A few days ago, ESPN released its tip-off marathon scheduled. Yesterday, they released their College Game Day schedule which goes on throughout the season. The full list of games is as so,
Jan. 18: Temple vs. La Salle (The Palestra) and Louisville at UConn
Jan. 25: Michigan at Michigan State
Feb. 1: Duke at Syracuse
Feb. 8: Gonzaga at Memphis
Feb. 15: Florida at Kentucky
Feb. 22: Either Arizona at Colorado OR UCLA at Stanford
March 1: Kansas at Oklahoma State
March 8: North Carolina at Duke.
That is quite a schedule. A lot of marquee matchups that will be can’t miss television. Michigan vs Michigan State is always an entertaining game, especially considering the rebirth of Michigan basketball. Both teams should be at the top end of the Big Ten and the game should go down to the wire.
The Duke and Syracuse match up should also be a good one. Duke is extremely deep and talented. They are combining and top notch freshman in Jabari Parker with crazy depth and skill from their returning players. While Syracuse may not be as deep, they are also a very good team whose only major change is replacing Michael Carter-Williams with first tear Canadian Tyler Ennis.
Later on in February, the Kentucky vs Florida game should be another barn burner. We have already written an extensive amount about Kentucky’s recruiting class. By the end of February, they should have all their gears working together and the rotation should be clearly established. That is to say, they should be at their very best. The Wildcats are expected to runt the SEC but one of the schools that could give them trouble are the Florida Gators. This will be especially true if freshman Chris Walker is declared eligible by the NCAA. Questions still surround his ability to play next season. With Walker, Florida is also a very deep team, without him, they are still quite good but lose an extra edge.
In March. the Big 12 matchup that everybody wants will take place on ESPN. Andrew Wiggins and the Kansas Jayhawks will take on Marcus Smart and his Oklahoma State Cowboys. If all goes according to plan, they should be the top two teams in the conference and Wiggins and Smart could be the top two players in the country. CBS recently ran a coaches’ poll that said most coaches would choose Smart to build their team around over Wiggins. This might provide extra motivation for the young phenom to have a big a game on national television.
Finally, North Carolina and Duke. Almost no explanation is needed for this one. It is a rivalry that transcends time. Both teams should be very good this year and will probably be competing for the top spot in the ACC. Whether or not PJ Hairston is playing by that time, UNC has a roster good enough to compete with Duke and always plays at a higher level when it comes to facing the Blue Devils.
Only 42 days remaining before college basketball returns, we are almost there fans.
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