Gone are the days that you can pick who will win the NCAA tournament by looking at seeding. Today’s athletes are so complete that even the lowest seed has a path to the final four. UMBC proved this with the total dismantling of Virginia. With the lucrative payouts of the NBA super talented players are often gone after one season. This leaves mid major schools with recruiting four year players by default. They can’t compete with the power schools. In the current atmosphere these mid major schools are playing upper class men against freshmen and sophomores. Now we can argue all day long about the one and done. We can argue about the talent of these players versus experience. I am not going there, at least not in this post. The point I want to make is that it definitely levels the playing field. In the early years of the tournament you had the power schools with veteran super talent. The mid majors was stuck with just veterans. It was a win, win for the power universities. They had it all. That way has been replaced in today’s tournament. You either have veterans or underclassmen that are super elite talent. Sure on a given night talent is talent and it will prevail, but tournament is not a given night. These veteran seniors that have poured their heart and soul in a program want to keep playing. One more game, one more half, one more possession. They don’t want to put that jersey up for good. Just one more. Then with all the pride and heart comes a super nova over these players. They suddenly play stronger. They play taller. They play faster. Four years of playing experience clones it’s self into the talent they were lacking as high school seniors. It is win or bust. Once again I am not saying experience is better. Although it does level the playing field in the new era of the NCAA tournament.
As college basketball hangs on the moral cliff of demise the NBA promises to fix it by changing the age limit once again. That is exactly what we need, NBA scouts at at our precious high schools again. It is all about education. It is for the kids. Give me a break. It is about big money. It always has been and always will be. The college brand don’t care and neither does the NBA. If the NCAA wants to correct the problem they need to start allowing college students to earn a salary. Put a pay cap in place to create an even playing field for the universities. A modest $50,000 to $75,000 is modest compared to the NBA but beats the heck out of nothing. How many other full time college students can make that kind of money. Most are making minimum wage washing dishes at Tony’s Pizza while eating potted meat at the dorm. Sure they can go to the d league, g league or the big baller league but they wont have any safety net. A kid goes to the D league and fails, guess what? He learns some foreign language and moves to Cambodia or he goes to work. He fails in the college atmosphere and guess what? He screws up and ends up with a college education. Shame on the NCAA for not paying these kids earlier while they set back and rake in millions. I say, good bye one and done forever. Hello NCAA allowing salary.