The world's greatest athletes
Vince Carter's nightly exploits make the NBA the only game in town. Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport
By Marty Burns, Sports Illustrated
If you want to see basketball played at its highest level, you watch the NBA. Simple as that.
Sure, college hoops has its quaint charms, but only the NBA offers the chance to see the world's greatest athletes performing their high-wire skills on a nightly basis: Tim Duncan going glass. Allen Iverson breaking ankles. Vince Carter defying gravity. Jason Williams pulling rabbits out of a hat.
The NBA is like a trip to see the Louvre or the Joffrey Ballet or the Boston
Pops. It's like watching Pavarotti, Picasso or Frank Lloyd Wright perform his craft.
On any given night a Kevin Garnett or a Kobe Bryant will make a play that leaves you breathless. Meanwhile, the college game seems to be all about the coaches.
Yes, some NBA players are spoiled millionaires. But here's a news flash: Big-time college basketball is full of blue-chip recruits who drive SUVs, don't go to class and accept $50 handshakes from alumni. At least the NBA keeps its business above the table.
Still not convinced? Here's one more reason to like the NBA: No Dickie V.
| Feeding off the college frenzy
Utah head coach Rick Majerus is a great example of the charm of the college game.
By Marc Lancaster, CNNSI.com
This isn't a very difficult case to argue, but let's start with a few indisputable facts:
The tent city in Durham. The Pit in Albuquerque. The numbers hanging from the rafters at the Dean Dome. The Tree madly running around at Stanford games.
Valparaiso. Richmond. Villanova. Gonzaga. Cleveland State. Princeton. Weber State. Arkansas-Little Rock. Murray State. Santa Clara. East Tennessee State.
Dynasties are depressing. Dominance is dull. This is supposed to be a fast-paced, unpredictable sport, and only college basketball retains that feel throughout its season.
Who wants to endure 82 contests, then a few best-of-seven series before we get to the point? Give us the upsets, the Cinderellas, the buzzer-beaters that end a high-powered favorite's season in a heartbeat.
You can keep your musically inclined superstars, salary-cap deals and nauseatingly sterile arenas.
College hoops has field houses with character, face paint, the Cameron Crazies and -- most important -- Rick Majerus.