Cincinnati power forward Yancy Gates didn’t even notice that he had a lot more time to catch his breath during his first NCAA tournament appearance.
Halftime? Five minutes longer than normal. Timeouts? Longer, too.
“They’re longer?” Gates said. “I didn’t even know.”
Sure are. And for smaller schools that don’t get to play on network television, they’re a lot longer than during the regular season, forcing coaches and players to adjust.
Some coaches think the added time allows them to lean more heavily on their starters because they’re getting more rest. Others say it doesn’t make much of a difference. Still others think the 2-and-a-half minute timeouts can destroy the momentum of a comeback.
The 68-team tournament gets started Tuesday night in Dayton with the First Four games.