Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
Typically, the early part of the college basketball season is full of what are coloquially called 'Buy Games'. These are typically matchups where a power conference program pays a smaller conference program to play a one-off, road game at the power conference. For the smaller school, you get some much needed cash. For the bigger school, you get another game and a chance at a W against a team you should typically beat.
But...sometimes schools end up cutting checks for teams to come to their place and whoop 'em.
I turn the time over to our Andy Wittry, who crunched the numbers to see who our Buy Game Champions were this season...the schools who spent the most money only to lose, and the teams that won the highest value buy games.
Why do buy games even exist?
For the uninitiated, let's start with the basics. Why do these games exist?
"Well, what's the other reason to play 'em, if you're them?" Elliot Bloom, Purdue's Men's Basketball Director of Administration and Operations, asked rhetorically, before laughing, during a phone interview with Extra Points.
Bloom talked from the theoretical perspective of a mid-major or low-major program that's typically the recipient of a guarantee in a guarantee, or "buy," game: "I mean, why would you want to go play at Kansas and lose by 50? I mean, that's what people expect. Why would you go play a really good team in front of 14,000, 17,000 hostile fans?
"It's just part of the economics of Division I basketball, so high-majors are going to have packed arenas that are going to generate money and on the other end of the spectrum, you've got teams that are going to go kind of help fund their program and their athletic department by playing those games."