Neutral-site games are a pox on college sports. There, I said it.
According to a Tweet from Jon Rothstein, Vanderbilt will play a basketball game on December 1.
NC State will face Vanderbilt and Miami will play Yale on 12/1 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, per a source. St. John's-Georgia Tech also confirmed as part of event.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 24, 2018
Who are they playing? North Carolina State. Where are they playing the game? Miami, Florida.
I plugged this into Google Maps. It’s 939 miles from Nashville to Miami, and 800 miles from Raleigh to Miami. It’s 536 miles from Raleigh to Nashville.
We’ll grant that playing NC State in Miami is no Minnesota in Sioux Falls or anything, but we can also assure you that there will be about 1,500 people in attendance. If Vanderbilt and NC State want to play each other, a home and home would be cool. Instead, we’re going to play a game in a mostly-empty NBA arena for the benefit of... somebody.
A neutral-site game in Miami? Meh. The atmosphere at that game will probably be terrible. But hey, it’s a game on the schedule. And at least it’s just a one-off neutral-court game and not a home-and-neutral series, which teams actually allow Kentucky and Duke to get away with. We’re not stooping to the level that Utah has, agreeing to play Kentucky at Rupp Arena in exchange for a return game in Las Vegas, which is not in Utah.
Rant over. So, along with return games against Arizona State, Kansas State, and USC, and the Big 12/SEC (SEC/Big 12?) Challenge game at Oklahoma, we can add NC State to the list of 2018-19 nonconference opponents.