Detroit all over again ...


Get ready to see more of Kansas coach Bill Self with his stool perched on the sidelines of an NCAA Tournament game.

I just checked out the court arrangement here at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and was disappointed by what I saw: A setup nearly identical to the setup of Ford Field last year.

By placing the basketball court on a platform in the middle of a football field, I have three major issues:

1. The safety of the players. This is my biggest gripe. Hey, these are the biggest games of these kids' lives. They're going to go diving for a loose ball every once in a while.

The problem is, when they do, they risk diving off the platform onto a floor that is a few feet below them. Davidson's Stephen Curry went into a dangerous area during one of his hustle plays last year, and the raised floor just doesn't seem like an ideal option for basketball.

2. The bench players are below the court floor. Isn't one of the best parts about college basketball the emotion of the game? That's killed by this setup, as when teammates jump up off the bench, we can still barely see their necks over the raised floor. CBS's jubilation shots just aren't the same when teammates are pounding the court floor while standing. This also makes for the awkward, Bill Self sitting on a stool by himself with no one around him on the sideline scenario we saw last year.

3. The fans are far, far away. Even if your tickets look good online, it still might not be a bad idea to bring your binoculars. Though I wasn't in Detroit last year, I can't imagine this setup wouldn't kill the atmosphere. Fans can have good seats at mid-court, but they still will be a long way from the actual court. Some upper-deck sections have been curtained off, but from those sections, binoculars probably wouldn't have even helped you.

OK, rant over. KU fans can't be too upset, I guess, as KU was 2-0 in the raised-court scenario a year ago.


Jonathan Allison 13 years, 4 months ago

This is very bad for the players. How many times, escpecially during tournament play do we see players diving over the bench after a loose ball, or diving over the scorer's table. These guys are trained their whole loves to pursue loose balls with reckless abandon, and now they may have to stop because if they dive off the platform they could end up with broken bones and head injuries.

d_prowess 13 years, 4 months ago

Jesse, I actually think your #3 is a bit off. The seats on the sidelines are not that bad since most football stadiums aren't that wide. The worse seats are those in the ends and corners. In Detroit we bought lower level seats in the corner and felt like we were in the next town! You are low to the action, but far away!
Still, does it bode well that we are once again at the site that will hold next year's final four? Here's to hoping!

Jesse Newell 13 years, 4 months ago

d_prowess — Good point. I guess I was just saying the "good" seats aren't great. But you're right. The corner seats are meant for football games (with a 120-yard field), not basketball games.

Ben Kane 13 years, 4 months ago

I agree, this is very disappointing to see the NCAA return to this setup. The least they could do is make it large enough so hustle plays pose no problems and the benches could be on the same level.

d_prowess 13 years, 4 months ago

Side comment, just saw the bracket standings for the LJW staff and... ouch! Three way tie for last between Newell, Tait, and Arnett!

Jared Grillot 13 years, 4 months ago

We picked up seats in Ford Field last year in the upper deck. We actually couldn't hear when the whistle blew! Had to watch replays on the jumbo-tron to see what had happened during fouls and such. Could barely even hear the horn. I know the NCAA wants more tickets to sell, but geez.

Matt Tait 13 years, 4 months ago

I'm going for dead last, baby!!! Of course, I'll probably even fail at that.

The big one killing me is that I had VCU in my Elite 8 and Clemson beating OU in Round 2... Just can't start in a hole like that and expect to do well.

My only goal now is to surpass one Dugan Hartley Arnett..... LETSGO!!!

Love the blog idea, though, Newell. Would love to hear from more people like d_prowess who were in De-Troit last year.

Scott Oswalt 13 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like a crappy situation. There would be no way the NCAA could sell 63,000 tickets for this game, especially if people can't even see what's going on. Who's the brain behind this plan?

tristate1 13 years, 4 months ago

I sat in the same row as the Chancellor and the Governor last year at Ford Field (approx. 20 rows behind the KU bench on the floor) and it was very difficult to watch the action on the court. Since you are sitting below the floor, your view is obstructed quite a bit by the folks sitting in front of you. One of the women seated with us who is on the short side found it easier just to watch the action on the jumbo-tron.

Ryan Wood 13 years, 4 months ago

The problem with Ford Field last year was that the temporary seats were 20 rows of nearly-flat seating. People spent more time staring at the back of heads rather than the game.

It's an awful, awful idea to make these setups mandatory for Final Fours. But it makes money, so the NCAA doesn't give a crap.

Jaminrawk 13 years, 4 months ago

Ugh, I hate when basketball games are played on football fields.

Ed Fox 13 years, 4 months ago

Wasn't the set-up the same in San Antonio? I wasn't there, but I thought I seemed to remember that. If so, KU was actually 4-0 in that setup. Hopefully KU just becomes known as a "big-arena" team.

lonestarjayhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

BannerforKirk, the set up in the Alamo Dome is different. The floor isn't raised. The traditional dome venue is not good, but it is way better than the new configuration. I was in Detroit and San Antonio last year and had nearly the same seats in both location. The view and atmosphere in SA was way better. Go Hawks!

jayhawk1996 13 years, 4 months ago

The NCAA does not care about players' safety, bench locations or quality of seats for the fans. It only likes the fact that it can sell 60,000 tickets.

nocaljayhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

I also dislike the forced uniformity evident in the tournament court design/paint jobs. I always used to like seeing the different courts painted differently thoughout the tournament. Now they all have that same black and blue color scheme.

FairgroveJayhawk 13 years, 4 months ago

They won't change it until a player falls off the court and sustains a spinal cord injury or head injury. then they might consider some changes.

BronxHawk1 13 years, 4 months ago

you guys are makes no sense at all to play in a football stadium..on a dangerous raised really have to think about your safety& @ the same time play your game..its all about making money..but it isn't fair to the players to risk there health playing on that! Plus I bet some players lose the distance or depth perception of their shot with such a huge back drop?..

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