Dear NCAA: For the Love of God, Please, No More Basketball Games at NRG Stadium

Basketball in football stadiums suck, especially NCAA tournament games. The depth perception is thrown off, no matter where the giant black curtains are hung. Fans pay high prices to sit in lousy seats with horrible views of the game. It's a lousy experience for all involved. So let's just stop playing basketball in domed football stadiums.

The basketball played in the NCAA South Regional at NRG Stadium this weekend was horrendous. Many three pointers were shot, but very few were made. Duke shot over 40 percent in defeating Utah 63-57 Friday night. Gonzaga shot 44 percent in its 66-52 loss to Duke yesterday (the Duke win sends the Blue Devils to the Final Four for the 12th time under head coach Mike Krzyzewski), and Gonzaga made 40.3 percent of its shots in defeating UCLA 74-62 on Friday. But no team came close to making half its shots, and UCLA and Utah were lucky to hit on 30-plus percent of their shots on Friday night.

The players refused to blame stadium conditions this weekend. Players from Utah, UCLA, Duke, and Gonzaga were all quick to note that the godawful depth perception had nothing to do with their inability to hit shots they'd normally make in their sleep -- these were all some good shooting teams with skilled three point shooters. But as Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak noted after his team's loss on Friday night, in no other NCAA tournament site did the players have to deal with the conditions seen in Houston.

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John Royal is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas College of Law. In his day job he is a complex litigation attorney. In his night job he writes about Houston sports for the Houston Press.
Contact: John Royal