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.