The college basketball season is now in full swing and with Turkey Day only a week away you can expect a barrage of games being played all across North America (from Cancun, Mexico to Vancouver, B.C. and everywhere in between). Let’s focus on some of the main headliners:
- The Charleston Classic started today and wraps up on Sunday with the Championship game (most likely Virginia Tech vs Purdue). Ball State (lost today) and Davidson are a couple of mid-major teams that are always ready and willing to pull off an upset.
- College basketball in the Great White North, eh? I wonder if the McKenzie brothers would approve of this. Anyhue, the TCL Vancouver Showcase begins on Sunday and features only 4 teams but it will be an impressive feat (and resume booster) if Minnesota or Washington can come away with 3 wins. Any un“conventional” neutral basketball court is always a challenge.
- The Maui Invitational is loaded with basketball talent (6 of the 8 teams made last year’s tournament). Games start Monday afternoon (2:30 PM ET) and go late into the night. 3 games in 3 days will test these teams’ endurance and stamina. The Championship game (Duke vs Gonzaga in a perfect world) will be on Wednesday at 5:00 PM ET. BTW, Duke has a freshman named Zion Williamson who is “pretty good”.
- Another basketball showcase to keep an eye is in the NIT Season Tip-off which starts next Wednesday. The 4 teams participating have their eyes on making the tournament this year with 2 of those (Kansas & Tennessee) being legit Final Four contenders. A post-Turkey day meeting between the Jayhawks and Vols would be like an extra slice of pumpkin pie…SWEET!
- College basketball on Thanksgiving day will feature a quadruple threat of powerhouse teams. The Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational will tip with UNC vs Texas followed by UCLA vs Michigan State. The winners and losers will play each other on Friday and will be nationally televised on FOX.
- Finally, the Ohio Valley Hardwood Showcase features 5 teams (most notably Kentucky) with games being played at campus sites. The 4 teams (not being Kentucky) will get a shot at knocking off the Wildcats at Rupp Arena. The Fighting Hawks of North Dakota were unsuccessful, losing 96-58. The next team to get a shot will be VMI on Sunday, then Winthrop two days later and finally Tennessee State University on Friday. A loss to any of these teams would be pas bien for the Wildcats who are still trying to stop the bleeding from their season opener loss to Duke (118-84).
Hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday and please remember, eat responsibly.