Nobody understands how painfully long the final minutes of college basketball games have become better than my 11-year-old daughter. There's a minute left on the game clock when I tell her I'll be right up to say goodnight.
By the time the horn finally sounds, 20 minutes and multiple timeouts later, she has already fallen asleep.
College basketball has eight automatic timeouts built into the game, and that's before any coach makes the unmistakable "T" sign with his hands. There are four media timeouts (at the under-16, -12, -8 and -4 minute marks) in each half. The first time a coach calls a timeout in the second half -- whether it comes at the 19:50 mark or the 2:00 mark -- it becomes a full media timeout. That's nine 60-second timeouts that are basically automatic in every game. Each team gets one 60-second timeout and four 30-second timeouts per game, and can carry over a maximum of three 30-second timeouts into the second half, which creates a "use it or lose it" timeout in the first half (many coaches use it). Do the math and that's 18 possible timeouts in a 40-minute game that (theoretically) unfolds in two hours of real time. Does that seem like a lot to you?
Many pundits and fans have lamented the timeout situation, but what can be done? Are there alterations that make sense, can improve the watchability of those final moments while also preserving the on-floor strategy that coaches hold dear?
We polled more than 260 college coaches -- the people who are going to have to set the wheels in motion if there are fixes to be made -- to get their take on the situation. Their thoughts about reform to timeout rules were all over the map:
Keep the timeout rules status quo -- 117 votes (45 percent)