Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rankings the ESPN Gameday games

Yesterday, the World Wide Leader announced their schedule for college basketball's Gameday. There are a couple changes from last season. For starters, no Pac-10 team is included, likely due to the fact that there are not two good teams in the conference. The Big XII, the Big Ten, and the SEC each got two Gameday games. Also new is an opening hour of Gameday to be aired at 10 am on ESPN U, a decision that I, personally, am a huge fan of. And for the second straight year, Gameday will kick off with a game on the women's side featuring Tennessee and Vanderbilt, although the men's team from both schools will be squaring off in a noon-tip.

Most importantly, ESPN has once again put together a schedule loaded with great basketball in some of the country's best environment including a number of this season's best matchups. Let's rank those eight games:

  1. Jan. 22nd: Michigan State @ Purdue: Not only are the Boilermakers and the Spartans two of the favorites to win the Big Ten title, not only are Robbie Hummel and Kalin Lucas the two favorites to win the Big Ten player of the year title, but these teams are two of the three teams in the country (along with Duke) considered to be favorites to win a national title. Without a doubt, this will be one of the most anticipated games of the year.

  2. Jan 29th: Kansas State @ Kansas: The Jayhawks and the Wildcats are the two favorites to win the Big XII title. Not only that, but these two schools genuinely dislike each other. Jacob Pullen vs. Josh Selby. Marcus Morris vs. the big, athletic front line of Kansas State. A rivalry game at the Phog. There is a lot to like about this game.

  3. Feb. 12th: Pitt @ Villanova: Pitt and Nova are generally considered the two favorites in the Big East. The Panthers will once again be a staunch defensive team that wins on their physicality, while the Wildcats are going to be a young, but talented, squad that likes to play in the open court. These two teams have played some classics of late, including the Reynolds Runner in the 2009 Elite 8.

  4. Feb. 26th: Duke @ Virginia Tech: The Blue Devils are likely going to be the No. 1 team in the country once the preseason polls begin coming out. But Virginia Tech is a very good team in their own right. Led by Malcolm Delaney and the underrated Dorenzo Hudson, most believe that the Hokies are the second best team in the ACC. With this tip coming in the last few weeks of the season, a lot -- including possibly the ACC lead -- will be on the line.

  5. Feb. 19th: Illinois @ Michigan State: Michigan State is a favorite to win the national title, and while the Illini are not quite on that level, they are still good enough to beat anyone in the conference on a given night. Demetri McCamey will be a sleeper for Big Ten player of the year as well, and it should be fun watching him go head-to-head with Kalin Lucas.

  6. Feb. 5th: Kentucky @ Florida: The Gators and the Wildcats are the two favorites in the SEC, especially if Enes Kanter is eligible. Kentucky and Florida have a nice rivalry going, and with the similarity of the two rosters and the fact that both enjoy a spread floor style of play, this will be an entertaining game to watch.

  7. March 5th: Texas @ Baylor: Both the Longhorns and the Bears will have quite a bit of roster turnover this season, and while neither are expected to compete for the Big XII title, both should be tournament teams. Seeing Tristan Thompson and Perry Jones do battle should be entertaining as well.

  8. Jan. 15th: Vanderbilt @ Tennessee: Vandy and Tennessee is last in our rankings, but that is a result of the outstanding games scheduled for Gameday, not a disappointing match-up here. Tennessee will be a tournament team, and Vandy should make a push if John Jenkins can develop. And, most importantly, who can turn down Bruce Pearl in an orange blazer at lunchtime?

1 comment:

DaBears said...

Is this guy serious? Baylor not a Big 12 contender? We'll be a preseason top-10 team, and the co-favorite (along with K-State, not Kansas) to win the conference this year. That's what happens when you have one of the best scorers in the country and the No. 3 prospect coming into your program, not to mention the supporting cast that has an elite 8 run under their belts from the previous season. This guy is a joke.