STATE YOUR CASE: Is a regular season or tournament championship more important?
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 13:03
by MARK HOPKINS
sports senior writer
The casual sports fan likes things to happen in a flash. They can briefly pay attention and get excited, then go back to what they deem more important.
That’s why season-ending conference basketball tournaments have become so famous. Sports media can flip one shot across the screen in March and everyone forgets what the teams went through the rest of the year. Coaches across the nation, however, have repeatedly bashed the news for forgetting the rest of the year, and I join with them in declaring the regular season conference championship much more important.
Think about it: three games in three nights, sometimes on one team’s home floor, going at it in a crapshoot to determine a champion. Though the tourneys are highly entertaining and I love them, true championships are won in January and February through conference slugfests.
A perfect example for years were our very own Utah State Aggies. The team won four regular season titles in a row. Success? Only twice did they win the conference tournament. That in no way diminishes what they had already done. Though in a year like this one, we would end up forgetting the struggles we’ve had if they manage to make a run to the NCAA tournament.
So it comes down to if you care about the actual games or only the glorified moments. True fans know how much a regular season title means.
BY JEFF DAHDAH
Winning the regular season conference title is important for records and pride, but for players and fans, at this point in the season, that matters little. Right now, for the players, coaches and fans, all they care about the postseason, and that’s what the conference tournament is for.
For the mid-major teams like our beloved Aggies, this could potentially mean a birth to the big dance. This is the same case with countless teams across the nation. Teams like Grambling State have a shot to play their way into the NCAA tournament in the next week and half, without being close to winning their conference tournament. Meanwhile, teams like Louisiana Tech are probably going to win their regular season conference title, but they won’t reach the dance without a win in their conference tournament.
Even for the big teams who will make it either way, the conference tournament will do more for their seed then winning their regular season title. Duke and Miami are vying for a No. 1-seed right now, same with the four teams atop the Big Ten.
The conference tournaments influence the seeding more than final conference standings and influence the dance overall by determining who gets in. The conference tournaments are what make college basketball beautiful, because right now all but nine teams have the chance to win the championship.