Annual Inter-Conference College Basketball Clashes We'd Like to See
Inter-conference games each season are among the most fun to watch.
This is because we don't get to see our school, alma mater or favorite team go against the likes of certain non-conference opponents.
The trash-talking between fanbases in different conferences can heat up, and these types of games really prepare a team for the rigorous conference schedule.
Here are five inter-conference contests we would like to see annually.
Kentucky vs. North Carolina
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The two storied programs met up in the Elite Eight last season when UNC was a No. 2 seed and UK was a No. 4 seed. Brandon Knight led the way with 22 points as UK upended UNC to reach the Final Four.
Coming into the 2011-2012 season, UNC was ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls while UK was just behind sitting at No. 2.
The two were destined to meet ranked that way on December 3rd in one of the most highly-anticipated matchups in recent memory.
The game lost steam as UNC was upset recently by UNLV in Las Vegas.
Though UNC fell from No. 1, UK-UNC was still a highly-anticipated matchup. UNC came up short as Anthony Davis sealed the one-point win for Kentucky with a block near the end of regulation.
Not only have these two programs put together entertaining games in the last two seasons, but as long as Roy Williams and John Calipari are walking the sideline, there will be future NBA talent on the floor.
This would make for epic contests between the two programs each year.
Gonzaga vs. Washington
The Zags have become one of the best mid-major programs.
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Gonzaga University can be found in Spokane, a city in Eastern Washington.
Under Mark Few, Gonzaga has compiled a 315-83 record and has won nine of twelve WCC Tournament Championships. Under his direction, the Zags have been eliminated from the first round of the NCAA Tournament just three times, and have become the model of a consistent mid-major program.
West of Spokane near the Pacific Ocean lies the University of Washington in Seattle. They have been coached by Lorenzo Romar since 2002 and he has compiled a 198-102 record as the head man.
It should be noted that he completely transformed the state of the Huskies program and has had five 20-win seasons in his nine years at Washington.
Like Gonzaga, Washington has become a powerful program on the West Coast. These two universities reside in the same state—who wouldn't want to see an annual matchup between the two?
Georgetown vs. Maryland
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Just 12 miles separate Georgetown and Maryland.
Georgetown has had a history of excellence in producing players for the next level, and Maryland has become a nationally recognized power under recently retired Gary Williams.
John Thompson III has followed his dad's footsteps and put Georgetown back on the map. Under his direction, the Hoyas are 160-41 and have reached the Final Four once.
Mark Turgeon is in his first year as Maryland coach and has already made an impact on the recruiting scene.
For those in the Washington DC area, this would be a very exciting matchup to see each season between two traditional powers.
Xavier vs. Ohio State
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Several years ago, Xavier and Ohio State provided us with one of the most exciting NCAA Tournament games ever.
Xavier has been good for a long time and really separated themselves as one of the best mid-majors when Sean Miller was coach. When Miller left for Arizona, Xavier hired Chris Mack, who has guided his squad to consecutive seasons of 24-plus wins.
On the other side is Ohio State, a team that has been full of talent for the last several years and is among the elite in college basketball.
Thad Matta consistently brings a wealth of talent to Columbus.
To me, it would be awesome to see an annual matchup between an elite mid-major and an elite major. It would be an especially intriguing contest considering Xavier has the personnel to compete and beat just about any team on a given night.
Florida vs. Duke
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There is no historical significance as far as Duke and Florida playing each other in an annual contest, but it would be a fun game to watch!
Billy Donovan, at just 46 years of age, is one of the best young coaches in the country. He has 400 wins, three conference championships, and two national titles under his belt.
His counterpart, Mike Krzyzewski is the winningest coach in Division I basketball history with 907 wins. He also has four national championships and thirteen conference championships to his name.
Both programs breed tremendous players and I don't think anyone in the south would object to this game being played annually.