There’s no disputing the fact that Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is one of the most forward-thinking administrators around when it comes to selling his program and by extension college basketball.
From a game on an aircraft carrier to this season’s opening game at Ramstein Air Base, Hollis has been at the forefront in the quest to make college basketball’s opening weekend all the more eventful.
But his latest idea may take the cake.
According to Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated, Hollis would like to open the 2013-14 season at “Jerry World” but not with just one game. The idea: four games with staggered tip times (15 minutes apart) taking place under the same roof.
The details aren’t finalized, but here it is: Next year on Veterans Day weekend, there will be four — count ’em, four — games taking place simultaneously at Cowboys Stadium, site of the 2014 Final Four. The games will begin 15 minutes apart and be held side by side (by side by side) in the giant facility. The purpose is to simulate the madness that takes place during the first week of the NCAA tournament. Only instead of the games taking place in four different cities, they’ll be played in one town, under one roof.
“We’re going to squeeze everything into a three-hour time period,” Hollis told me. “We’re talking with eight institutions right now that have a very high interest and have that weekend open, and we’re going to partner with the 12 [military] bases that are around Dallas, so we can make it a celebration for the guys at Fort Hood and others.”
Upon reading this the immediate mental images were of AAU tournaments played at the Milk House in Orlando, a complex that boasts 12 basketball courts.
Would an event like this have the desired effect and get fans more excited for the start of the season during a period in which many of the most important college football games are being played? That would ultimately depend on the eight teams that agree to take part.
With two of the three games that were to be played on an aircraft carrier last month having to be canceled for condensation issues, at least this idea will take place indoors. But would it be better to simply play four games on four different military bases if the objective is to honor our servicemen and women?
Four games going on at the same time would definitely grab attention, but you have to wonder if that could end up being too much of a good thing.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.