Scoop out two flavors of Huskie basketball

“Let’s play two.”

Ernie Banks may have been talking about baseball but the same can be said of college basketball.

The NIU men’s and women’s basketball teams have their own twinbill tonight against Toledo starting at 5:15 with the women’s contest.

This is the only basketball double-header of the season. In the Mid-American Conference, the Huskies’ league match-ups used to be set up like this. Since leaving the MAC, finding opponents for both teams has become more difficult while trying to fill the schedules against schools with other conference commitments.

The loss of basketball double-headers is sad.

Most students, even those who attend the men’s games, do not wish to sit through an entire women’s contest. With a double-header, these students can catch the final 10 minutes of the women’s game and be in the fieldhouse in plenty of time for the men’s game.

The opening game is like a rehearsal. The fans get their lungs in shape to really cheer for the Huskies and heckle the visitors during the men’s game, which is the main event.

Women’s basketball is a slower game by nature, but there is a certain grace to the play and its the leisurely pace that makes the game appealing to any basketball fan. Men’s basketball is played at a faster pace and the crowd is usually more into the action. A wider range of emotions is displayed in the stands at a men’s game because everyone’s adrenalin is running faster.

In that way, basketball double-headers are like a double-dip ice cream cone. The top scoop is vanilla, representative of women’s basketball. That’s not meant as a cut-down. It just means a women’s game is basketball in its purest form. Rarely does anything out of the ordinary happen.

Men’s basketball is the second scoop, chocolate swirl with almonds or something like that. It always has a fancy twist and you never know when you’re going to be surprised.

You can use your own imagination about what the cone represents.

These double-headers are also like having two girlfriends or boyfriends (depending on your preference) at the same time. One relationship can be casual and easygoing while the second is fast and wild and the unexpected is always happening.

Besides, you never hear anyone say they didn’t get their money’s worth at a double-header.

This is something the NIU basketball coaches should consider in future scheduling. They both want more fans at the game and should do anything possible to draw the students.

Double your pleasure.

Dave Tuley