Basketball Fans alike have been tormented by this debate for decades: NCAA Tournament or NBA Playoffs? You have basketball junkies like myself who can’t get enough basketball no matter what level it comes from. I know of certain people who will only watch College Basketball, and I know some who prefer the Pro game over the amateurs.
If I were to pick between the two, I’d have to go with the NBA Playoffs. There’s just something magical about watching the very best players on the planet compete every other night for 40 days. The NCAA tournament is great in the sense that any given night anyone can be beat. However, I find much beauty in the rebuttal that the NBA playoffs offers. We’ve seen time and time again some great College teams have an off night, and with it their title hopes go down the drain. It is never a guarantee that the best collegiate team in the country will win the tourney. On the NBA side of things, it’s usually the case that the best team will hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy when it’s all said and done.
Having to beat the same team 4 times out of 7, when you’ve exhausted all of your strategies, is no small task. The Best of 7 format forces players and coaches alike to perform at peak levels, and tap into their basketball reservoirs. For example, a Western Conference team must pull out all the stops in order to beat a Gregg Popovich coached team. The chances of an upset are much lower at the NBA level in comparison to the collegiate level. I guess that’s what makes the NCAA tournament compelling, but in a perfect basketball world it is not realistic. There’s no way a Mercer beats Duke 4 times out of 7. Personally as a fan, I want to see the best play against the best.
In the same breath there is nothing wrong with the College Basketball model; the argument boils down to preference at the end of the day. The NBA enables the viewer to see true talent on a nightly basis from April to June. That is not always the case with the College Game. All in all, any basketball is good basketball.