College basketball: Seven things every fan must do before the season
There are 31 days remaining until the opening tip-off of college basketball season. Practices are underway, every player has either (supposedly) lost 20 pounds of fat or gained 20 pounds of muscle, and Midnight Madness festivities are in full force.
In other words – life is good, but it’s about to get a whole lot better once the season tips off for real. It’s no secret that players need to relentlessly prepare any upcoming season. Preparation has a huge bearing on wins and losses.
But what about the fans? Not to be the bearer of bad news here, but no, fans’ superstitions do not affect the outcome of games. Marcus Paige has no idea that you wore your Carolina blue socks to work on Friday, Tar Heel fans.
However, fans can provide an electric atmosphere at their teams’ arenas each and every time their squad takes the floor, and that can rattle opposing players. Other fans are more passive, and that’s fine, too. There are so many facets to college basketball, and different aspects of the game appeal to different people.
With all of that in mind, here are some tips to gear fans up for the 2015-16 season – from the body painters who crave rim-rattling dunks, to the more mellow folks that appreciate a solid bounce pass or a quality box-out. Let’s get into it.
1) Don’t just purchase one big TV – purchase a few
I’m not here to tell you how to live your life – but if you’re serious about this college basketball hobby, you’ll need a couple monitors for the busiest days.
Watching college hoops is a blast, so why not multiply the experience? Between commercial breaks, dead balls and free-throw attempts, you’ll get the most out of your viewing experience with several monitors. They don’t have to be big, they just have work. Remember, sometimes a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Thank me later for this one.
2) Do a YouTube search of ‘Ben Simmons highlights’
LSU’s Ben Simmons might be the best freshman in college basketball this year, and before the Tigers get their season started, you’ll want to become acquainted with his game. Because it’s absolutely gorgeous.
3) Identify a few teams as sleepers before the season starts
When March rolls around, everyone loves to declare their sleeper team that is destined for triumph in the NCAA Tournament. But usually, those declarations are based on nothing more than a whim, or the one time a person saw a particular team play.
So do yourself a favor – identify a few teams you think may have potential, and monitor them throughout the season. Take in a Valparaiso game on a Tuesday night, or catch Iona on a Saturday afternoon. You’ll sound a lot smarter once March is here.
Especially for Final Four festivities, if you’ve never been. It’s a must on any college basketball fan’s bucket list.
5) Remember to appreciate your team’s best seniors
Are you a Gonzaga fan? Teach yourself to enjoy Kyle Wiltjer’s insane efficiency numbers, because they’ll be gone after this season. An Oklahoma fan? Buddy Hields don’t grow on trees, Sooner faithful. Enjoy him while he’s in Norman.
Throughout the course of a season, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment – especially when heartbreaking losses or frustrating moments transpire. And that’s perfectly natural. Just remember to appreciate the greatest players in the sport, especially when they’ll move on after this year. Make that promise to yourself right now. Do it.
6) If you’re a student, come up with some clever new chants
Let’s see some creativity this year, student sections! It’s easy to break out the classics, but innovative routines are always fun. Get ahead of the game and have some of your best material ready to go on opening night.
7) Study up: get all of your preseason news, analysis and tidbits from NCAA.com
We’re psyched for basketball season, and we hope you are, too. From burning questions in college basketball this season to how teams will attack the new 30-second shot clock, we’ve got all sorts of basketball content coming your way.
31 more days. Get excited.