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College Hoops Parity Greater Than Ever
jrh286@cornell.edu
| March 17, 2011
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There have always been upsets in the NCAA Tournament. Watching the games today, though, you can't help but be struck by the fact that the midmajors are better than they used to be, and the power conference teams are weaker. So far today, every midmajor has been competitive, except for 16 seed UNC Asheville which was nonetheless down only 5 at the half to Pitt. The midmajors consistently play at a surprisingly high level. We've seen long threes, which we associate with cinderella, but we've also seen remarkable athleticism, particularly on takes to the hoop. Morehead St.'s Kenneth Faried played bigger and stronger than anyone on Louisville's front line. Across the board, midmajors showed no fear of the spotlight or the big boys. It's as though they've figured out the formula for competing against the power conference teams. At the same time, the quality of play from the high majors is not what it once was. The obvious reason for this is that high major teams play lots of inexperienced freshmen and sophomores. Certainly complete unfamiliarity with teams that are almost never on tv helps the midmajors, but it seems the gap between the power conferences and the rest is smaller than ever. You wonder if high major teams have to put more of an emphasis on taking slightly less talented players who will stay in school longer. In the meantime, expect more "upsets" than we would see 10 or 15 years ago.
Originally Aired: Thursday, March 17, 2011. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
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