As conference play gets under way for the 2008-2009 college basketball season, here are some bold predictions; some possible and some a little out there.
North Carolina will not lose this year.
I don't think that I've ever been more impressed with a team than this North Carolina team. They absolutely dominate their opponents in every phase of the game. This team has more depth than you could ever possibly want and I don't think anyone will be able to match their level of skill this season.
They will win a close one at Duke in OT, but that'll be their only scare all year.
Syracuse will win the Big East Tournament.
Call me crazy, but Syracuse is a good team. For some reason, they always find a way to lose to some horrible teams, but they always seem to play very well against better opponents. I see the Orange upsetting Georgetown and UConn on their way to another Big East tournament championship.
Either Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, or Ohio State will win the Big 10 Tournament.
This one is a little more out there, but I think it could happen. Illinois is playing much better than expected, while Iowa, who starts two freshmen, two sophomores, and a senior, is looking better and better every week and almost knocked off Ohio State on the road on New Year's Eve.
Minnesota and Ohio State have both been outstanding, even after suffering their first losses just recently.
A 15 seed will upset a two seed in the NCAA Tournament this year.
I'm feeling an upset this year in the NCAA Tournament. Why? Because we haven't had one of this caliber in a while, and I think that this year's teams are more vulnerable to it than in years past. I'm not sure who it will be yet, but the leading candidates are Pitt, Tennessee, Georgetown, Wake Forest, and Notre Dame.
The one seeds in the NCAA Tournament will be...
North Carolina, UConn, Duke, and Texas. These four teams will be basically unstoppable this year. Duke and UNC will own the ACC, while Texas will dominate the Big 12, and UConn emerge the regular season champion in a very tough Big East.
The 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament will be...
Coppin State, Mississippi Valley State, Florida Gulf Coast, and IUPUI. This would be the reason a one seed will not lose this year. North Carolina vs. Coppin State, UConn vs. Mississippi Valley State, Duke vs. Florida Gulf Coast, and Texas vs. IUPUI. These sound like some of those beginning-of-the-year tune-up games.
This year won't have a mass exodus of underclassmen to the NBA.
College basketball is getting better and better while the NBA is getting worse and worse. I've never like the NBA, thinking it was just a bunch of overpaid jerks. College has much more tradition, better rivalries, and just plain more fun. Plus, we don't have the crop of underclassmen that we had last year.