Posted March 27th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney

Basketball set up at Reliant Stadium

The NCAA is trying a new set up for tournament games in football arenas and the games in Houston and Detroit this weekend will be fans’ first look at it. In order to get more fans in the stadiums, the courts will be set up at the fifty-yard line instead of tucked away to one side like the normal football stadium set up. When the Longhorns face off against the [tag]Stanford[/tag] Cardinal Friday evening at Reliant Stadium they’ll also do it from 27 inches off the ground.

The set up will allow them to sell more tickets and will look good on TV, but seems far from optimal for the players and coaches in the games. Both the location and elevation could actually affect the outcomes of these very important games. It could change things for shooters and on loose balls near the sideline.

The big drop just a few feet out of bounds is incredibly dangerous. Players are definitely worried about hustling after the basketball and falling off the edge, as evidenced by quotes like this one from Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds: “What if we go for the loose ball and dive off the court? I mean, that’s the thing I was scared about.” It seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

The large empty space behind each basket also may cause depth perception issues for shooters, something that would be a very bad for the guard-oriented Longhorns. There will be very few fans behind each basket, and each will be backdropped by large black curtains. On how the shooters would cope, our own [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag] said, “There’s going to be an obvious depth perception [problem] just from the goals, but nothing you can’t handle. Just go out and get a couple shots up and get the feel of it and that’s what it’s all about.”

Hopefully AJ can get comfortable during warm-ups and comes out firing during showtime. And maybe that homecourt advantage means we’ll have Texas fans lining the court to catch any Longhorns that go flying off the ledge. The best outcome is that nobody will get hurt and the final score of the games won’t be affected. We’ll find out Friday evening.

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2 Comments

  1. reply to  #1

    Hook'em Horns

    Our crowd better be rocking at this game. This tournament is set up for us to win it.

  2. reply to  #2

    Brian

    The crowd couldn’t do much due to the set up. Their so far away from the court that they just couldn’t keep up the energy during the game.

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