Baby, It’s Cold Inside – What in the Name of Jerry Tarkanian Has Happened to College Basketball?

Lots of places are cold lately

Lots of places are cold lately

I miss the old UNLV Runnin’ Rebels of Jerry Tarkanian. You knew those guys would score 90 points every time out. The question was if they’d hit 100 or 110.

I miss college basketball, period. I’ve covered two games in the last five days. There weren’t 100 points total in either one.

Last Saturday it was Purdue 49, Iowa 45. Nothing can be that wretched for a long time, I said to myself.

Sure, if four days is a long time.

Wednesday night, I was among the eyewitnesses who saw Drake edge Northern Iowa, 47-46.

At one point in the game, there were 26 points and 24 turnovers.


What happened to a once-entertaining game? Where’s Tark? Whatever happened to Showtime? Or at the very least, a team that could score 50 points in a game.

Something worse happened Wednesday than the brick-laying turnover fest at UNI. At Champaign, Penn State beat Illinois, 38-33. No Fighting Illini player scored more than seven points.

Penn State shot 28.3 percent from the field and won!

The teams’ combined 71 points was the lowest total in Division I men’s basketball since Monmouth beat Princeton 41-21 in 2005.

“Naismith probably rolled over several times,” Penn State Coach Ed DeChellis said after the game.

Illinois’ point total was its lowest since a 33-31 loss to Minnesota in 1947.

Get this: Illinois is ranked 18th in the country!

Other scores from Wednesday: Western Michigan 46, Eastern Michigan 38. Nebraska 46, Colorado 41.

Some Wednesday scores from outside the Midwest:

Oklahoma State 92, Texas Tech 82

Florida 83, Alabama 74

Louisville 94, Providence 76

Hofstra 99, James Madison 94

Those are basketball scores. Those are basketball games. How I miss them.


3 responses to “Baby, It’s Cold Inside – What in the Name of Jerry Tarkanian Has Happened to College Basketball?

  1. college basketball is now just a blip on my radar. maybe it’s too many one-and-done players. don’t know but i don’t care much. much more into football and wrestling. tired of duke, roy williams and the big east.

  2. Almost any truly great player is going to leave early, and teams figured out that they could mask huge talent gaps by slowing the game way down and jacking up lots of threes. It’s sad.

  3. You think you’re messed up by these scores, I’m in Phoenix, home of our own aberration, the Suns. After a half-season seemingly drug-induced off period known as the Terry Porter coaching reigime, the Suns put up 282 points in two games. Granted, the Washington Generals could probably hang a hundred on the Clippers, but how many games would it take a Big Ten team this year to score that many. Look, I appreciate good defense but c’mon, now. The games are on the verge of becoming unwatchable.

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