Did anybody else see the end of the Gonzaga - UCLA game?

I have mentioned before that I lost interest in college basketball over the years and hardly follow it at all. Still, yesterday I remembered that the Gonzaga - UCLA game was on and would be just about over, so I flipped the channel. There were about two minutes left in regulation, and they played that out followed by the overtime with the last-minute shot from Gonzaga that won it. That was a great ending.

Yep, I saw that. Incredible ending, put the ball inbounds with 3.3 seconds left and won at the buzzer. Much better than the earlier game.

Generally speaking I don’t watch sport at all. It doesn’t hold my interest.

Curious though did you start to watch college basketball while you were in college?

No, I first started watching college basketball when I was in middle school. I remember first watching the tournament in 1980 when Louisville beat UCLA in the final. The following year I followed it for the entire season and did so for a while. The NCAA tournament championship game was a must-see, almost as much as the Super Bowl.

I started losing interest around the mid 1990s. Part of it was because I lived overseas for five years and it was harder to follow. But, that was not the only thing. It was around that time when many top-end players started skipping college entirely and going straight from high school to the NBA. Then, when they implemented the rule that players had to play at least one year in college before being eligible to be drafted, that led to the one-and-done era.

I remember in the 1980s. Michael Jordan played at North Carolina for three years. Patrick Ewing played at Georgetown for four years. It was very rare for a player to not stay at his school for at least three years (Isaiah Thomas was an exception then). You had continuity then. You don’t have that these days. I think that is the biggest reason I have lost interest in college basketball over the years.

That’s because the NBA banned players being signed earlier than 4 years after high school. That was declared unconstitutional in the early 70s in a case brought by Reggie Harding and the Pistons, but only a handful of others were drafted until the 1980s because the NBA still had a hardship rule for those early draftees.

My memory goes back to the time I referenced earlier. At that time it was not uncommon for players to declare for the NBA draft after three years of college but much rarer for anybody to come out after two years. I mentioned Isaiah Thomas as one example, and Magic Johnson also came out after two years. However, that was not common.

At that time, going on memory, there were only three players who had come to the NBA straight out of high school: Moses Malone, Darryl Dawkins and Bill Willoughby. Of those three, only Malone had a great career. I remember it started changing in the 1990s when Kevin Garnett came out of high school, followed by Kobe Bryant the following year. Around the same time, Allen Iverson came out of Georgetown after two years. Some made the point that he was the first person to leave John Thompson’s program that early.

I am a rarity…one of the few people in Kansas who couldn’t care less about basketball…even KU basketball.

Allen Fieldhouse is on my bucket list of sports venues to see a game.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk is one of the great moments in college sports.

My daughter is going to KU in the fall.
Nobody in our family could give a rats arse about basketball