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One-And-Done Programs Are Done As NCAA Tournament Heads To Final Four

NCAA Tournament And Final Four Which is the quietest basketball game at the University of Kentucky? Senior Night. Why? Because there are never any seniors. Not any who played...

NCAA Tournament And Final Four

Which is the quietest basketball game at the University of Kentucky?

Senior Night.

Why? Because there are never any seniors. Not any who played meaningful minutes, who starred in the season just past. Kentucky is a one-and-done school.

Did you enjoy Duke’s season? Hope so. Because Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, the three freshman standouts, will be standing out in the NBA next year and the Blue Devils will again have a totally different look.

The NBA’s insistence that it will not draft players who under 19 years old – a policy likely to change soon – has created this one-year farm system where talented kids go to college to major in basketball. It is, unlike junior college, not even a two-year program. One and done.

Do we fault the kids? No. Here’s hoping a year occasionally spent on campus and possibly once in a while in a classroom helped them learn about life and mature a bit. It probably did not teach them how to handle millions of dollars and hangers-on or how to cope with the pressures accompanying those dollars and hangers-on.

Then there’s Michigan State, which beat Duke 68-67 on Sunday to earn its way into the Final Four. The Spartans start two seniors and only one freshman. Does that matter?

Well, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made this observation after the defeat: “I thought they played older than we did. But that’s happened to us. We are young.”

Wonder how that happened. And expect that it will likely happen again next year. They’re out of the dorm before they’ve even unpacked.

Give me a team that can hold a Senior Night and actually honors seniors. Give me a team that plays old. Like 21 years old.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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