Have you ever wondered why some big colleges often face smaller, less recognized schools during early basketball season matchups? In the competitive world of basketball, these big colleges pay smaller institutions to play in what is known as "guarantee games." Explore this exciting aspect of college basketball and get all the information you need right here at Triple Threat Tactics.

What are Guarantee Games?

Guarantee games are early-season college basketball matchups between big, high-profile schools and smaller, often lesser-known institutions. In most cases, the big colleges offer a guaranteed payment to the smaller schools to participate in these games, either at their home court or a neutral site. The arrangement benefits both parties: the big colleges can bolster their win records and home attendance, while the smaller schools receive a financial boost.

Why Do Big Colleges Pay Smaller Schools to Play in Guarantee Games?

  • Money: Athletics, and specifically college basketball, is a moneymaker for large institutions. Scheduling guarantee games can help increase ticket sales, merchandise, and advertisement revenue, especially if the big school's team is projected to win.
  • RPI Boost: The Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is an essential metric used by the NCAA to determine a team's rank. By playing against smaller schools early in the season, the big school can significantly impact their RPI, which will be used later for selecting and seeding teams in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Developing Young Talent: Guarantee games are an opportunity to build team chemistry and provide valuable playing time to younger or less experienced players in a less high-pressure environment. This helps them develop essential skills and confidence needed for more critical games later in the season.
  • Networking: These games also serve as an opportunity for coaches and players from smaller schools to connect with the larger institution's network, opening up potential opportunities for job placements, collaborations, and more.

How Much Can Smaller Schools Make from Guarantee Games?

The financial gain for smaller schools participating in guarantee games can be significant, often ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 per game. While this may not seem substantial compared to the total athletic budget of a large college, for smaller institutions, it can help them cover their expenses, potentially support other athletic programs, and give the school much-needed publicity and recognition.

How Much Do Big Colleges Pay Other Schools To Play Basketball In Early Season Example:

Let us take a look at a realistic example to demonstrate the working of guarantee games. In November 2017, the Duke Blue Devils, a prominent basketball team representing Duke University, hosted the Southern Jaguars from Southern University.

The game was a typical guarantee game early in the season, which resulted in an easy victory for Duke with a score of 78-61. In exchange for participating in this game, Southern University reportedly received $90,000, which was a considerable boost to their athletic budget.

As you can now see, guarantee games play a crucial role in college basketball both in terms of financial benefits and on-court performance. These matchups not only provide smaller schools with much-needed financial support, but they also offer opportunities for promising athletes to play against top tier teams and gain valuable experience. If you enjoyed this article, don't forget to share it across your social media channels and explore other basketball knowledge gems here at Triple Threat Tactics.