We’re less than four months away from the start of the 2013 college basketball season. To make the off-season feel a little shorter and less painful, I have been posting a series of off-season college basketball notes. Here is the fifth installment in the series:
- The pre-season tournaments (I hate that they’re called that–they should be called ‘pre-conference play tournaments’) are
coming into shape and ESPN has been revealing their various brackets. (Not all brackets have been revealed. For example, the Battle 4 Atlantis, which will feature excellent teams such as Kansas and Villanova, still has not revealed its bracket.) As usual, the Maui Invitational should be spectacular. It features Syracuse, Gonzaga, Lil Pitino’s Golden Gophers, and Baylor. That said, I think the most exciting tourney coming up in the fall is probably the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which will feature the likes of VCU and Georgetown as well as what should be an improved FSU team, K-State, and a Michigan team that should again be very tough despite heavy personnel losses. Quality teams like Northeastern and Charlotte will help round out a really good field. I’m also very pleased that Boston College will take on UConn in the first round of the 2k Sports Classic. BC-UConn is a matchup with great rivalry potential and if the teams could go back to playing each other with some frequency, that would be great.
- Speaking of UConn, their new conference, the AAC, won’t be half bad. With teams like Louisville, Memphis, Temple, and Cincinnati, the AAC will be a tough conference this winter. Of course, Louisville will head to the ACC after the season, but the AAC should remain a solid, if not spectacular conference, for a while.
- Meanwhile, in the new Big East, Ed Cooley continues to give Providence Friars fans reasons for optimism. I think PC will be a NCAA Tourney team this season and the future looks bright for the Friars, who just added a dynamite recruit to their 2014 class in forward Jalen Lindsey.
- Switching over to the ACC, I wonder how bad Virginia Tech will be this season. Despite being led by electrifying guard Erick Green, who won ACC Player of the Year, the Hokies lost 19 games and finished a pitiful 4-14 in ACC play. Now Green is in the NBA. V-Tech will really not be able to score, and defensively they should continue to struggle. I wouldn’t even rule out the possibility that they win fewer games than the Hokie football team (which should be solid). They certainly won’t be good.
- Louisville is going to the White House on July 23rd. My opinion: President Obama and Rick Pitino should play a nationally televised game of one-on-one.