New NCAA Rules for College Basketball Near Passage


New NCAA rules for college basketball have come down in a rare move to improve the game of basketball. Over the last year college basketball had been showing the effects of years with the thirty-five second shot clock and defensive physicality. Games over the last season were often decided around or under the sixty point barrier.

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The new rules still need final passage, but they are:

1. A Thirty Second shot Clock
2. Reducing Second-Half Timeouts by one
3. Preventing coaches from calling live ball timeouts
4. Reducing the thirty second period to replace a member who has fouled out
5. A backcourt period of ten seconds that does not reset with timeouts
6. Expanding the restricted area from three to four feet
7. Penalties for faking fouls
8. Renewed enforcement of rules designed to limit physical play

The ACC was always the odd child in the NCAA basketball family in regard to some of the trends that overtook basketball. Its best teams almost always came from teams with an interest in faster play. North Carolina and Duke are the easiest examples, but the other teams more or less followed suit.

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  • The ACC was also the conference most criticized for referee whistles, as if these guys were too triggerhappy. Outside of the ACC, physical defense was the rule in the Big East and Big Ten. Yet the ACC fell victim to the trends around college basketball too. The point totals sagged last year and the physicality went up.

    Why did the ACC change? Part of it had to do with membership and part of it had to do with coaching.

    First the ACC gained new teams in the past few years. That would be Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh. These former Big East members came from a conference where physical defense was the norm. Syracuse and Pitt in particular played styles designed to choke scores.

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    The second is coaching. Virginia under Tony Bennett adapted the flex offense of Wisconsin which was birthed out of the Big Ten defensive environment. Obviously the addition of Syracuse and Pitt brought in their coaches as well. Finally there is Buzz Williams at Virginia Tech, who did very well with Marquette teams playing in the Big East defensive style.

    So who won with these new changes? Logically the old ACC did.

    The teams that will benefit from faster play are the teams that already like to play fast. That means North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky (SEC), and Arkansas (SEC) all come out of this in pretty good shape. Sure the current Tar Heel team may not want to shoot more free throws, and the current Duke team will have to wonder whether Duke will be unduly penalized for a flopping reputation.

    A new foul environment will emphasize teams that truly play defense without fouling, instead of teams that play defense without fouls being called. Stupid fouls and frustration fouls will be more costly.

    Who loses? The Big Ten generally, and probably Wisconsin specifically. The Badgers tried to work a ball for the open shot even if that took 35 seconds. Defenses now have five fewer seconds to screw up. The team that might be most affected outside the Big Ten might be the Butler Bulldogs. The scrappy Bulldogs will be tested to see how outhustling they do is actually fouling.

    Next: 2015 ACC - Big Ten Challenge Matchups Released