We’re going to keep this mailbag train a’rollin.
I really do enjoy receiving questions from readers because it helps me take a look at something I might not have thought about on my own. This is the fourth Adam’s Angle mailbag of 2018.
Question: Why aren’t men’s college basketball games four quarters like the women’s game?
Answer: I don’t have a good answer for this question, because there is no reason men’s college ball should play halves instead of quarters. The men’s game has two 20-minute halves and the women play four 10-minute quarters, for those that weren’t aware.
Actually, high school games are played in quarters, professional games are played in quarters, international games are played in quarters and women’s college basketball is played in quarters. So why is there still one hold out? It’s not because of money, because the current commercial break schedule would easily translate to quarters.
Along with quarters instead of halves, the women’s game resets team foul counts each quarter. There is no one-and-one; if a team reaches five fouls in a quarter, the opponent is shooting two free throws. Resetting each quarter keeps the game from turning into a free throw contest early in each half.
You can watch the difference in games at Benedictine College as the Lady Ravens play quarters, followed up by the men playing halves right after. I definitely like the flow better in the women’s games.
The good news is the NCAA tested playing quarters in men’s games in this year’s NIT. The NIT has served as a testing lab for other potential rule changes, like the 30-second shot clock, in years past that eventually turned into official rule changes. I’m guessing the men’s game moves to quarters sometime in the next couple seasons.
Q: Will Benedictine College win a national championship in football or men’s basketball first?
A: Let’s tweak this question a little, since men’s basketball has won two national championships already. Which program will win a championship first from this point forward?
My gut is leaning toward football, mostly because of the numbers involved in each sport’s postseason.
Qualify for the NAIA football tournament, and you’re one of 16 teams. For men’s basketball, you’re one of 32 teams, which means that’s one more game you have to win against a good opponent.
The BC football team wasn’t that far off from being championship-caliber last season, either, despite a 9-3 record and first-round loss in the national tournament. The offense was deep, the defense created turnovers and the losses came against three of the best teams in the country. In fact, undefeated national champion Saint Francis knocked the Ravens out by 5 points, its closest game of the season. In its three losses in 2017, BC lost by a total of 15 points.
The 2013 football team was also loaded with talent and it took an extremely cold day and some bad luck to lose to Tabor 14-13 in the first round of the playoffs. I still wonder how far that team would have gone if they’d gotten by Tabor.
The BC men’s basketball team has qualified for the postseason three times in recent years, winning the opening round game once. The right combination of talent, depth and getting hot at the right time will be what it takes to cut down the nets in Kansas City and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Ravens pulled that off in the future.
I just feel like football is a little closer. To expand on the original question, though, neither program might be the next Ravens national champion. The women’s soccer team and women’s basketball team have made it to championship game and semifinal, respectively, in the last couple years. One of those programs might hang the next championship banner.