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Ian Ording

NCAA has plenty of work before game gets better

The best time of the year is upon us. For the next month, hundreds of college kids across the country will be clashing on the basketball court to prove once and for all that Kentucky is the best team.Though I’ve been neglecting my work to watch games since November, there are sure to be hundreds of thousands tuning in for the first time this week. It’s likely that their collective mindset upon the first few matchups of the tournament will be something along the lines of “Why is this game so boring?”Now, there are few things I love more than college basketball, but my infatuation lies more in the sport as a whole than in watching any single game. The contests are glacial in pace, scores rarely exceed the 60s and hardly anyone can shoot. It’s a real problem in my favorite sport.However, it’s a problem with a solution. In the more-or-less consolation tournament, the NIT, a 30-second shot clock will be implemented in place of the standard 35 seconds. What that means is shorter possessions, and as a result, more opportunities for scoring.This is an obvious first step toward improving the flow of college ball. The NCAA men’s league is the only basketball league at any level that uses a shot clock for the duration of 35 seconds. The NIT’s rule change helps get more points on the board.There will certainly be more shooting in this year’s NIT, but with the zone defense employed by many teams, it will still prevent those shots from being good.What really needs to happen is a two-pronged effort to better space players across the floor. The NCAA needs to bring in both an NBA three-point line and the NBA’s defensive three-second rule.The three-point line is fairly self-explanatory; three-pointers being shot from farther away will spread players out, making for more room within the arc.The three-second rule is a little more arcane to the casual fan. In the NBA, a defender is not allowed to remain in the lane — the painted rectangle under the basket — for more than three seconds. Because of this, it’s easier to get in the lane as a ball handler and prevents teams like Kentucky, with 90 guys taller than seven feet, from having their trees camp out and wait to swat layups away.Should both these changes be applied to college ball, we shouldn’t end up with conference championship games with final scores of 38-36 (looking at you Georgia State and Georgia Southern).I want to love more than just the construct of college basketball again. I want the games themselves to be fun to watch. Ian Ording is a senior studying journalism and copy chief and BedPost columnist at The Post. Email him more rule suggestions at io312410@ohio.edu.


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