The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Z_CNHI News Service

December 19, 2013

College basketball's snooze season almost done

One of the best Christmas presents that college basketball fans receive is the end of the dreadful, pre-conference schedule.

Until this point in the season, except for a few made-for-TV match-ups, competitive offerings are slim. Most college powers set up schedules guaranteeing 10 wins by the time they play their first conference game of the season.

That’s becoming a problem for college basketball, where the early games are oftentimes boring and the outcomes mostly assured. It’s good for a coach who wants to pad his schedule, but not so for fans who pay good money to watch bad teams.

Recent estimates of the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) used to evaluate teams at the end of the season, which factors schedule strength, showed that Indiana so far has played seven teams ranked 150th or lower. The Hoosiers aren’t alone. Louisville claims six victories against bottom-feeders, while Kentucky, UCLA and Duke have five. The list could be much longer.

Conversely teams with the poorest records play the toughest schedules. Among the Top 10 in the Strength of Schedule rankings thus far are North Dakota (1-6), Oakland (2-9), Santa Barbara (4-3) and Grambling (0-4). They do get paid well - in ticket receipts - for their beatings.

It wasn’t always this way. When Denny Crum coached Louisville to two national championships, he loaded up the early portion of his schedules in hopes of getting his teams ready for conference play. For instance, in 1985, his pre-New Year schedule included Miami (Ohio), St. John’s, Tulsa, Kansas, Purdue, Indiana and Kentucky. It worked. The Cardinals won the 1986 NCAA crown.

Today’s soft schedules make it harder to tell which teams are the better ones in the opening weeks of the season. It’s generally safe to say the powers use the initial weeks to reload and work new players into their systems.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
Garage Sale Advertising
Facebook
NDN Video
Zack Snyder Shares An All-New Batfleck Photo Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.