Friday, November 12, 2010

In case you missed it...

Here is a great list of must see games this year from Andy Katz. I am incredibly excited for this upcoming season. Here are some of the non-conference games that have me really excited:

Ohio State at Florida 11/16 (two programs that could surprise this year will battle it out early)

Pitt vs Illinois 11/19 (if they both win their earlier games in Coaches v. Cancer tourney; two of their top teams from their respective conferences)

Gonzaga vs Kansas State 11/22 (likely regional pairing in CBE Classic)

Duke vs Kansas State 11/23 (if both get to the finals of CBE Classic)

Kentucky vs Michigan State 11/24 (if both get to finals of Maui Invitational; young lottery talent vs experience -- classic)

North Carolina at Illinois 11/30 (rematch of the 2005 NC game, with two potential Final Four teams competing)

Michigan State at Duke 12/1 (battle of preseason #1 and #2 in the country, both of which are coming off Final Four appearances last year)

Michigan State vs. Syracuse 12/7 (two potential FF teams battle it out in the Jimmy V Classic)

Memphis vs Kansas 12/7 (two young teams battle it out in a rematch of the 2008 NC game.

Wisconsin at Marquette 12/11 (the battle for Wisconsin could be a real gem this year)

Illinois vs Missouri, in St. Louis, 12/22 (a bitter annual rivalry continues with two contending squads)

Kentucky at Louisville 12/31 (these two fan bases hate each other about as much as the Duke/NC fans -- should be a good game)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

High Value on Seasoned Guard Play

As we start a new basketball season, it is time to roll out the predictions. As usual, I am going to put a lot of value on upperclass guard play in my predictions of the teams that are going to go deep. As with every other pundit, I think that the Big Ten is by far the toughest conference top to bottom. Primarily because of all the junior and senior guards in the league. As a result of that conference strength, I have two B10 teams making the final four.

Here are my picks for the Final Four:

Duke - Adding Seth Curry and Kylie Irving to Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, really does not seem fair. This team is loaded at the guard and wing positions but like other recent teams, Coach K is going to be light inside. I also don't love the youth at the guard position. Last year they were able to play around their weakness inside but I think this year they lose in the the FF.

Illinois - Wow is this team loaded. They can play 10-11 guys a significant number of minutes. That is going to be a big advantage in an uptempo game as well as the bruising physical challenge of the Big Ten. The Illini have Senior leadership at the guard position with Demetri McCamey, who finished 2nd in the country in assists last year. Not only do they have solid guard play, but they added a second 7 footer inside and a Top 20 talent at the wing in Jereme Richmond. Oh and what about their length, no scholarship player below 6'3', wings that are 6'8" and bigs that are 6'10" to 7'1".

Michigan State - We all know this team returns a lot of firepower and has been to the past two final fours. This year Kalin Lucas and Darrell Summers are senior guards and Lucious, Green and Roe are all juniors. This team is ready to roll and I would be shocked if they do not get back for a third FF.

Pittsburgh - This team is loaded with juniors and seniors. Gibbs and Wanamaker are excellent guards that will both lead the team in scoring all year. Combine that with 2 senior big men and a host of younger role players and Jamie Dixon is poised to make it to the FF

I like Michigan State and Pittsburgh to make it to the National Championship game and I think Izzo will be cutting down the nets again.

Good luck to all the hoops fans and their respective teams.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fantasy College Hoops

Well the Hoops season is upon us and I have been looking all over the web to try to find a fantasy league for college basketball. Finally, I have found one!!! Thank you Rivals forums for facilitating the find.

You can join a league for free at Fantrax. Come join me to take your interest up a notch.