Yes, ladies & gentlemen, college basketball is back.
It’s the time of year where for a short period of time, there is a different sport nationally televised every day of the week. Whether its Monday night football, NBA on TNT, or NHL hockey, we are all looking forward to coming home and flopping on the couch for a few hours. But, there is one more sport we can add to our weekly schedule with the beginning of college basketball.
Last year, University of North Carolina was able to finish what they started and take home the championship. This year, the defending champs are beginning the season without their star point guard, Joel Berry while their state rival Duke holds the number one preseason ranking.
But who exactly do we need to be keeping an eye on?
Duke (Marvin Bagley)
Chances are, they will be the first top ranked team going home in the 2018 NCAA tournament. Don’t get confused. Duke has a great basketball team. After landing Marvin Bagley late in offseason, their front court became solidified. Marvin Bagley is an extremely versatile forward who will be very difficult to defend in the ACC. If Grayson Allen can keep his composure and let his game do the talking, it can be a long night for every team they play.
Duke could be coming out on top in the ACC if they can avoid becoming a different team in March.
— Duke Basketball (@dukebasketball) November 11, 2017
Missouri (Micheal Porter Jr)
The last time Mizzou was brought up in a good light, they were a #2 seed in 2012 NCAA tournament. That light quickly dimmed when they were upset by the #15 Norfolk State Spartans. Since then, Missouri basketball has just been another team on the schedule for the most part. This season could change all that.
— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouHoops) September 27, 2017
Once the stars aligned and Porters father accepted an assistant coaching position at Univ. of Washington just one month before Brandon Roy became head coach. Micheal Porter Jr. became a standout player at Nathan Hale. Playing for former NBA great Brandon Roy, Porter Jr. and a few other nationally ranked transfers took this 3-18 team to 29-0 class 3A state champions.
Porter Jr. will be joined by is younger brother Jontay (reclassified to play with Michael), while his father serves as assistant coach.
Kentucky (Hamidou Diallo)
This season, Coach Cal has an explosive guard by the name of Hamidou Diallo, who had the opportunity to go to the NBA. Instead, Diallo had plans to play in Kentucky blue.
Diallo enrolled in Kentucky early and had the option to play with the likes of De’aaron Fox and Isaiah Briscoe but chose to redshirt. After a year of practices, workouts, and other basketball experiences across the globe, Diallo is ready more than ever to suit up.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 11, 2017
Duke, Missouri, and Kentucky all open up their season Friday 11/10. Duke takes on Elon Musk, Iowa State comes to visit Missouri, and Kentucky takes on the Utah Valley Wolverines at Rupp arena.
Fans of college basketball can expect to see all three teams in March competing for national bragging rights.