Even for those of you who have distanced yourself from major league baseball, you knew the All Star game was yesterday. That is because FOX and ESPN took every opportunity (and then some) to advertise it. You have to expect some self-promotion (ESPN covered the Home Run Derby, meaning self-promotion took place in Bristol) as the All Star "game" is one of the bigger spectacles all year long. 'How can that be', you say, 'if everyone talks so badly about it and its stupid catch phrase "This time, it counts!"'? Simple, kids love superstars. Across the country kid-after-kid turned on their television last night, to watch Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. And as I had the television on 'MUTE' last night (to avoid having to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, of course) watching this spectacle, I thought why can't college basketball have something similar? While not as simple strategic-wise as baseball, basketball is simple enough in nature to be able to put together a team a week or so after the season and start a tournament. A tournament that would feature all of the stars in the college game, a tournament featuring Greg Oden, Kevin Do-Rant and Joakim Noah following last season.
(The original idea can be found after the jump...)
Wow, the more and more I typed the more and more I realized that what started as a real and honest idea was becoming ESPN-ized. I would still watch most of it, I am a college basketball junkie, but I'm not sure how many people really -would- watch it. So, I'll scrap that and come up with a more serious idea, an East-West All Star game.
Similar to the McDonald's All American "game", it would team up kids from rival schools (Duke/Carolina comes to mind first) because of geographic location. It would, most importantly, provide a place for kids to connect with college basketball superstars, the stars that often get neglected for either more popular sports (NFL, MLB and college football) or more entertaining athletes (NBA) would have its own chance to shine. Who wouldn't watch a team of Arron Afflalo, Kevin Do-Rant and Julian Wright (had to include someone from Kansas) taking the court to face off against Tyler Hansbrough, Joakim Noah and Greg Oden? Entertainment galore. Of course, as you may have noticed, the Mississippi River would serve as the barrier for west and east. While not geographically correct in dividing the two halfs equally, the abundance of universities on the east coast far outweights those on the west coast and everything would be ok. Just something to discuss, join ("Create a Username" on your right) and feel free to comment and diary your life away, or at least your summer.
(Reminder: the "read more" is the original idea of the College Basketball All Star Tournament of teams seperated by conference. If you want to read about it, go ahead, otherwise the article is finished. Promise.)
Don't get me wrong, the last thing the hype-crazed, ESPN-led sports world need is a faux sporting event filled with more fluff than actual content. However, this event oculd open the game of college basketball to superstar-following kids from Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in-between. The ground-rules would be fairly simple, the All Star teams would be seperated by conference and the seedings would be based off of the conference's RPI during the season. For example, using last year's RPI ratings the ACC would be seeded atop the field, #1, whereas the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) would have "earned" the 32nd seed. The "Independents" would have a team of their own, just like every other conference. It would be single elimination, just like the Tournament, and would preferrably be played about 3-4 weeks after the National Championship game. It would be similar to a mini-NCAA Tournament, but instead of being stretched out over 3+ weeks to heighten interest and suspense would be crammed into a long, long weekend. Tuesday afternoon the games would start, half of the first round games would be played in 8 locations across the country. The next day, all of the other first round games would be played in either the same 8 cities or another 8, again two games per location, per day. That would cut it down to 16 teams and 8 games, 4 of which (the 8 teams that won on Wednesday) would be played on Thursday and the other 4 (winners from the Thursday games) would be played on Friday. Then comes the fun part, 8 games ALL DAY LONG on Saturday. ALL. DAY. LONG. Not sure where, most likely some of the same locations as the first round. Then the last 3 games would take place in Madison Square Garden during the next week.