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What is the horseshoe painted inside the lane for in college basketball games?

What is the horseshoe painted inside the lane for college basketball games? It is being used during tournaments but not for regular-season contests.

The NCAA is providing a visual marker for a rule it created last season.

The rule makes it illegal for a secondary defender to take a charge underneath the basket.

While the rule is a year old, the NCAA didn't mandate the arc to be painted in the key of schools' home courts.

In some multi-team events and exhibitions the NCAA is experimenting with painting the no-charge arc on the floor.

"We're working to get as many events a possible to put the arc down so we can have some data and feedback to discuss in our meeting next May," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who is the NCAA rules committee chair. "Coaches and official evaluators felt there were fewer collisions underneath the rim last year due to the rules change. It cleaned up the wipeouts underneath the basket."

If the rules committee agrees, it could become permanent for next season.

Since 1997, NBA courts have had an even larger arc on the paint. In pro games, even a single defensive player in the zone may be called for a blocking foul against an offensive player.

What happened to the Great Alaska Shootout?

The college basketball tournament still exists and St. John's and Arizona State were scheduled to meet in the championship game Saturday night.

It's not on same level as it once was primarily due to a 2006 NCAA rule change.

Prior to that rule, only tournaments in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rice were exempt against teams' season game limits. Now, any tournament is.

The number of tournaments has exploded in the last four years, making Alaska a less desirable option. Drake and Houston Baptist are two participants this year.

Without ESPN televising the Anchorage-based tournament, it is much less visible than in the past.

_ Joshua Wood