Big time programs unafraid of scheduling marquee games away from home. Let's hope it is the start of a good trend.
created as much buzz on campus as any football game, and they were a much tougher ticket.
way back when they'd play in mid to late January when the rotations were set and the kinks worked out. It was always the highlight of the regular season for college basketball and pulled huge ratings. For better or worse mega conferences have made it all but impossible to schedule games like those.
was only the Pac-8. The conference had a round-robin of 14 games over 7 weekends. UCLA typically had 2 weekends with OOC games in mid-late January (perhaps a relic from when more schools had final exams in late January, which ND did until 1970 or so). UCLA usually came to the Midwest on one of those two weekends, playing in a doubleheader in Chicago Stadium until the mid-1970s, and playing at ND every January from 1971 through 1979 (which was the first year of the Pac-10). I believe in both 1971 and 1972, UCLA and ND both played at Chicago Stadium on Friday night (UCLA-Loyola, ND-Illinois), and then played each other at ND on Saturday in the late afternoon. In 1973 and 1974, the Chicago Stadium doubleheaders were the Thursday before UCLA visited ND, but ND didn't play at Chicago Stadium in 1974 (the year ND broke UCLA's 88-game winning streak).
During that period, ND almost always visited UCLA before the Bruins came to South Bend, either in December or early January (during Christmas break). The exception was the 1973-1974 season, when TVS convinced the schools to move the Pauley Pavilion game from December 22 to January 26 in a late-night slot (11:30 ET, 8:30 PT). That meant UCLA got a rematch with ND in Pauley just 7 days after ND had broken their 88-game winning streak. UCLA won that rematch in a blowout. ND got its first win at Pauley in December 1976, breaking an OOC home winning streak of over 100 games (and becoming the first OOC opponent ever to win at Pauley).
Things changed after the 1978-1979 season, UCLA's trips to ND moved around the calendar, usually coming in either December or February, with the only other January trip coming in 1986. ND played at UCLA in January a few times between 1980 and 1993, and in February in some other years. Most of those mid-season matchups came on weeks when UCLA played Southern Cal and no other conference opponent (as a result, most UCLA-USC games were played on Wednesday or Thursday nights).
With the increasing scheduling complications, the UCLA-ND rivalry went from twice annually (as it had been since Digger's first season in 1971-1972) to once per year (starting in 1983-1984). It ceased being an annual event after December 1995, which was ND's first season in the Big East.
In more recent years, there have been far fewer OOC games in January and February in general. When schools like ND and UCLA get "byes" during conference play, they used to schedule TV-friendly OOC games in those slots, but now they are far more likely to use those "byes" for much-needed rest.
are also too many pro teams in all 4 of the traditional North American team sports. Too many hockey and basketball teams has led to too many teams making the playoffs, too few games against too many teams which limits how many times fans can see some superstar matchups, and too many instances of unbalanced and often unfair schedules in 3 of the 4 (the NFL still seems to have a fair way of scheduling for the most part but still invites too man teams to the post season party).
It was better in the old days and yes, you can get off my lawn!
The NHL, for example, first went to a 16-team playoff right around the time the now-defunct WHA was absorbed into the league beginning in the 1979-80 season. At the time, there were only 21 NHL teams, so only 5 missed the playoffs. There has been no expansion of the playoffs since then, but the NHL now has 30 teams, so 14 miss the playoffs. The upside is that that development makes the regular season a little more important. Same thing with the NBA -- the playoffs expanded to 16 teams back when there were still only 23 NBA teams. Today there are 30 and still a 16-team playoff field, which makes the regular season a little more important than it used to be.
MLB has seen a rather dramatic playoff expansion, going from 4 teams as recently as 1993 (the last season prior to the strike-shortened season) to 10 teams today. But MLB was so exclusive in its playoffs that the number itself doesn't seem terribly high to me, and the wildcard round is single elimination. But playing the World Series into November still sits a little odd with me.
The larger issue is the same at both the college and pro sports level: bluntly put, it's all about a money grab. In pro sports, there are arguably more cities capable of supporting a major league sports franchise than there are available franchises. So owners will threaten to move a franchise in order to extort more money from its present city. The leagues have hit on expansion as one possible way to protect the fans in the most vulnerable cities. As for colleges, larger conferences are capable of demanding larger television fees than are smaller conferences, and often the expansion results in a larger per capita fee for the pre-existing members. During the Big Ten expansion talks, Frank the Tank described that as "11 + 1 = 13."
week that I know of. There is something to be said about getting into a conference rut so to speak.
Glad to see this back on again for a few years.
that loudmouth asshole.
I wish the press would stop writing about him.
God I love MB
One of the best such moments occurred against Missouri in January 1982 upon entering the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, MO, as Digger announced to no one in particular, "Welcome to the f-ing Joe Kleine game."
Kleine, a Missouri native and future All-American, had transferred from ND to Arkansas a few months earlier,
(see message below)
There was a KC kid who would have walked over glass to get a chance to play for ND...Jon Koncak. Friend of the family reached out to my dad to call my uncle to call Digger and tell him that there is a legit 7' that is an easy get. Digger responds, "I've already got Joe Kleine...I can't take two 7' guys"
While at ND, Kleine's dad was struggling financially and the Arkansas folks were allegedly offering monetary assistance if he transferred to Arkansas. Kleine went into Digger to tell him about the situation. Kleine didn't want to leave ND. But then Kleine told Digger, "if I don't transfer to Arkansas, my dad has told me that he'll never talk to me again"
Digger told him to pack his stuff and transfer...that his relationship with his dad was far more important than playing basketball for ND.
A year later, my dad is at a KC/ND function where his boss was being given some sort of "ND Man of the Year in KC" award or something and Digger was the main speaker. He runs into Digger and Digger holds out his hand and says something like, "you're right...but please don't bring up Koncak to me...I know" He did it in a humorous way.
... whether the story about financial problems and (illegal?) payments is accurate or not.
I do know that the public speculation/discussion revolved around whether bigs could succeed under Digger's tutelage. There were always questions and criticisms about the job-sharing aspect and (arguably) limited offensive roles that went along with the Laimbeer/Flowers and Kleine/Andree eras. Without a doubt, Joe's dad was a vocal critic of his son's role.
"My problem was never with Joe Kleine. It was with his father."
On the other side of the coin -- I lived in Stanford Hall, as did Joe Kleine. Joe had transferred before I arrived at ND in the fall of 1982, so I never met him. But many of my dorm mates had known him fairly well. Some of them said that Digger had run him off the team, and that they could never forgive Digger for that.
. . . a very, very small handful of guys I wouldn't have been surprised to hear had been "run off" by Digger. Joe Kleine is not one of those.
I don't know whether the assertion in your last sentence is true or not, but I have my doubts.
When it came to evaluating talent and having a commitment to graduating players (regardless of differences), Digger would have been a fool and a hypocrite to have run Joe out of town.
Bottom line: I believe Digger is neither a fool nor a hypocrite when it comes to such matters.
Long story short: I've got an uncle who played on the '56 Olympic basketball team and was good friends with Digger. (He had two sons that played football at ND while Digger was there). I don't know how my dad gets put in this position but he somehow has to order over 100 tickets, pay for them, pick them up and then distribute them.
So my dad tells me to get in the car and we run down to the Alameda (Fairmont/Intercontinental...nicest hotel in KC and perfect location on the Plaza) to get the tickets. We run down to the team meal and Digger is actually the guy who comes out with all the tickets and takes all the cash from my dad. As we were leaving, my dad says to me, "damn, all these college kids staying in such a great hotel like this"
The next night was a complete shiite show. This was the era where Digger would start off a game in four corners and just try to slow the other team down. Mizzou was good with Sundvold and Stipanovich. I have since come to know Jon Sundvold and he may be one of the best people on this planet...just a great guy. When I asked him about that game he just laughed (Mizzou won 90-70...if not on the #'s, I'm close) and said that he had never seen a team "start" out in four corners.
I was just a kid when I had three different interactions with Digger. I've always liked the guy.
Joe Kleine did play 15 years in the NBA. That's relatively rare, and you don't get to that point if you're not a quality player.
OTOH, the list of guys taken after him that year is relatively shocking, including a number of players who had more successful careers. Among others: Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley, Karl Malone, Joe Dumars, A.C. Green (star of the Oregon State team we beat in the first round of the NCAA tournament that year) and Terry Porter. If it's any consolation, Malone went #13 overall, Dumars was #18, Green was #23 and Porter was #24, so plenty of teams passed on them. See link.
This is one of the few times I do not want our game to be on CBS. The reason is Army-Navy. That game typically airs at 3 pm Eastern Time. CBS often has a basketball game on before that. If that were ND-UCLA, tip time presumably would be no later than 12:30 pm ET -- which would mean 9:30 am here on the West Coast.
ND's last game at Pauley tipped at 10 am local time. We missed the wake-up call and got stomped. My ride was late and we missed the first few minutes. And the coffee was cold.
I know scheduling now doesn't include Home and Home matchups vs non conference foes but I would love to see it happen with a UCLA or a Marquette or Villanova.
The ACC goes to a 20-game schedule in 2019-20. The current thinking is teams will look to downgrade the non-conference portion of their schedules even more.
I applaud Brey for stepping up on this, but I also don't expect something like it to happen every year.
But I'd love to play at least one of them every year. Marquette, our most-frequently played opponent, really needs to be back on the schedule.
arena being built, I'd love to see that series back on.