Friday, October 29, 2004

The Sweet Smell of College Basketball Season

While the NFL is still dominant and baseball has now finished, my favorite sport is just getting started - College Basketball.

If you go back and check the archives, you will find out quickly the two teams that I root for - Xavier University and University of Kentucky. Now, I know what most people think when they think of UK fans - we're obnoxious, loud, etc. While, yes many fans are that way - I consider myself to be normal. Do I expect UK to win a National Championship every year, NO. Do I at least expect for them to make a run at the title, YES. Have I been happy with the past two seasons (even though they were bounced from the tourney early), ABSOLUTELY!

I'm especially excited about UK basketball this year. Could this be like the Syracuse-Carmelo year, maybe. The talent is there. Hopefully, the frosh can understand Tubby's system early enough in the season, but if not, Tubby like always will have the team at top form in the late stages of the season.

The media believe that UK is the team to beat again in the SEC, regardless of who they lost and what they gained. I hope they are right.

Now, my beloved Musketeers are having some bad times right now. The number one return player from last year suffered a sprained knee this week and XU lost another player for the season. Under first-year coach Sean Miller, I still expect XU to be one of the top teams in the A-10. Will they continue on the magical Elite Eight run from last year, that is still to be seen. I truly believe that this team as much talent as they have ever had. I look for Justin Doellman to be THE MAN this year for XU. He has moments that compare him to Larry Bird, but I'm not comparing him to LB, with his ability to shoot the ball, dribble, pass, and his knack for making big plays.

The USA Today/ESPN Poll was released today. Kansas #1? Wake Forest #2? I think Wake Forest should be the Preseason #1. Skip Prosser (and I'm not floating his boat because he is a former XU coach) has all the pieces this year to run for the National Title. Chris Paul is by far the best player in CB this year. Kansas is my #2. Wayne Simien returning for his senior year, I'm sure he wants to fill that void from the Syracuse game in 2003, will be a force this year.

I anticipate a much longer version of this at another time. Preseason polls aren't really worth paying attention too, but, the excitement is there and I can't wait.

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