News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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 | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Raw: World's Tallest Water Slide Opens Thursday Raw: Stampede in Rio During World Cup Cleveland Picked to Host 2016 GOP Convention Mississippi River Flooding Likely to Slow Down Track Owners Fight to End Greyhound Racing Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial Germany Crushes Brazil in 7-1 Win at World Cup Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Man Finds Venomous Snake in Toilet Raw: Panic in Tel Aviv As Siren Warns of Attack Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Raw: Palestinians Clash With Israeli Forces Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Raw: Truck Crash Spills Turkeys on Va. Highway Giant Whale Vacuumed in New York City Wisconsin Cop Ready to Roll...On Skateboard Today in History for July 9th Washington State's First Legal Marijuana Sales
NDN Video
Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Andi Dorfman Walks Out During the Rose Ceremony 5 Firework Fails for July 4th Justin Bieber Catches Tom Hanks Getting Down, Showing ‘How We Do It Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Man's 'Potato Salad' Plea Takes Off on Kickstarter Joan Rivers Storms Out of Interview Watch: A turtle and dog play ball Yikes! This Jet is Way Too Close Late-Night Highlight: Ben Falcone Screwed Up His Proposal To Melissa McCarthy Jenny and Sherri Talk "View" Departure
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.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity