Why does collegiate basketball capture so much attention compared to other sports?

Why does collegiate basketball capture so much attention compared to other sports?
Collegiate basketball is arguably one of the most entertaining sports to watch. Many fans begin life watching college basketball and enjoy it so much they move on to the NBA or Euroleague.
However, there are key differences with college basketball compared to other types of basketball – and other sports for that matter – which make it so alluring and exciting, and the perfect sport to start following.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at what makes college basketball so unique and attractive to sports fans.
A different format
If you’ve watched the NBA before, you may be familiar with the standard rules of the game – a 48-minute match split into four quarters of 12 minutes each, with 24 seconds on the shot clock for each possession.
In collegiate basketball, however, there are just two halves of 20 minutes, giving a total of 40 minutes altogether. College teams also get a 30-second shot clock, slightly longer than in the NBA. Although just a six-second difference, this does affect the pace of the game, yet not in a negative way.
The court is also a little smaller in college basketball compared to the NBA. For instance, the 3-point line is around a foot closer to the hoop.
The rules around fouling are also a little different. In college basketball, players are disqualified from the game after five individual fouls (compared to six in the NBA). For technical fouls in college basketball, a team gets two free throws and possession of the ball. In the NBA, the opposing team gets just one free throw – a stark difference.
These changes may seem subtle but they have a huge bearing on how the game is played, which makes college basketball unique.
The excitement of March Madness
March Madness is a phrase popular among basketball fans. It refers to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) annual men's basketball tournament, which takes place throughout March.
The tournament features 68 teams that compete in a seven-round knockout system to determine the national champion. The tense semifinals are known as the Final Four.
This year’s tournament is the 83rd instalment and begins on March 15, 2022. It’ll conclude on April 4 in New Orleans, Louisiana, at Caesars Superdome.
Unlike last year, this year’s tournament is being played across the country in cities such as San Diego, Texas, Chicago and Indiana.
As always, it will be broadcast live on TV and radio, as well as being available to stream online.
The bookies’ favorites to win March Madness
Prior to the start of the tournament, the top seeds are selected. For March 2022, the No. 1 seeds are Gonzaga (West), Kansas (East), Auburn (Midwest) and Arizona (South). The second seeds are Duke (West), Kentucky (East), Purdue (Midwest) and Baylor (South)
If you’re looking for betting tips on any of these teams, you should check out these March Madness odds.
The favorite at the moment is Gonzaga, with Kentucky and Arizona close behind.
However, you can’t rule out any of the other contenders, especially in a knock-out competition when it very much comes down to on-the-day performances. You may find, therefore, that you get better odds on the likes of Duke, Kansas and Baylor, as well as UCLA or Illinois.
See the upcoming stars of basketball
One of the best things about watching college basketball is that you get to see the next stars of the basketball world in action.
Many of these players go on to find themselves drafted into the NBA. For some, they may play a few seasons in the college leagues before getting the call-up to the big leagues. However, the most talented players could see themselves drafted right away. Boston Celtic’s Jayson Tatum is one example.
Tatum played just his freshman year in the college leagues before entering the 2017 NBA draft, where Boston picked him up in the first round of the draft.
In summary
If you’re looking for a bit of excitement this March and you’re bored of your usual sports, why not give college basketball a go?
The NCAA tournament has been running for decades, and the thrill and excitement the knock-out system generates is nothing short of unique. Not only that, you get to watch some of the brightest talents of basketball compete to be the best in the country. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
And as a bonus, you may win a decent bit of money if you back the right team.