When the final buzzer sounded Monday night with the University of North Carolina defeating Gonzaga University 71-65, college basketball officially started its offseason. Players will now decide whether to enter the draft, transfer or commit to a school. The NCAA, however, needs to work on fixing its game to make it more fan friendly and enjoyable to watch. That’s not to say this season wasn’t good or enjoyable but at times the game became unbearable to watch due to many factors that could potentially be fixed quickly. Here are 3 things that need to be fixed/addressed this offseason:
1. Switch to quarters: This is a move that makes too much sense. Basketball players play quarters at every main level except college and with the Women’s game changing to quarters the men should follow suit. The game would become more fan friendly thanks to fouls resetting after each quarter and we wouldn’t be forced to sit through another game where both teams are in the bonus with 10+ minutes left. It also would allow TV timeouts to become less of a distraction like when they happen on back to back plays.
2. Improve referring: The biggest issue this season was the refs missing calls, not fully understanding the rule book and no consistency regarding the freedom of movement rule. We saw games in which the refs would go to replay on a play that shouldn’t have been allowed or worse the refs not reviewing a crucial play at the end of the game(like Meeks hand being out of bounds in the national championship game). As for the freedom of movement rule, its still fairly new so I understand there being a lack of consistency between different games but the NCAA needs to send down a memo explaining exactly how they would like it called because too many games the refs either allow too much or too little contact. The last thing fans want to see is another championship game decided by a free throw contest.
3. Make conference tournaments easier for top seeds in mid-major conferences: Every year it happens, a top seed mid-major team capable of making noise in the NCAA tournament goes down and misses out on the tournament. The NCAA needs to help the top seed in these conferences have better chances at winning so that the best mid-major teams make the NCAA tournament. To do this I would like to see the following changes-
a. The top seed hosts the entire conference tournament on their home floor
b. The top seed is granted a bye until the semifinals
This would hopefully lead to fewer top seeds being upset and allow for more top mid-major teams to receive the automatic bid for winning their conference tournament.