The argument by those who favor watching the NBA over college basketball has always boiled down to the level of skill. The pros simply are head and shoulders better than their college counterparts. 

Hard to refute that. These guys in the NBA are the best in the world. Players in college (and their parents) who think they are NBA material really have no clue.

It's always laughable when many think the best college team could beat the worst NBA team. Not a chance.

Yet many who love the college game for its excitement and atmosphere won't typically watch an NBA game. Too much one-on-one, isolation play that doesn't emphasize team enough. Trying to coach those massive egos is a 24-hour deal that usually ends in the unemployment line.

The current NBA playoffs have done nothing to draw the passionate NCAA fans to their side. In fact, they may have just cemented those feelings for a very long time.

Charles Barkley said he's glad the NHL playoffs have been entertaining because the NBA postseason has been anything but. Not many of the games have been competitive at the end and only two series have gone the distance, with the home team winning every game in the Boston-Washington series. 

When the draft lottery has been the highlight of your postseason thus far, something is wrong.

It won't be until the inevitable happens — Cleveland meeting Golden State in the NBA Finals for the third straight year — that casual basketball fans will start watching in earnest. 

The great thing about the NFL, more than any sport, is that you feel your team has a chance at the beginning of the season regardless what happened the year before. 

In reverse, that's the worst thing about the NBA. If your team is bad and gets a high draft choice, you're usually going to stink for a while longer until that 19- or 20-year old top pick matures and gets some quality players around him.

Already looking forward to the 2018 NBA Finals between the Cavs and Warriors for the fourth year in a row.

Horse racing: Preakness Stakes (NBC, 5:30 p.m. Saturday): Watch the middle of the track as Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will be starting next to beaten Derby favorite Classic Empire.

NHL playoffs: Game 5, Predators at Ducks (NBC, 6:15 p.m. Saturday): The thought of a Stanley Cup Final between Ottawa and Nashville, which would be a ratings dud, is sending shivers through NHL offices. 

MLB: Cardinals at Dodgers (FSM, 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday): Clayton Kershaw set to start Wednesday's game, so St. Louis probably needs to win first and third games to take series.

Contact Jim Benson at


Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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