This summer the hype for BYU Football consumed Provo, but while Cougar fans were anxiously awaiting the first game of the season, I was looking even further ahead – to the BYU men’s basketball team’s season opener. Don’t get me wrong. I still love football season, but there is just something special that happens in the Marriott Center that wins me over every year.
In no particular order, here are 10 reasons why I love BYU basketball more than BYU football:
1. Basketball is more personal.
There are fewer people on the team, which makes it easier to remember their names.They have nothing covering their faces, so you can recognize them when they play. The basketball team is easier to point out on campus, easier to make a connection with.
2. The end of the season is more exciting.
Unless BYU makes a New Year’s Day bowl game, I am not enthralled by the Miami Beach Bowl, and without a conference championship to play for, the end of football season is just alright for me. I will watch the bowl games because I love football, but it is nowhere near as exciting as March Madness. Even if the basketball team is a 14 seed, they are in the tournament and are talked about. They have a shot at the national championship, no matter how big or small that chance may be.
3. The sheet drop.
There isn’t anything nearly as exciting or chill-inducing as the sheet drop before each home basketball game. It gets my blood pumping like nothing else at BYU.
4. The atmosphere at basketball games is one of the best in the nation.
Especially in the student section (or the ROC), it gets so loud that I sometimes can’t even hear myself scream. The greatest sporting event I’ve ever been to was in 2011 when BYU played San Diego State in the Marriott Center. I’ve never been in an atmosphere as loud and as crazy as that one.
5. There are more games.
It is understandable that football only plays one game a week; they need time to rest. All the more reason to love basketball. They have two games a week, sometimes more if the team is in a tournament. Football has 12 games this season (13 counting the bowl game), while the basketball team has 34 scheduled games, plus the additional games in the conference tournament and a postseason tournament.
6. Escaping the weather.
It gets pretty cold in Provo come November, so watching basketball in the Marriott Center sounds a lot more appealing than watching a football game in LaVell Edwards Stadium.
7.The fun activities during timeouts.
They’re most of the same activities as during football game timeouts, but because the Marriott Center is smaller, it makes me feel like anything could happen to me. The dance cam could land on me. Even the kiss cam could land on me. Anything can happen!
8. Basketball is more fast-paced.
At basketball games, it is important to always be paying attention, especially with BYU’s quick offense. Though football is known for “go fast go hard,” that doesn’t mean the other team is always the same, which can result in a lot of waiting around.
9. The possibility of national hype.
We had the hype with Taysom “Taysman” Hill, but now that his leg is broken, so are our hopes and dreams. However, senior Tyler Haws is expected to break the all-time scoring record this season. He will most likely be in the top five leading scorers in the nation, maybe even THE leading scorer. The team this year is positioned to make a big run in the NCAA Tournament.
10. There is always hope.
In the NCAA Tournament, anything could go BYU’s way. And if the Cougars didn’t do well in the regular season, there is still hope to make the Big Dance by winning the conference tournament. In 2012, we had the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history. If that doesn’t give you hope, I don’t know what will.
Although I will always cheer my heart out for the football team, I am never happier than when it is basketball season. The Cougars’ first exhibition game is against Colorado School of Mines in the Marriott Center on Nov. 1, and you’d better believe I will be there with the biggest grin on my face, so happy for it to finally be basketball season.