Monday, November 14, 2011

Marathon Madness

Ladies and gentleman, college basketball is officially back.

Take a deep breath, relax, and get comfortable because the craziness is just beginning.  The 24 hours College Hoops Marathon is set to start at the completion of Monday Night Football tonight and go straight thru midnight tomorrow night.  This is usually where we would write about the "Weekend That Was" but with the rare Tip-Off Madness approaching, we decided to discuss the 4 games that intrigued us most during the madness.

Washington State at Gonzaga
The Cougars are ready for a clean slate after the struggles they endured both on and off the court a year ago.  Guards Reggie Moore and Faisal Aden could be trouble for Gonzaga.  I am very interested to see if Elias Harris, once regarded as a potential lottery pick, can continue the strong start to the season and show everyone his sophomore year was an outlier.  

Belmont at Memphis
To me, this is the most intriguing game of the 17 men's games scheduled for the madness.  Belmont, fresh off a 30 win season last year and a 1 point loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium this year, turn to the Memphis Tigers for likely their last chance for a "signature" win before tournament time.  Memphis features a plethora of weapons offensively on a team that underachieved last year.  ESPN's John Gasaway considers this Memphis team overrated.

Florida at Ohio State
A rematch of the 2007 national title game features arguably two of the top teams in the nation.  Florida has one of the best backcourts in the nation in Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton, Bradley Beal, and Mike Rosario.  Ohio State returns a solid nucleus from a team that entered the 2011 NCAA Tournament as the number 1 overall seed.  A leaner Jared Sullinger looks to make his first mark on this new season with plenty of NBA scouts certainly watching.

Kansas vs Kentucky (Madison Square Garden)
As John Gasaway astutely pointed out on Twitter last night, this will be the first time Kansas is playing a game in which it has a clear talent deficit in as long as anyone can remember.  We will have to see what Thomas Robinson has to say about that in his first opportunity to showcase himself in what many are expecting to be a breakout year.  It is Anthony Davis' first time for the nation to see him on national television in a Wildcat uniform.

Just missed the cut: Duke vs Michigan State, Kent State at West Virginia, San Diego State at Baylor

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