The good news is every Pac-12 basketball game can be seen on TV (as long as you get the Pac-12 Network, of course).
The bad news, though, is that games will be on at somewhat random times on somewhat random days.
Gone are the days of Thursday/Saturday combinations, as they have been replaced by games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
It can lead to some strange scheduling, and ASU coach Herb Sendek is not particularly fond of it.
This week, his team is playing at Colorado late Wednesday night ahead of a Sunday game at Utah.
“Forgive me for being a crybaby, but the schedule makers did us no favors,” Sendek told the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. “The next two weeknights we play at 9:00, we just did that a week ago against Oregon State. So three consecutive weeknight games at nine at night…and then we play with three days in between, so we’re on the road from today to Sunday night.
“And then the last week in the season, we play a Tuesday/Saturday.”
That will be a road trip at the Oregon schools, with Oregon on Tuesday and Oregon State Saturday. But prior to the first of those two, ASU will be playing Saturday night against California. That means they’ll have all of two days off between games, meaning schedules are shuffled to make it work.
“You have to practice on Sunday and so our guys’ schedules have really taken a hit,” he said. “We have some extended road trips and a lot of late-night games at 9:00, which I think are very difficult for everybody.”
It’s something every team in the conference has to deal with, at least to some extent, so it’s not as though the Sun Devils are alone in having to “suffer” through the scheduling quirks. And if it is the only way to ensure every game is on television, perhaps it’s a necessary evil.
But that does not make it any easier to deal with.
“They tell you when to play and what time to play,” Sendek said of the TV contracts.
So, the Sun Devils play late. And they play early. And they play on random days each week. Wherever they’re scheduled, they’ll be.
College basketball, ladies and gentlemen.
“There’s so many unique variables to college basketball that I think lend to the fact that every night we see games and there’s so much parity,” he said. “Look at what Duke is doing this week — it was because of inclement weather — but they played Saturday against Maryland, they play tonight against Georgia Tech, they play North Carolina Thursday and they play Syracuse Saturday.”
That’s more NBA than NCAA, but it’s the way it is. And some wonder why teams struggle at certain points in the season.
“These are human beings and it’s really unique to our sport, and I think it helps make it exciting at times, but it can make it very challenging on the student-athletes at the same time.”