College Basketball Teams Across Nation Should Be Thanking NBA

Sam CatronContributor IIINovember 16, 2011

CORONADO, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Dexter Strickland #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots the ball during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic against the Michigan State Spartans on board the USS Carl Vinson on November 11, 2011 in Coronado, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The time for a big college basketball push is now.  With more and more fans growing tired of the NBA lockout news, college basketball teams should be promoting their "brand" more than ever.

With each passing day, the NBA lockout is getting more and more ridiculous.  The players are now filing suits against the NBA owners instead of taking a very fair deal of 50-50.  And even though there are very feasible reasons why each side deserves more than half, what else can they expect?

Without the owners, there is no NBA and without the players, there is no NBA.

On the flip side, college basketball is on the rise.  The Carrier Classic was a great way to open the season for college basketball and for the first time, I actually watched most of the 2011 Tip-Off Marathon.

Honoring US military veterans with the Carrier Classic went extremely well.  The game was a bit of a blowout, but overall—success.  Having two prominent programs playing in the game was also a great part of it.  Both schools have huge fan bases and followers around the country.

As for the 2011 Tip-Off Marathon, the games were semi-competitive.  Most schools open up with an "easy win" and even though a couple of games were 15 point deficits, they were enjoyable.  The crowds in attendance were large and energetic.

Pair those two events with the State Farm Champions Classic and college basketball has really taken over the non-Saturday viewing audiences.  Bringing together four powerhouse college basketball programs really attracts people to this tournament in historic Madison Square Garden.

Bottom line is that college basketball is getting better.  Several of the premier stars passed on the NBA draft to stay, including Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes.  I have even started to feel bad for the NBA rookies who gave up their college careers for the NBA.  Imagine where college basketball would be right now with names like Tobias Harris, Alec Burks, Jordan Williams and Trey Thompkins.

For all of the millions of people who watch NBA games—give college basketball a chance.  They deserve it and I think you'll find yourself wanting more.