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Cutting down the nets

While we’re in the firm grasp of football season, there’s another minor sport making its official debut tonight as college basketball returns. Yes, football is the preferred drug/sport of choice for the populace, but some of us like college basketball more. Sure, the slate isn’t as beefy as other, non-college basketball opening days, but some is a lot better than none. Friday’s schedule has much more to offer, with 17 of the Top 25 in action, but again, there’s college freaking basketball tonight.

I’m not complaining.

The action is “headlined” by the fact three ranked teams, Pittsburgh (4th), Illinois (16th) and Texas are taking their respective court for the Coaches vs. Cancer round-robin get-together. All of their games are expected to be of the tune-up type, although, Pitt will can’t overlook their opponent, the Rhode Island Rams, who finished their 2009/10 campaign with a 23-9 record and have talent returning.

The Pitt and the Texas games are on ESPNU.

Some primers for the upcoming season: Storylines to watch. 68 predictions. John Feinstein, on why college basketball is still worth watching while he still takes shots at Kentucky. Oh, and we’re still quasi-posting at Storming the Floor, which is always cool.

Just because:

Another reason to be happy about college basketball being back? Travis Leslie is still at Georgia:

Oh, and if you’re confused by the whole “Free Enes” thing going on, familiarize yourself here, because it’s going to be one of the bigger stories of the year, regardless of what the NCAA decides.

Duke repeating will be too, as is Robbie Hummel’s knee. Keep an eye out for newcomers like Fab Melo and Brandon Knight, as well as other freshmen like Harrison Barnes, Kyrie Irving and Terrence Jones.

What the hell, one more awesome dunk:

That’s Errick McCollum from Goshen College, an NAIA school in Indiana. Hey, college basketball is college basketball and it’s all good. Especially the dunks that result from it.