A Great Game Everywhere You Turn

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“It’s Awesome, Baby!”

Oh, Dickie V. You couldn’t be more right.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen for college hockey and I still love the pageantry and tradition of college football. But when you get down to brass tacks, college basketball is simply the best and most exciting sport in America. Bar none.

The greatness of college basketball nowadays is simply inescapable. It seems like every April, after the Madness of March has come and gone, there is a general sentiment that the past season couldn’t possibly be bested. No other sport reaches its climax in such thrilling fashion as does NCAA basketball in the month of March.

I could go on and on into the intricacies of the NCAA tournament format, its virtues, pros and cons, but that is another argument for another day. My interest has been sufficiently peaked this season in particular because every time I turn on the television it seems like there is a great game to watch. Whether it’s a conference game or a non-conference, every night has at least one high-profile match-up and several fantastic, down-to-the-wire finishes.

My case in point is the revamped Big East conference. Traditionally a great conference for basketball, it lost some of its stalwart members to the lure of the Atlantic Coast Conference and competition against the likes of Duke, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. So, the Big East reloaded. They basically picked the cream of the crop from Conference USA, including powerhouses like Louisville, Marquette, and Cincinnati. It is now a “super-conference” of 16 teams.

Just last week, one of my roommates mentioned something about the UConn game against Louisville that night. I thought, “Yeah that should be a sweet game.” Then I realized now that’s a conference game.

I had overlooked just how stacked the Big East had become. All of these games which would have previously been incredible games for November and December are now incredibly important games, with conference implications, in the home stretch of January and February.

Not only are the major conference games even juicier, but another great aspect of college basketball is that it does allow for an extensive non-conference schedule that sometimes includes as many as 8 games with top-25 teams. These games aren’t always limited to the first half of the season. In fact, just a few days ago, unranked Georgetown (Big East) handed Duke (ACC) its first loss of the year.

So don’t argue that kids leaving early for the NBA have hurt college basketball. The lack of concentrated star power in college basketball only adds to the parity – to the excitement.

Great games are unavoidable now. Get used to it. Get into it.

And just think, we aren’t even in March yet. Let the Madness begin.