And I say bring it on.
The ACC is having it’s annual
party meeting at Amelia Island, FL. One of the hot topics for discussion is expanding the regular season schedule for basketball from 16 to 18 games. Of course everyone and their mother is for this with the exception of….wait for it….the coaches! In fact the most vocal of the objectors is Mike Krzyzewski who says the expansion of the schedule will result in fewer of those high profile non-conference games like the ones Duke plays in New York against Texas or whoever else is stupid enough to travel to New York instead of demanding Duke play them on their home court….but I digress. Krzyzewski said it would be a “huge mistake.” Oliver Purnell said is seemed like too may games which considering Clemson went undefeated against a weak non-conference schedule I’d imagine he would be scared to add two more games in-conference. Seth Greenberg is worried about strength of schedule implications. The article did not quote Roy who was never a big fan of unbalanced schedule when he was at Kansas and probably will side with his coaching brethren here.
I say if you cannot do a full round robin then get as close to that as you can and this is it. The choice of whether to include the high profile tournaments/opponents is up to the coaches. I hate the fact that Duke plays NC State only once or UNC only plays Wake Forest once in certain seasons or some nonsense like that. These guys are so resistant to give up two home game versus Directional Tech University in exchange for a pair of potentially tough conference games, one of them on the road, that they would drop one or two of their higher profile non-conference match-ups to maintain the cupcake portion of the schedule instead of vice versa. Of course this is where Greenberg’s argument does not hold an ounce of water because if you replace two of your cupcakes with two conference games and maintain the rest of the schedule then you NCAA resume gets better not worse.
Of course money is going to drive this discussion more than anything else and with Raycom-Lincoln and other entities pushing for this to happen. Then again Krzyzewski has an alternative to 18 game proposal which is not really an alternative as much as it is changing the packaging and saying there is 25% more of something special in it and that is go to two divisions. He seems to think that this will make scheduling easier and give it a cleaner look. Let me tell you how I feel about this proposal:
NO FREAKING WAY!!!
I despise two divisions in basketball, especially looking at the SEC. I think it makes it more confusing when you look at the standings, when you seed the conference tournament, and also I can never remember which division UNC is in(the Coastal right?) And I thought the line from South Carolina’s Dave Odom was classic saying that finishing sixth does not look as bad as finishing 12th. Given that the 12th seed is 3-2 in the ACC Tournament I guess that logic can be reversed to say that losing to a 6th place team is better than losing to a 12th place team.