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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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Pappas: 3-point line change sending basketball in the wrong direction

By Nick Pappas

There is only one Cinderella, only one who can wear the glass slipper. It seems fitting, then, that the fairy tale will end with a foot.

Starting next year, the college 3-point line will be moved back 12 inches, from 19 feet 9 inches to 20 feet 9 inches. The change may not toll the midnight bells, but the big hand is slowly moving closer to vertical.

While all the No. 1 seeds may have reached the end of their respective brackets in the NCAA tournament last year, the public still loves an underdog.

Think of Stephen Curry, the undersized guard who electrified the NCAA tournament with his smooth stroke. He led Davidson to the brink of the Final Four, losing to the eventual champion Kansas Jayhawks by a measly two points. Before the game was over, the young man made his 159th 3-pointer of the season-a new record.

The 3-point shot is the great equalizer. Moving the line back is the equivalent of taking David’s slingshot away.

While hot shooters like Curry might go unaffected, there is no way to deny that even the slightest movement back will decrease percentages nationwide. And those most affected will be the mid-majors, the tournament Cinderellas.

Davidson, throughout the season, relied on 3-point shots for 34.4 percent of all their points, ranking them No. 6 in the nation. The top five were Butler, Belmont, Drake, Portland St. and American-all conference champions.

While these schools will never have the size of a North Carolina, their shooters keep them competitive. The most 3-point hungry of them-Butler-often made its entire lineup of long range shooters. It was almost enough to upset No. 2 Tennessee, a team they lost to in overtime.

A flip of the coin will show heads coming up for the powerhouses as well. While Cinderellas rely on their ability to dance, the big conference teams will win by stepping on toes.

The two teams that rely least on the 3-point line happen to be the likely preseason favorites: North Carolina and UConn. Extending the 3-point line not only hurts shooters, it helps post players. An extra foot around the arc will provide them with more space to operate and reduce the frequency of double teams. A “Player of the Year” like Tyler Hansbrough will feel like he’s on a secluded island painted baby blue.

Moving the 3-point line is just another addition to the direction America is heading. The rich get richer, and the poor shoot a lower percentage. The tournament is always exciting, and fans have enjoyed major upsets over the last few years, however the NCAA is taking a working product and breaking it.

It will be hard to wear the slipper when it’s shattered on the floor.

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