During the first night of the 2K Sports Classic at MSG, Maryland will take on No. 5 Pittsburgh and No. 13 Illinois will take on Texas.
Pittsburgh is a superb team and I don't see them having any problem dismantling Maryland. The Terrapins are a solid team, but they will not be good enough at this stage of their season to take down Pitt.
Maryland looked weak against Charleston, and Ashton Gibbs and company should be able to push the Panthers into the finals. The Panthers have compiled a team that has the potential to win the very competitive Big East.
The match up between the Longhorns and the Illini will be much more interesting. Texas is a very good team and even though they are not ranked at this point, they will make moves in the Big 12 during the season.
With the duo of Jordan Hamiltion and Gary Johnson, the Longhorns can put up points in a hurry. The Illini are back and people in Illinois could not be more excited about what this team can do this year. Demetri McCamey is a very good point guard who can create plays for everyone around him.
They have a solid, young, and inexperienced team, but I see the Longhorns escaping with the win when its all said and done. Illinois will have a very nice season this year but they will not move on to the finals in this tournament.
If both Pittsburgh and Texas advance, you can look for the Panthers to get out to an early lead and never look back. The Panthers are one of the most talented teams in the country and I believe they can earn themselves a No. 1 seed come March Madness.
It will be a very interesting season for the Big East and Pitt could be that marquee team. I believe they have what it takes to run the table throughout the year.
College basketball is finally upon us and tonight's tournament at the Garden should be an eventful one.