The Pryor Times

Z_CNHI News Service

February 4, 2014

Schedules may get longer, but basketball season seems shorter

How odd that the same weekend that featured the Super Blowout also offered the best the college basketball season has offered so far. Just as Sunday's Super Bowl turned into a dud between Seattle and Denver, collegians were giving fans one pulse-raising finish after another.

None was bigger than the Atlantic Coach Conference punch fest that had Syracuse defeating Duke 91-89 in overtime. “We’ve had a lot of games in here that have been great,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim on TV afterwards. “But there’s never been a game as good as this one. I can’t say enough about the quality of this game."

Syracuse's win before nearly 36,000 fans came the same Saturday night that California knocked No. 1 Arizona from the unbeaten ranks, 60-58, on Justin Cobbs’ basket with less than a second left to play. Those two games were a fitting finish to a thrilling week that saw 13 teams in The Associated Press' Top 25 lose at least one game.

With football now packed away until next summer, it's time to enjoy what's become an all-too-brief college basketball season.

The long hoops schedule seems to get compressed - in terms of interest and relevance, if not the number of games themselves - for several reasons. One is that college basketball takes second-class status because it offers an unappealing list of early-season games. Then there's an ebb in importance in the conference tournaments and championships at the season's end because everyone is fixated on the drama-filled NCAA tournament.

All of this is a shame because college basketball players are some of the most gifted athletes around. Success requires power, grace, stamina, agility - and, finally, blending individual talents into a team.

Strangely, these ingredients that work so well for players can work against the best interest of the sport. Also limiting the luster of college basketball is the siphoning of its best rising stars. Multi-million dollar offers lure select freshmen and sophomores to the National Basketball Association and the chance to play against the world's best.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014