College basketball

College basketball

College basketball most often refers to the USA basketball competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Basketball in the NCAA is divided into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III.

Contents

Conferences

Division I

A map of all NCAA Division I basketball teams.

There are 345 schools in 32 Division I basketball conferences. Each conference, except for the newly formed Great West Conference, receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The conferences are as follows:

There are also three independent Division I schools without conference affiliation, for the 2011–12 season.

Division II

A map of all NCAA Division II basketball teams.

There are 23 Division II basketball conferences. The conferences are as follows:

There are also 27 independent Division II schools without conference affiliation, for the 2011–12 season.

Division III

See: NCAA Men's Division III Basketball Championship and NCAA Women's Division III Basketball Championship

Relationship to professional basketball

In past decades, the NBA held to tradition and drafted players who had graduated from college. This was a mutually beneficial relationship for the NBA and colleges—the colleges held onto players who would otherwise go professional, and the NBA did not have to fund a minor league. As the college game became commercialized, though, it became increasingly difficult for "student athletes" to be students. Specifically, a growing number of poor, under-educated, highly talented teenage basketball players found the system exploitative—they brought in funds to schools where they learned little and played without income.

The American Basketball Association began to employ players who had not yet graduated. After a season of junior college, a season at the University of Detroit, and an Olympic gold medal, Spencer Haywood played the 1969-70 season with the ABA's Denver Rockets. He signed with the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics in 1970, before his college class graduation, defying NBA rules. Haywood pleaded that, as his family's sole wage earner, he should be allowed to earn a living in the NBA or else his family would face destitution. The ensuing legal battle went to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled in 1971 that the NBA does not have the same antitrust exemption enjoyed by Major League Baseball. Thereafter, collegiate players demonstrating economic hardship were allowed early entry into the NBA Draft. The hardship requirement was eliminated in 1976.

In 1974, Moses Malone joined the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association (which became part of the NBA after the ABA-NBA merger in 1976) straight out of high school and went on to a Hall of Fame career. The past 30 years have seen a remarkable change in the college game. The best international players routinely skip college entirely, many American stars skip college (Shawn Kemp, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard, Amar'e Stoudemire and LeBron James) or only play one year (Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Greg Oden) and only a dozen or so college graduates are now among the 60 players selected in the annual NBA Draft. Fewer high schoolers will progress directly to the NBA without at least one year of college basketball beginning in 2006; citing maturity concerns after several incidents involving young players, the labor agreement between players and owners now specifies that players must turn 19 years of age during the calendar year of the draft to be eligible. Additionally, U.S. players must be at least one year removed from their high school graduation.

The pervasiveness of college basketball throughout the nation, the large population of graduates from "major conference" universities, and the NCAA's marketing of "March Madness" (officially the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship), have kept the college game alive and well. Some commentators have argued that the higher turnover of players has increased the importance of good coaches. Many teams have been highly successful, for instance, by emphasizing personality in their recruiting efforts, with the goal of creating a cohesive group that, while lacking stars, plays together for all 4 years and thus develops a higher level of sophistication than less stable teams could achieve.

Distinctions with NBA and WNBA play

The NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee, consisting of coaches from all three divisions of the NCAA, sets the rules for college men's basketball play. A parallel committee sets rules for college women's play. Although many of the NBA and WNBA rules apply in NCAA play, there are differences that make NCAA play unique.[1]

An NCAA game is divided into two halves, each 20 minutes long, while NBA games are played in four quarters of 12 minutes each and WNBA games are played in 10-minute quarters. The NCAA shot clock gives a men's team 35 seconds to shoot and a women's team 30 seconds, while the shot clock used in both the NBA and WNBA gives teams 24 seconds. Also, NCAA men's teams are allowed 10 seconds to move the ball past the halfcourt line, and NCAA women's teams have no time limit on moving the ball past the halfcourt line, while NBA and WNBA rules allow only 8 seconds. However, like the NBA and WNBA (and high school basketball), during the last minute of each half, the game clock keeps time remaining in the period measured in tenths of a second, rather than full seconds.

Though the height of the basket, the foul line's distance from the backboard, and the court dimensions are the same, the distance between the three point line and the backboard is different. The NBA three-point line measures 23 feet 9 inches (7.24 m) at the top of the circle, or 22 feet (6.7 m) in the corners or baseline.[2] On the NCAA court, the three point line had been a constant 19 feet 9 inches (6.02 m), but the NCAA Rules Committee voted in May 2007 to extend it a foot more to 20 feet 9 inches (6.32 m), which became effective beginning the 2008–09 season.[3] The WNBA uses the FIBA three-point line of 6.25 m (20 ft 6 in). The NCAA lane measures 12 feet (3.7 m) in width, while the NBA and WNBA lane is 16 feet (4.9 m).

NCAA players are allowed five personal fouls before fouling out, as opposed to their NBA counterparts, who are allowed six. This maintains the same ratio of minutes of play per foul allowed, eight. However, the WNBA allows players six personal fouls despite playing the same number of minutes as the NCAA. The number of team fouls allotted is also different. In all three competitions, team fouls can be categorized as shooting or non-shooting. A shooting foul occurs when a player gets fouled in the act of shooting (while airborne), giving him the chance to shoot free throws. A common foul (non-shooting foul) consists of all other fouls, including making contact with the opposing player while "reaching in" to steal the ball.

A team may make a certain number of non-shooting fouls per period before the opposing team is awarded free throws. In the NBA and WNBA, the fifth team foul in a quarter places the team in penalty. For every foul starting with the fifth, whether it's shooting or non-shooting, the opposing team receives two free throws. In addition, if an NBA or WNBA team has not entered the penalty in the last two minutes of a period, its team foul count is reset; the second team foul in the last two minutes triggers the penalty. In the NCAA, the penalty begins with the seventh team foul in a half. However, the fouled player must make the first free throw in order to get the second. This is called a "one and one" or "one and the bonus" situation. On the tenth team foul, the "double bonus" situation comes into play, meaning that every subsequent team foul results in two free throws for the opposing team. It should be noted that no free throws are shot at either level for a player control foul, which is an offensive foul (usually a charge). Unlike NBA/WNBA rules, the team foul count does not reset in the last two minutes of a half. Overtime periods are considered an extension of the second half under NCAA rules, but not under NBA/WNBA rules; in those leagues, the fourth team foul in any overtime period, or the second in the last two minutes, triggers the penalty.

When a dispute over ball possession arises, the jump ball is used in the NBA and WNBA. In the NCAA, once the first possession has been established from the opening tip, no further jump balls occur except to begin an overtime period. Since 1981, a possession arrow on the scorer's table has dictated which team should possess the ball, with the arrow switching directions after each use.

NCAA teams can call a timeout after they made a basket (Indiana scores a 3 point field goal and calls a timeout); in the NBA and WNBA, only the opposing team can call a timeout after a basket is made.

In addition, the NBA limits what types of defense a team can play, primarily in an effort to prevent coaches from slowing down the pace of the game by using zone defenses. Zone defense is permitted in the NBA and WNBA; however, players cannot stand in the lane for more than three seconds if they are not guarding anyone. In NCAA basketball, no such restriction exists, and coaches are free to design a variety of defensive techniques.

In college basketball, it is required by rule that the home team wears their white or light-colored jerseys while the visiting team wears their darker jersey color. The NBA, like most other professional sports leagues, lets the home team decide which uniform to wear, but with a few exceptions the home team has continued the tradition of the college game and wears white (or in the case of the Los Angeles Lakers for non-Sunday home games, gold) at home. This is for regular season play only; home teams always wear white during the playoffs. The WNBA, however, follows the college rule for all games.

The NBA introduced a new dress code rule in 2005. Now players are required to wear business casual attire whenever they are engaged in team or league business. This includes a long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater; dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans, and appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots. The WNBA has a similar dress code, adjusted for standard women's attire. NCAA rules have no set dress code rule, leaving it up to individual teams or conferences.

The organizations also have different rules for jersey numbers. While the NBA and WNBA allow players to wear any number from 0-99, including 00, so long as it is available, the NCAA disallows any jersey number with a 6, 7, 8, or 9 in it. This is done to allow the referee to report fouls using hand signals with one hand, as each hand has only five fingers. High school basketball, whose rules are set by the National Federation of State High School Associations, also follows the NCAA's convention on jersey numbering.

Other divisions

While less commercialized than Division I, Division II and Division III are both highly successful college basketball organizations. Women's Division I is often televised, but to smaller audiences than Men's Division I. Generally, small colleges join Division II, while colleges of all sizes that choose not to offer athletic scholarships join Division III. D-II and D-III games, understandably, are almost never televised, although CBS televises the Championship Final of Division II, while CBS College Sports Network televises the semifinals as well as the Division III Final.

The NAIA also sponsors men and women's college-level basketball. The NAIA Men's Basketball National Championship has been held annually since 1937 (with the exception of 1944), when it was established by James Naismith to crown a national champion for smaller colleges and universities. Unlike the NCAA Tournament, the NAIA Tournament features only 32 teams, and the entire tournament is contested in one week instead of three weekends. Since 2002 the NAIA National Tournament has been played in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. (From 1994-2001 it was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and from 1937-1999 it was held at Municipal then Kemper Arena in Kansas City).

Since 1992, the NAIA has sponsored a Division II championship, similar to the NCAA Division I and II. There is also an NAIA Women's Basketball Championship.

The only school to have won national titles in both the NAIA and NCAA Division I is Louisville; the Cardinals have also won the NIT title. Southern Illinois has won NAIA and NIT titles. Central Missouri and Fort Hays State have won NAIA and NCAA Division II national titles.

National Invitation Tournament (NIT)

Awards

Records and lists

Men's

  • NCAA Men's Division I basketball statistical leaders

Women's

See also

References

External links


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