The NCAA announced Wednesday that it has approved a proposal to move the start of the college basketball season from the second Friday in November to the Tuesday before the second Friday in November.
DI Council approves proposal moving up start of men's and women's basketball season to the Tuesday immediately before the second Friday in November. #NCAAConv— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) January 17, 2018
In short, this is a great a move that should have all college basketball fans excitement. Rather than competing with things like the NBA and other extracurricular Friday night activities, college basketball can focus its resources on generating more buzz by owning that Tuesday night.
The season has traditionally started with a marquee event that is supposed to draw in viewers. Games have been played on aircraft carriers, army bases, and even some in other countries. Those don’t always perform as well as hoped, as Gary Parrish noted in this column.
To prove that point, let’s focus on the Indiana-Kansas game played on last season’s opening night -- Friday, Nov. 11. Do you remember that game? It was amazing. The eventual National Player of the Year (Frank Mason) scored 30 points but the Hoosiers still won 103-99 in overtime. But it happened late on a Friday. So most people -- even most college basketball fans -- didn’t see it. And by the time everybody woke up Saturday, the sports story of the day was a football game between Washington and USC.
A monster Tuesday event, however, could do the trick. Let’s say rather than having the Champions Classic in the second week of the season, what if we kick off the season with it? What better way to generate hype for a season than to have the game’s biggest names squaring off on opening night.
There could also be potential for huge opening week events. Is it unreasonable to think that something similar to PK80 could take place in that opening week? The onus is on the programs and TV executives to put together a plan to make this change effective, but this switch should be a positive change for college basketball fans of all kinds.