pack the Carrier Dome to see

Jim Boeheim
Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim has big expectations going into the ACC

Cuse take on Georgetown.  That game is always in January or February.  But now that Syracuse is in the ACC, Georgetown will only be able to visit every other year.  And that game would be in December.  At that point in the season, most college sports fans are focused on how flawed the BCS system is, not on who Joe Lunardi has in his latest Bracketology (no offense Mr. Lunardi).  I’m not saying that a Duke-Syracuse game at Cameron Indoor wouldn’t be exciting, but it wouldn’t be the same as Georgetown for Cuse fans.

No matter what complaints people may have, realignment is going to happen.  People just need to be aware of how it will affect other sports that aren’t football.