College or Pro Ball? (We All Know The Answer To That)


There’s nothing like college basketball.

Nothing. In college ball, there’s nothing like the thrill of an upset victory or the pain of  an agonizing defeat. Nothing. At the college level, there’s nothing like a come from behind win or a loss at the buzzer. And that’s why college ball puts the NBA to shame. Yes we watch the NBA, and have loved Magic and Mike and Kobe and Kareem and Larry Bird and LeBron James and John Wall and Marc Gasol and Stephen Curry (of course) and all of our past and present stars, but the NBA comes in second to our first love of college basketball.

There’s nothing like college basketball. That’s why the NBA is a distant third cousin to the college game, and the NCAA tournament is far and away superior to the NBA playoffs any day. I went to Maryland, and lost my voice many a night at Cole Field House rooting for my Terps. That’s why I can say unequivocally that no NBA game in ANY season, playoffs or not, will have a fraction of the passion of what we saw Tuesday night at Xfinity Center when Melo Tribble and my University of Maryland Terrapins got the best of the Georgetown Hoyas, 75-71.

Flipping from an NBA game to the new and nascent rivalry between crosstown rivals Maryland and Georgetown is like going from a Bentley to a broke down VW Beatle. Going form a bad game between two decent pro teams to a Duke-Carolina or Kentucky-Louisville or Cal-UCLA rivalry game is like going from watching downhill skiing to watching paint dry. It’s not even close. It’s not even a fair fight. It’s no contest. The best players in the world play in the NBA, but the best isn’t always more entertaining to watch, particularly in a league with the NBA’s structure. The long season with the longer playoff schedule is insane. Give me college basketball every day of the week and all day twice during March Madness.

So don’t get it twisted. Don’t substitute the lesser for the greater. And the spiritual side of us is greater than the physical side of us. All day any day, and twice on Sunday. So don’t settle and don’t surrender. Don’t concede and don’t compromise. Don’t forego and don’t forfeit. Anything. And especially the quality of roundball you watch.

So join me and let’s watch my Maryland Terrapins, at this writing ranked No. 3 in the country, give us good wins and great games. And keep an eye on Kentucky and UNC and a few other juggernaut teams too. It promises to be an awesome college basketball season. And root for the Terps when we play UNC on December 1st. It will be a better game than any other pro game on that night.

Just watch.

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