“It’s the most wonderful timeee of the yearrr.” Truer words were never spoken. We are winding down an incredible 2015 of music, both college and NFL football playoff debates are warming up, holidays on the way plus the NBA season is underway. There were only a couple of things missing…the Dick Vitale voice and NCAA Basketball!
That problem was solved with the help of ESPN and 32 teams that participated in the 24-hour college basketball marathon to officially kick off the season. The two day event gave us some potential elite 8 matchups with Duke vs. Kentucky and Kansas vs. Michigan State but those are powerhouses, we know what to expect there. What about the entire field? Who is ranked where? Any players to keep an eye on? Let’s take a look at the Road to Houston as the city will play host to the 2016 Final Four.
2015-6 NCAA Mens Rankings:
#1 North Carolina
#7 Iowa St.
#9 Wichita St
Players to Watch:
LSU – F Ben Simmons, easily the favorite coming into this season for Player of the Year or the #1 spot in the 2016 NBA Draft if he stays consistent and healthy. The 6’9 forward has a skill set that is going to make the Tigers a problem when March arrives.
Maryland – G Rasheed Sulaimon, the former Duke guard transferred to ACC rival and is playing with something to prove this year. Dangerous.
Kentucky Double Feature – G Jamal Murray and F/C Skal Labissiere, it wouldn’t be a John Calipari team without a gang of Freshman that could fill a NBA Draft Board fresh out of HS. These two will definitely continue the trend especially playing with the talented point guard Tyler Ulis.
Michigan State – G Denzel Valentine, if a triple double out the gates against the #4 ranked Kansas Jayhawks and a congratulatory phone call from Magic Johnson doesn’t motivate you, nothing will. This kid is going to have a great year and be warned when March rolls around, Tom Izzo is only going to further elevate his game.
There are many talented players around the nation that will surface between now and March Madness, that’s the fun part. Who will be the next Steph Curry? Small school or not, if you can hoop it will show. We’re here for it all. The countdown to Houston has officially begun.