Who’s ready for a hot take? This is my first ever article and I’m ready to come out firing. Alright here it goes. Rooting for a good college basketball team is so much more fun than rooting for a good college football team. This might not be that much of a hot take for this crowd, considering the school we root for, but on we go. I’ll give football the tailgating aspect of a typical gameday and the near requirement to wear your school’s golf polo, but nothing can beat the electric atmosphere of a full college hoops arena. The building is closed, the stands are closer to where the action is, the game itself is way more fast-paced and there’s more at stake between going to the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl over the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. Good Lord, the college football postseason system is trash.
Let’s do some imagining for a second. Put yourself in this theoretical atmosphere as a student. What are some of the factors in play? Maybe these are some of them:
- The team is good, thus giving people motivation to attend.
- It is conference play, where games matter more for standings and rivalry purposes.
- It is a Saturday and more likely in the evening.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a Saturday afternoon game every now and again. No one will ever accuse me of being against drinking in the morning before a game, but it can get old when not balanced with some evening games. There’s more flexibility around the pregame. The playlists are longer and it’s a steady climb to game time instead of waking up at five in the morning and hastily packing Millers just to get lower bowl seats. Those of us who were on campus last year will remember the mayhem that was National Marquette Day against Xavier. It was a gorgeous day and Kilbourn was essentially blocked off from traffic since every house could throw a party knowing they were not on a time crunch. As a man of the people, I want you all to have more of that. Unfortunately, Marquette shares an arena with the Milwaukee Bucks, so that’s not always possible. However, the NBA just announced their schedule yesterday, so we can look and see when Saturday evening games could be possible.
Looking first at non-conference play, we already know the dates, so we can filter which marquee Saturday games could be pushed to an evening time. Sadly, there is only one Saturday home game of any real significance (December 2 against Georgia) and the Bucks play in the Bradley Center at 7:30 against the Sacramento Kings that night. Sad!
Let’s not fret too much, though. Come on, stop crying. You’re really embarrassing yourself. Once conference play begins, the Bucks have no home games on a Saturday until March 17, which is the day when Markus Howard will drop 35 on 3 seed Notre Dame, dunk on Bonzie Colson, and start an orphanage on the way to the Sweet Sixteen.
So now any Saturday home game during conference play could be an evening game, and hopefully Marquette gets to take advantage of that. With Marquette expected to keep pace next year and with the Big East expected to be stacked with good teams again because it’s definitely not a mid-major conference, I see ample opportunities to get those 7:00 Central start times. Villanova rematch after last year’s chaos? Another game against Seton Hall that increases the sales of Rogaine by 30%? I’m already getting too amped. So buy extra hand warmers, write that paper on Thursday instead of singing “Proud to Be an American” at Miss Katie’s for the sixth week in a row, and make sure the Space Jam theme is the last song you play before shutting down the pregame.