The Drive Wednesday 2-22-12 The guys talk with Tim Brando from CBS Sports as we come down the home stretch of the college basketball season. They talk about the possible changes to college basketball season, how the Wolfpack will bounce back from these past few losses and still make the tournament, and if he thinks we’ll see two ACC teams in the Final Four.
Brando believes that college football is hurting the fans of college basketball and diminishing the strong national interest in the game. He blamed many factors in correlation with the sport, but feels the overlap of the two seasons and several big events (National Signing Day, BCS bowls) as major deterrents for fans.
“[The national love of college basketball is] not as much as there was in the 80s and 90s…I live in the deep south where SEC football has grown to become dominant in college football and the game has become the national game…I think college basketball has suffered to some extent…the overlapping season of football, that it is extended to the point it is…these are all events that are college football related that steal a lot of the gusto from college basketball…we are reduced by that. If we can get the calendar to change a little bit, it might help some of those problems.”
He continued to say he felt that the game could be saved, but the driving forces behind the college season needed to have a meeting and re-arrange the calendar so college basketball can get the spotlight it deserves.
“The beginning of the season is all about made for tv match ups, round robin play…for it all to come together, the people that are in the business of marketing the sport, and that includes, television, all need to get involved…the people who really care about the sport need to get in a room together and determine its best interest.“
Brando felt that certain areas of the country will always be dominated by basketball, with the ACC standing at the top of that list. He has high hopes to see two ACC teams in the final four and feels like that is not only possible, but likely.
“There is no doubt about [two ACC teams making the final four]…did we see Duke going to the Final Four and winning the National Championship? No we did not, but what did they do? They worked really hard the second half of the season, were able to get some good match ups…plus there were teams in front of them that got knocked off early in the tournament…that made the way for them easier…Carolina looks to be riding the ship after the debacle at Florida State…it was a team that I thought played a lot harder…I can’t really think of a team playing better than North Carolina right now other than Kentucky.”