Getting over the disappointment of losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament was easy because Pepperdine proved to be a formidable opponent for Len Bias and the Maryland Terrapins. But getting over the way the NCAA and the Long Beach Arena handled ticket sales will be much tougher.
Both treated the weekend tournament as if its only purpose was to turn a profit. I won't begrudge their business needs, but I do disagree with their total disregard for the spirit of the event. By selling only series packages at $45 per person, many students couldn't afford to watch their school play. To make matters worse, students and alumni who did manage to pay the $45 were stuck up in the balcony or behind the basket in the loge, instead of on the floor and all together, as is custom at most intercollegiate athletic events. Why didn't the arena hold blocks of good tickets for participating schools?
The NCAA tournament, especially in the early rounds, should be for the schools, students and alumni. It is sad that the NCAA treated them so insignificantly at Long Beach.