Bring back the 3rd place game!

  • Until 1981 the NCAA tournament played two games on the final Monday, a 3rd place game before the title tilt. It was a nice reward for the teams that made it that far to get to play another. I’d favor it.
    NCAA, are you listening? You could televise it, and make more money. I’d watch. Would’ve been funny to see 38-1 Kentucky take the court a couple of years ago. They probably would have taken it out on whomever Duke beat that year.

    I know it will never happen.

    I enjoyed the benefit of losing fans going home and unloading their tickets at below market value by being able to see KU in the Superdome 5 years ago. A third place game probably means more fans stick around and that lower ticket price doesn’t happen.

    Teams that win 3rd place games get to finish a great season on a positive note. My freshman year of HS our great hoops team in Illinois lost in the semis and won the 3rd place game later that afternoon. It was a blast!

    Bring it back NCAA!

  • I am all for it. 😄

  • @wissox Yeah, that consolation game loss to Bill Walton in 1974 was a real fun time for everyone involved.

  • @wissox Here is an article advocating returning these games, from 2013. It points out they used to have regional consolation games.

    Would we have enjoyed watching games after losing to VCU, Nova, and Oregon? What if we lost? What would those off-season discussions have been like?

  • No.

  • I know in HS when we played in the consolation game for 3rd (won state once took 4th twice) no effort was given. It was a losers game and most didn’t want to be in it, so didn’t give great effort. I know bad attitude (I didn’t play), but it’s the truth of the matter.

  • I have never liked 3rd place games. I have seen a few on the HS side, and they are just brutal to watch. Typically, the team that wins is the team with lots of returning players. If you have several potential NBA draftees on the team, do you play them in a game that does not mean much? The season is over at that point. The risk of injury is far higher.

    I know some coaches that have limited minutes for seniors in HS to protect them from injury. You don’t want a kid with a college scholarship tearing his or her ACL in the third place game. I’ve seen lots of teams just sleepwalk their way through those games, either because of the disappointment, or because its hard to get back up for that game for a veteran team that less than 24 hours before thought they had a chance at a title.

  • You all raise good points for and against. I just remember our 3rd place game that I referenced being a great 2OT game. Lots of energy in the building. I remember at the pep rally for the basketball team the following Monday that the coach reminded us only two teams finished the season with a win in the whole state of Illinois. At the time there were about 400 teams in class A in Illinois, so it was kind of a big deal to finish so highly and there was quite the incentive for teams to compete well.

  • @wissox I don’t know if KU could’ve gotten up after the ‘Nova game.

    I really thought that was “the” year. The good thing is, there is always next year, and not too many programs can say that!

  • I could absolutely get behind a double elimination tournament though. That would determine a more true champion. +for KU in ‘97, ‘01, ’02, ’11, ‘16 (- in ‘88 and `12 possibly ‘08 as that tournament was stacked)

  • @dylans Double elimination is good too. I think people could get behind something like that. But you’d probably have to limit the number of teams invited in that case. This means there’s fewer low major/mid major types making the dance which means there’s fewer Bradleys and Bucknells in our past.

    College football is ruining their method of producing the truest champion in all of sports. Before the playoff they had a BCS committee pick two teams to play. Most years there was a little argument, but I don’t recall any great miscarriage of justice in the two teams playing. There was usually little doubt as to who the true champion was. Now four teams have the chance which waters it down slightly. I really hope they don’t go beyond four teams, although they probably will. Then we’ll have whining from some 2 loss team as to why they deserved to be in the playoff. Kind of like a 14 loss team crying on a Sunday in March.

  • @dylans @wissox I love the idea of of a double elimination tournament, I tell people all the time that the best team seldom wins the NC in college basketball because of the crap shoot it is. Imagine how we couldve done several years, I’d bet we’d have a few more titles. In regards to CFP I think it’s stupid to not have a regular playoff with a minimum of 8 teams. It has worked well for FCS and just about every other sport known to man. On the original question I vote no in this day and age because of the injury risk, lack of will in today’s kids. Now when I was in HS we played in 2, we won one my senior year in our annual tournament. We really wanted to win because we hadn’t won our own tournament in 25 years but lost in double OT so we played for 3rd and creamed the team we played because we was so pissed.

  • I have always advocated a system that requires at least best 2 out of 3 at a certain stage, says the elite 8 or even the Sweet 16. Having 68 teams is the equivalent of giving participation trophies, we all know that there is no chance in hell a team in the bottom half will ever win the tournament particularly when it is not even the top 68 teams but many teams from small conference qualify by virtue of having won their tournament and had they played in one of the stronger conferences they pretty much would go win-less. With a system like this, KU likely does not win in '88 but probably has at least 3 or more championship in those years where one bad game doomed teams capable of winning the whole thing had the had a second chance. Other than than football which makes it logistically impossible, I cannot think of another major sport that has single elimination

  • In our now former home of Louisiana they went to a modified best two of three playoff in the baseball tournament. There were two or three rounds out of the five playoff rounds that were 2 of 3.

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