I’ve had November Eighth circled on my calendar for a long time. Well, actually, I haven’t–I don’t have a calendar and, even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of marking it up.
That said, Friday, November Eighth is a special day. It marks the return of what most reasonable and sane people consider to be the best thing in the world: college hoops. That’s right, the time has come for the commencement of the 2013-2014 college basketball season.
And, with college basketball returning, I’d naturally like to provide some scattered thoughts going into opening night! Enjoy:
- Personally, I will christen the season on Friday night by taking in a game between Providence and Boston College at The Dunk in Providence. BC and PC are both solid teams with enough talent to reasonably be looking at 20+ win seasons. The game should be a good one, but I’m most excited to see the battle between guards Bryce Cotton and Olivier Hanlan. Cotton is not only Providence’s best player but possibly the best player in the Big East. He’s an outstanding shooter and he scored almost 20 points per game last year. Hanlan, meanwhile, had a tremendous freshman season for Boston College last winter. He’s incredibly physical, terrific at driving to the hoop and finishing through contact, and a great shooter from deep. His improvement over the course of his freshman season was marked and he should be one of the best players in the ACC this year.
- UConn is playing Maryland at the Barclays Center on Friday night. UConn, ranked 18th, is the favorite, but I’m expecting big things from Maryland this year. For Maryland to beat the Huskies, they will need guard Dez Williams to have a big night against UConn’s defensively stout backcourt.
- Wisconsin-St. John’s is another awesome matchup. St.John’s has unreal athleticism. Wiscy lacks in that area, but they’re always one of the most disciplined and well coached teams in the nation. Additionally, the game is being played in South Dakota for some reason…(IDK)
- For some reason Colorado-Baylor isn’t on national TV. I demand an explanation!!!
- James Madison-UVA isn’t either, which is a shame. The Dukes are a quality team and they could spring a trap on a tremendous Cavalier team. Virginia missed out on the NCAA Tourney last year because they struggled in their non-conference. This should be a good non-ACC test for them. (They also loaded up their non-conference slate this year with games against strong opponents–their second game is against VCU.)
- Last thought: why is UCLA ranked? Honestly! It seems like they’re ranked every year going into the season. And every year they’re decent, but not top-25 good.