20 Reasons Why College Basketball Is Better than the Pros

Derek HartCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2009

1.  Cheerleaders in college actually lead cheers. Have you ever seen the Laker Girls or the Knick City Dancers lead a cheer?

2.  $20 can get you a decent seat at most colleges. In the pros, $20 puts you behind the basket in the nosebleed section. At best.

3.  College basketball has John Wooden's Pyramid of Success. And he won with class. Pro basketball has Red Auerbach stinking up the Boston Garden with his victory cigar.

4.  And speaking of Wooden, this greatest sports coach of all-time wanted nothing to do with the pros; he turned down offers from the Lakers more than once. That should say something.

5. There are no Ron Artests running into the stands and punching people in college.

6.  In college hoops, it's all about the team. In pro hoops (except maybe for the Spurs), it's all about being the man.

7.  In college, it's all about the passion. In the pros, it's all about the money.

8.  No bling-bling in college—you won't see college players decked out in gaudy jewelry like they're Mr.T's son. And no entourages neither.

9.  North Carolina and Duke, college basketball's greatest rivalry, are only eight miles apart. The Lakers and the Celtics, the greatest rivalry in the pros, are more than 3,000 miles apart.

10.  College basketball has the Cameron Crazies. Pro hoops has celebrities talking on their cell phones.

11. College has the Midnight Madness to start the season at many schools. I don't think the Summer Pro League compares.

12.  College basketball has Dick Vitale shooting hoops before the game and talking about his "Diaper Dandies." Unfortunately, Chick Hearn is no longer with us, so that leaves the pros with...who?

13.  There are 30 NBA teams. There are over 300 NCAA Division One teams—ten times as many teams to root for.

14.  Women's hoops—Pat Summit. Enough said. (Her teams at Tennessee outdraw the Memphis Grizzlies!)

15.  Dennis Rodman never dyed his hair all the colors of the rainbow, show up at book signings in bridal gowns, pose naked on book covers, or kicked any cameramen in college.

16.  If you don't play defense in college, you don't play. If you don't play defense in the pros—but can score—they'll work something out.

17.  In college, there are actual bands playing actual instruments. The pros wouldn't dare allow something so archaic.

18.  The Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City because their owner didn't like Key Arena. Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles needs renovating, but you won't ever hear the UCLA Bruins talk about moving to Bakersfield.

19.  Two words: MARCH MADNESS. Three weeks. 65 teams. One loss and you're out. Millions being spent on office pools. Schools with barely 500 students beating schools with 50,000 students on last-second buzzer beaters. The championship being decided over one weekend in the Final Four—the greatest thing in basketball.

20.  The NBA Playoffs: Two months during baseball season—by the time it ends, it's almost the Fourth of July. Teams with losing records participating who have no business being there. Every round's a best-of-seven—you can lose more than 10 games and still become the champs.

Did I mention it's during baseball season?