Lost amidst the fallout of NFL Monday is the fact college basketball officially begins tonight. The 09/10 season begins much where it left off: with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Roy Williams and the gang play the first official game of the new season when they face up against Isiah Thomas and his Florida International Golden Panthers. More than likely, this game is going to get so out of hand in Carolina’s favor, Thomas will be dreaming of life on the New York Knicks sidelines.
The Carolina/FIU game is part of the 2K Sports Classic, featuring other big names like Syracuse, Ohio State and the University of California. The big four of this opening season basketball festival will play two games, none of which will be against each other. Over at AwfulAnnoucing.com, they have a list of announcers for the slate of first week basketball games. Unfortunately, when you take a quick glance at the schedule, you’ll notice there aren’t any marquee games that catch your interest.
In fact, the “biggest” game might just be Valparaiso at North Carolina — if the Valparaiso team from 2004 was playing.
Nevertheless, it’s a time of joy and celebration. It’s not everyday you get to say “Hey, the college basketball season officially starts tonight!” now is it? With that in mind, here are some minor predictions:
Final Four — Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State
National Champion — Michigan State
Player of the Year — Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Freshman of the Year — John Wall, Kentucky
ACC Champion (regular season) — North Carolina
Big East Champion — UConn
Big 10 Champion — Michigan State
Big 12 Champion — Texas
Pac-10 Champion — Washington
SEC Champion — Kentucky
Yes, that was the quick-and-dirty approach for my season preview, but I think I got the major topics. Sorry to any mid-major/non-big money conference teams and/or fans that might be reading.