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.