Why Do College Basketball Teams Cut Down The Net?

Why Do College Basketball Teams Cut Down the Net

Cutting down the nets is a celebratory tradition deeply ingrained in college basketball culture. It is a way for teams to commemorate their achievement and take a piece of the court as a keepsake. It can also represent the conclusion of one season and the start of another. Lastly, it is also a means of demonstrating superiority over the opposition and commemorating their  triumph. Read on to learn about the rich tradition of cutting the net in basketball.

History of Cutting the Net

The tradition of basketball teams cutting the net off the rim was first introduced by Everett Case, who coached NC State to a Southern Conference championship in 1947. Although the tradition of cutting down the net is believed to have originated before then, he  was the first coach to formally do it on a college court. Case was the head coach of a high school basketball team in Indiana, where he led his team to several state championships. As a way to commemorate the achievement, he would have his players cut down the nets from the rim of the basket. The tradition quickly caught on and soon became a staple of high school basketball culture in Indiana.

Cutting the Net in March Madness

March Madness is the largest collegiate basketball tournament in the world. There are 68 teams that compete in this tournament every year, with teams competing in a single-elimination bracket. The winner of the tournament is declared the NCAA Division I National Champion.

A national championship is very significant for a college basketball program, bringing in recognition, revenue, and permanent enshrinement in the record books. This is the highest pinnacle of collegiate basketball and is not easily attainable. For this reason, teams always cut down the nets after winning the National Championship Game, and even sometimes after winning Final Four or regional championship games.

Who Cuts Down the Net?

Normally, it is a combination of the coach and the players who cut the net down. Starting with the upperclassmen and working down through the classes, players will take turns cutting pieces of the net, leaving the last connecting piece for the head coach. The head coach then claims the whole net itself.

The tradition has grown so large that it is now common for broadcast networks to show footage of the team cutting down the nets as part of their coverage of the championship game. It has even led to sponsorships for the brand of scissors and ladder used.


When was the first NCAA Basketball Championship?

The first NCAA College Basketball tournament was held in the year 1939 in Evanston, Illinois. It consisted of eight teams playing in a single-elimination tournament. The University of Oregon Ducks were the first ever March Madness Champions.

Do NBA teams cut the net?

No, NBA teams do not traditionally cut the net. Even though professional basketball is the highest and most competitive form of the sport, it is rare to see a team celebrating their triumph by cutting the net at the end of a game. It is much more common to see the practice at almost any level of collegiate play and even at some high school basketball championships.