With the majority of NBA teams electing to have the front office not do any in-person scouting during the college basketball regular season, this year’s NCAA tournament was set to take on added importance.
The NCAA simplified the lives of NBA personnel significantly by putting the entire three-week tournament in and around Indianapolis. It also allowed the league office to reserve one or two tickets per NBA team in two of the six venues: Indy’s Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
However, it does not appear that the tournament is going to be any kind of scouting bonanza due to the poor seating situation most NBA executives have been told to expect. Scouts who attended Lucas Oil Stadium (normally a football venue) for the Big Ten tournament last week said they were given nosebleed seats that immediately caused them to turn around and head for the exits.
Teams also will not be able to live-scout any games at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, which is not allowing entry for the general public, meaning some of the most interesting first-round games will be off limits altogether.
That aspect combined with the fact that teams will need to fight for upper-deck tickets available on the secondary market from the pool available for the general public in three venues (Indiana Farmers Coliseum and Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana) means the majority of NBA execs will likely be staying at home, relegating them to watching the games on TV like most fans.
Still, there will be plenty to watch, starting with the stars at the top of the draft board.
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