|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
I certainly hadn't anticipated it was a likely occurrence. What would it do to revenue sharing? Who would go? I just thought on the big issues we hadn't really studied in-depth nor had opportunities to weigh in on that issue.Whether you agree with it or not, you must admit that Delaney's concern about the regular season is one the NCAA needs to take seriously. Think about it. The current perception of the college basketball season is that the die-hard fans pay attention throughout the year, while the casual fans swoop in for the NCAA tournament when things get really juicy. And why not, right? If I was a casual college hoops fan I'm probably not going to watch all of the regular season games anyway. I might wait until, say, the day after the Super Bowl to really start getting into the college game. I already think the regular season is unimportant. Now you're telling me my team has even less riding on the regular season? You're going to give me even less reason to tune in in November and December and January? I can be even lazier now? Sweet! See you in March.
[...] I don't know about threatening the popularity of the tournament as much as having more dilution of the regular season. I do think the tournament is elegant in the way that it's structured, but I'm more concerned about, "What does this mean for the sport of basketball from November through March?" I don't think it would make the tournament less popular. It would affect it in some ways. There'd be different kinds of competition in the first and second round.
A lot of our interest is local: People coming to our games, being interested in our championships. I've always seen the tournament as a great event, but I've never said or believed that it didn't have a negative effect on the regular season.