The college basketball season is here. Finally. It may be out only hoops action all fall, and I’m fine with that at this point.
Tonight the season will take a big step forward as the nearly unanimous preseason number one — North Carolina — takes on a rebuilding Michigan State. If watching the super talented Tar Heels isn’t enough, seeing the sights of a basketball game taking place on a carrier ship will certainly add another dynamic for viewers.
I’ll get right into the meat of the matter.
My Final Four:
I’ll take the chalk for two of my picks and stray a bit with my other two. The Tar Heels have the best talent to experience ratio in the nation. Ohio State has Jared Sullinger. I will take a flyer on Pittsburgh’s Ashton Gibbs. Somehow, after three seasons, the kid is still underrated. He can carry his team into March. Lastly, I like Xavier. The Atlantic 10 is undervalued on the national scene. I actually like the Atlantic 10 to once again maintain relevancy with a strong showing in 2012.
Next, the under-the-radar teams.
We are starting to hear from some of the prominent college basketball coaches in regards to the new “super-conference model”. The whole idea of these super conferences is centered around football. While often times football and basketball walk in lockstep, being the two revenue producing collegiate sports, this time hoops programs are going to be onlookers just like the other sports.
Yesterday Rick Pitino decided to take to his website to demonstrate his opinion on this matter. In Pitino’s blog post, titled “RED ALERT!!!”, Rick decided to take a shot at one of the schools which jumped from the Big East to the ACC in 2004:
Who could imagine Syracuse, a charter member leaving the BIG EAST? Didn’t they check Boston College’s championship totals since leaving the BIG EAST — one, in soccer in 2005.
It sounds like Pitino doesn’t want to end up back in Conference USA. He is clearly not happy that the Big East basketball juggernaut is now at risk. Losing BC was nothing, that’s not the target of Pitino’s anger. Pitino hates to see a good situation ruined, and losing ‘Cuse and Pitt is step one of a disaster scenario.
Today we have Jim Boeheim taking his thoughts to the media. When asked about the prospect of moving the ACC tournament to Madison Square Garden, Coach Boeheim had this to say:
In a few short hours we will make our way to the mecca — Madison Square Garden. There we will see three top 25 teams battle it out in the 2K Sports Classic to benefit Coaches Vs. Cancer.
Friday night is home to the championship games as well as the consolation game. However, the “consolation game” is not exactly named appropriately. This is because it is as important or even potentially more important than the championship game. These are big time games that can lead to marquee wins for the schools involved.