Chris Johnson is an RTC Columnist. He can be reached @ChrisDJohnsonn.
College basketball gave us plenty of memorable moments and stories in 2012. After sorting through the main headlines, we’ve come up with the 10 most consequential items and, for the sake of maintaining publishing sequence symmetry, releasing two per-day over the next five days to lead into the New Year. It was an excellent year for the sport, though I can’t promise you won’t regret reliving at least one or two of the choices. In any case, here’s to summing up a great year and to hoping that 2013 is better than the 365 days that preceded it.
Parity is the force used to describe equality in college basketball. It inheres the sport in every conference in cyclical and sometimes predictable ways, and it allows mid-major teams to dream and perform big in the NCAA Tournament. But there’s no disputing the obvious: College basketball is just plain better when its historically great programs are challenging for conference and national championships. In 2010 and 2011, as Tom Crean methodically reconstructed Indiana’s basketball strength after the Kelvin Sampson mess, college basketball didn’t feel normal without one of its traditional giants. The Hoosiers won 10 and 11 games, respectively, as a nearby program, Butler, ruled the state with consecutive National Championship game appearances.