BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
The calendar this year is exactly the same as 1974, so today I am gonna talk about what college basketball was like in March 1974 and how it is now.
The season would start on the last Friday or Saturday in November. In my opinion, this was good because the last regular season college football game was that weekend.
This year’s season opener was Nov. 6 for Alabama. To me that is way too early. That season Alabama played a total of 26 games. Alabama has already played 28 games with three regular season games left.
The ACC was the only conference to have a basketball conference championship tournament. Now everybody has one. In 1974 the only way to go early is a hardship case. Today one and done.
Kentucky has a whole new team every year. I would not like that. In 1974, ESPN was not in existence, so Saturday was when you could watch college basketball on TV. With ESPN you can watch college basketball during the season all the time.
In the early 1980’s I got burned out on college basketball because it was on every night but Sunday. In 1974 you had only 16 teams that were eligible to go to the big dance.
Now you have 68. Four teams get a bye, and four teams play in. Today this is called March Madness. I will admit, I like this.
In 1974 you had to play four games to win the national championship. Today, you play six games to win it. It was easier to go undefeated then.
The last undefeated team in college basketball was Indiana in 1976. The year I graduated from high school, forty-two years ago.
Today because of AAU basketball shoe contracts, recruiting scandals, etc. it is not as fun or enjoyable like it was forty-five years ago.
When March Madness comes around I will be watching.