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Gary Parrish thinks neutral court games ruin the game

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For the upcoming CBS Sports Classic, Gary Parrish wrote a piece on how neutral court games are not okay. This weekend there will be a combined 25 NCAA titles in Chicago, each playing on a neutral court. Outside the CBS Sports Classic, and I am assuming the Champions Classic although he never mentions it, Parrish believes the neutral court games happen too often and ruin the game atmosphere. Here’s a little excerpt:

“Only because every interesting non-league game played on a neutral court is one less interesting non-league game we get on a college campus with a big band, rowdy student section and the type of atmosphere, in general, that often makes college basketball great.”

Obviously Parrish didn’t take the Big Blue Mist into account. Kentucky fans will travel near and far just to get a glimpse of the Cats in action. I’ve never known a game environment to suffer at a Kentucky neutral court game (If you can think of one comment below). The neutral court games in New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, New York, Dallas (just to name a few) all have given us some of the best game environments Kentucky has had in years. It’s like a mini-vacation with thousands of your closest friends.

Often times it seems that consistent game-goers seem to have more fun traveling to games on a neutral court than playing at home in Rupp. Several times a season there are complaints about the environment in Rupp, while there are only a few (if any) complaints about neutral court games. Is it a bad thing that Kentucky has just as much fun at neutral site games as home games? Who knows. I guess it just depends on how you look at it.

Parrish had plenty more to say. Read the full article here.


Article written by Courtney Hessler

Ashley Judd is my spirit animal. Follow me on twitter at: @Hessler_KSR

8 Comments for Gary Parrish thinks neutral court games ruin the game

  1. btowncatfan
    6:38 pm December 19, 2014 Permalink

    When Kentucky is involved, there is no “neutral” site. BBN always gets in.

  2. yargamel
    7:15 pm December 19, 2014 Permalink

    I’ll be honest, I love the idea of home court advantage–from both sides.

    It gives the young guns their first real taste of intense pressure at the collegiate level, and gives bragging rights and builds grudges for the following year. Who cares about perfect seasons–a home-court series between Kansas and Kentucky would be as fun as the tournament itself.

  3. Bledsoe's Biceps
    7:33 pm December 19, 2014 Permalink

    UK always plays quality teams, at the neutral sites. When they play the same quality teams in Rupp, the atmosphere is great. When they play Cupcake U, not so much. But that would also be true if they played Cupcake U at a neutral site.

  4. UKSupporter76
    7:58 pm December 19, 2014 Permalink

    The article does specifically mention the Champions Classic

    “But I’ll always be willing to make an exception for events like this one and the Champions Classic, the latter of which is run by ESPN and annually features Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State.”

    And while I wasn’t there, I’m told the ice storm game against Baylor with the really delayed tipoff had a pretty “meh” crowd. And while I realize there were several mitigating circumstances that lead to that, if the game was at Rupp in the same conditions it would have been packed.

  5. rainman
    8:50 pm December 19, 2014 Permalink

    It’s all about preparing for MARCH!
    And I’m good with that!

  6. ukbradstith
    8:58 pm December 19, 2014 Permalink

    He’s got a good point. It sort of takes away all the awesome games and puts them far away for most fans. I’d love to see more of these games in Rupp.

  7. rainman
    9:35 pm December 19, 2014 Permalink

    Put these games in Rupp, and the blue hairs will scarf up all the tickets!
    Play’em on the road, and you can get them!

  8. satcheluk
    7:40 pm December 20, 2014 Permalink

    The best atmospheres for UK games tend to be the neutral site games, because the fans are more enthusiastic and loud. Dumping the docile blue-bloods(hairs) for average Joes and Janes brings a whole other atmosphere to the games.

    We often rent a suite at the SEC tourney and that’s more fun than only the rarest of games at Rupp.