I’m sure a lot of you are thinking I should talk about the NBA, but unfortunately, I’m not. See, college basketball is finally here. The season started on Monday, but the real action begins on Friday, Nov. 11, when most teams open. It’s time to look at the match-ups and see who will get an early leg up on their rivals in non-conference play.
The Tar Heels of North Carolina make their much-anticipated debut against the Michigan State Spartans — on an aircraft carrier on San Diego Bay. How cool is that? The Spartans should prove some tough competition led by Draymond Green, but I expect North Carolina to run wild in the season opener. The trio of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller will be too much to handle.
Another exciting matchup is the battle between UNC’s ACC counterpart Duke and the Belmont Bruins. Belmont is receiving a ton of hype this year. It’s a mid-major that made it to the tournament last year and looks to punch another ticket. The team has a fairly tough schedule out of conference, so this will show everyone what it’s made of. And how about Duke? A lot of people are picking them to be a top team regardless of the loss of Kyrie Irving. This game will tell us a lot about the Blue Devils.
A sleeper game to watch is the matchup between Oregon and Vanderbilt. A lot of people are high on Vanderbilt this year, myself included. John Jenkins is a silky smooth shooter who could definitely be in the running for player of the year. Jeffery Taylor is an all-around threat, both scoring and rebounding. The key is big man Festus Ezeli, who has improved quite a bit and looks to give the Commodores the balance they greatly need, but don’t count out the Ducks. They picked up some steam in the Pac-10 tournament last year by knocking off UCLA. Oregon could be one of those dangerous teams this year that isn’t very good, but could pull off some big upsets.
So who’s ready for some basketball? I know I am. The opening slate of games looks to provide us with a tasty appetizer to start the season. With so many elite teams this year, it’s going to be an incredibly exciting season and looks to produce an unforgettable March.