By: Sai Chilakapati
With yet another month of NBA canceled due to the lockout, more and more NBA fans will have to turn to college basketball as a substitute. But this upcoming college season will not disappoint them. With many high-caliber teams, eager returning players, and a talented freshman class, the upcoming season seems to be a perfect sub for the NBA.
The Duke Blue Devils, with their disappointing loss to Arizona in last year’s sweet sixteen round matchup, are primed with new talent to show America that they can win a title. Though they lost three of their best players, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Irving, they have recruited the number one prospect in America, Austin Rivers. With returning players like Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins, their back court will prove a challenging difficulty for even the best offenses in the nation.
The Kentucky Wildcats are another high talented team with high prospects this season. Though they lost three of their freshmen to the NBA, excellent drafting by their coaches allowed them to rack up four top prospects, who are all McDonald’s All Americans: Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague, Michael Gilchirst and Kyle Wiltjer. With these excellent players and an excellent supporting bench, the wildcats can surely go all the way and capture the title this year.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are still the strong team they were last year when they were ousted by Kentucky in a heart-beating buzzer beater. Though they lost a couple of seniors, the returning players Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas, and William Bufford will create an all-star team. Incoming recruits like La Quinton Ross add to the team’s skill making the Buckeyes a team to watch for again.
On top of all, the University of North Carolina Tarheels, ranked number one in preseason standings, are a dominant threat this year to all teams. Their Big Three, Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and John Henson, are returning along with an excellent incoming draft with James McAdoo, the number two power forward. These four players will complete their All-NBA front court that will prove a difficult barrier to even the best defenses.
Though these teams seem to dominate the preseason rankings and news every year, the NCAA Basketball is known for its surprises and unexpected-upsets. Potential championship contenders include defending champion University of Connecticut Huskies, Kansas Jayhawks, Syracuse Orange, UCLA Bruins, and University of Florida Gators. All in all the upcoming college basketball season is more than promising, and NBA fans will not be disappointed.