The NCAA approved a lot of rules to make college basketball better. The shot clock is now 30 seconds instead of 35! Teams can now only call three timeouts in the second half! Joy!
But perhaps the least important -- and best -- rule change of all: PLAYERS CAN NOW DUNK IN PREGAME WARMUPS WOOOOOOOOOO.
There was no good reason for the rule preventing dunks in warmups. It wasn't a matter of player safety: If dunks were particularly dangerous, they'd be outlawed in games in addition to before them. It wasn't a matter of preventing delays or saving facilities: When Siena broke a backboard before a game this year, they were assessed no penalty, because the dunk that broke the board came prior to the 20-minute countdown during which dunks were illegal.
There was just the one bad reason: That once upon a time, somebody believed dunking in warmups was a sign of bad sportsmanship. Dunking in pregame warmups, I imagine this person thought, could be unnecessarily intimidating to an opponent. Dunking in pregame warmups, they decided, was a sign players were too worried about showboating and not worried enough about practicing the layups and jumpers they need to be prepared.
Pregame warmups should be about getting the players and fans ready for an exciting basketball game, and if the players do exciting things to help facilitate that without hurting anybody, that's wonderful. Instead, it was outlawed.
And from time to time, it cost teams in actual basketball games. Kansas State picked up a technical before their 2014 NCAA Tournament game against Kentucky because a walk-on dunked at the 19:58 mark of warmups. North Florida picked up a tech for a pregame warmup this year, Tennessee Tech hit both free throws, and UNF lost by two.
College basketball will be slightly more fun and more reasonable at no expense to anybody. I think that's pretty good! Thanks for the common sense, NCAA, for once.
SB Nation presents: You have to see this dunk to believe it