For those new to basketball in the United States or basketball in general, terms like the NBA and the NCAA(B) may be confusing. NBA stands for National Basketball Association and features franchises and clubs that are based in a city, much like the UK’s Premier League.
The NBA utilizes adult athletes who are considered professional basketball players, and who are traded between teams, also similar to the Premier League.
On the other hand, NCAA stands for the National Collegiate Association of Athletics, with the ‘B’ at the end standing for basketball.
The NCAA oversees a variety of sports at the collegiate level, with tiers from Division I to Division III, and DI being the highest level of play. Usually, NCAA is written as so, but, depending on context and to differentiate from other sports, the ‘B’ at the end can be added as necessary.
Structure & Players
The NCAA is largely different from the NBA because of the degree of play. While athletes in their early 20s certainly aren’t incapable players, it cannot be understated that these athletes are attending college to receive an education. While many hope or plan to move on to professional play after their senior year, it’s not unheard of for a point guard to have a distracted game based on what’s going on off the court.
These factors, in addition to the structure of tournaments, are important to consider before placing a bet.
In addition to starring athletes in college, the NCAA has a different structure than the NBA, which alters patterns of play for every team. For instance, handicapper Stephen Rodriguez takes into account a team’s history of performance at a given stadium before he names his odds.
In a game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Texas Longhorns, Rodriguez assesses not only team statistics, but where the game will be played. For example, the Big 12 Tournament is played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, so in this case, odds favor the Raiders given the team’s history in the tournament, as well as their ability to play amidst a stadium of Kansas Jayhawks’ fans.
For an NBA player, a noisy fan group cheering for the other team is highly unlikely to throw off their play. But, for a green nineteen-year-old, that deafening cheer, coupled with a tough travel schedule, might
be harder to play through.