Mark Cuban: College basketball 'uglier than ugly,' hurting the NBA

0:44 | NBA
Mark Cuban calls college game 'horrible'
Thursday April 9th, 2015

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday that college basketball is "uglier than ugly" and hurting the NBA because of its decreased scoring and slower pace.

As teams like national runner-up Wisconsin—which ranked 346th in adjusted tempo this season, according to—continue to find success, college basketball fans and critics have debated whether longer possessions and fewer points collectively harm the game.

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In his comments on Wednesday, Cuban was critical of the college game's continued use of a longer shot clock as a reason athletes come into the NBA not knowing "how to play a full game of basketball."


"If they want to keep kids in school and keep them from being pro players, they're doing it the exact right way by having the 35-second shot clock and having the game look and officiated the way it is," Cuban said Wednesday night. "Just because kids don't know how to play a full game of basketball.

"You've got three kids passing on the perimeter. With 10 seconds on the shot clock, they try to make something happen and two other kids stand around. They don't look for anything and then run back on defense, so there's no transition game because two out of five or three out of five or in some cases four out of five kids aren't involved in the play.

"It's uglier than ugly, and it's evidenced by the scoring going down. When the NBA went through that, we changed things."

Cuban was also critical of the refereeing in college basketball, saying referees "couldn't manage a White Castle."

Officiating has especially been drawn into question this week, as a late call in the Duke–Wisconsin national championship was reviewed but apparently not correctly called. NCAA officials later issued conflicting explanations of the replay process the referees underwent Monday night by going to the monitor.

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Duke went on to win the game, and thus the national championship, 68-63.

Cuban has famously pushed for a variety of changes to the sport, ranging from legalized gambling to eliminating fan voting for the All-Star game and removing max deals.

Mike Fiammetta

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