The NCAA has been criticized this week for NCAA Tournament games starting far too late
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Friday night’s NCAA Tournament between Dayton and Providence didn’t start until nearly 11:00 p.m. eastern time in Columbus, leading to widespread criticism of the NCAA’s scheduling procedure.
Earlier in the week, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins and Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon were vocal in their displeasure with the NCAA over late start times, according to a report from Daniel Martin of CSN Baltimore.
Huggins in particular had a lot to say, leading to some laughs with his typical dry sense of humor.
"“Now you’ve got to remember this, it’s all for the betterment of the student-athlete. I’ve heard that. Yeah, it is. It is.ou’ve got all these games to cram on TV. And it’s going to happen,” Huggins went on to say. “And one game runs over a little bit. But I’m just — it just tickles me to death that we’re doing this for the student-athletes. It’s all for the betterment of the student-athlete.”"
Huggins and Turgeon certainly have a point, as games ending after midnight are incredibly unfair to the student-athlete. It’s clear from both the early tournament games and conference championship week that two and a half hours is not enough time between scheduled tip times, as just about every late game has been pushed back.
The schedule has had some other quirks as well. Friday’s action started with an 11:10 game in the central time zone, while games in Columbus weren’t even scheduled to start until nearly 10:00 eastern, which of course was pushed back.
Ole Miss flew from the First Four to Jacksonville and played an early-window game, while Dayton took the short ride to Columbus for a late game. Late tips don’t help either the athletes or television ratings, so a conversation to change scheduling for 2016 could occur.
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