I am a fan of most sports, and particularly fond of several, but in my world the two college sports are king. College football is the perfection of fall, and winter is far more palatable thanks to college basketball. I like the NBA, too, but college ball is just so much better. I was just thinking about tonight’s games, and it got me thinking about why I like the sport so much. Here are ten reasons:
Anything can happen – My beloved Michigan, stuck in the depths of basketball hell for far too long, beat freaking UCLA last night. Strange things can and do happen all the time in college basketball. That makes being a fan brilliantly entertaining. And brilliantly frustrating.
Relentless volume – Dozens of games every night for months at a time. No matter what kinds of games you like to bet on, chances are very good that you can find one whenever you want to. No other sport offers the variety or number of games.
Playability – With so many games out there, the linesmakers can’t be right on every game, and several games each day are flat out ignored by the public. That means that there are all sorts of soft lines out there for you to find if you know where to look for them.
Drama – No sport has a higher proportion of crazy, intense finishes to games than college basketball does. Pure drama.
Imperfection – The NBA is often boring to watch because players are too good. Mistakes and huge inequities in talent are a big part of why college basketball is so compelling. It’s also why it is so much friendlier to bettors than the NBA.
The Tournament – Obviously.
Conference play – In college basketball, conference play allows us to be fairly confident about which teams are the best, and which don’t measure up. That gives it an edge over college football.
Freakish freshmen – Thanks to the foresight of the NBA, we have had the privilege of watching some truly freakish freshmen tear apart the college ranks in recent years – Durant, Oden, Rose, Mayo, and so on.
Tradition – College sports bring an intensity and depth of hatred to rivalries that the pros can’t touch.
Going to games – Living in Canada, I don’t get to go to a lot of college basketball games. I love it when I do though. The bands, the student sections, the cheerleaders. Awesome.