No NBA? College ball will do

November 15, 2011|By Ernest Wilkins, RedEye

With the NBA all but a distant memory, it's a real relief that good ol' fashioned hoops are in session once again.

The folks here at the RedEye think it would be a good call to let me provide a 2011-12 season preview (I don't have the heart to tell them). This is not an in-depth look at conferences and RPI--I don't know what it means either--but a super-focused look at college basketball from a guy who doesn't care about the NCAA until the last week of February, when I spent ridic amounts of time making it seem like I've been watching every game of the season.

Here are some things to keep in mind as the season kicks off.

Pack it up, mascots, the coolest event of the year already happened. Did you SEE that Michigan State-North Carolina game last week on the aircraft carrier? Holy crap was that cool to watch. The only way you can be top a game on a boat is if the boat is moving, the cannons go off on big 3-pointers and the starting lineups enter via jet.

Pick three teams to follow this season and actually keep up with them. Think about fantasy football. It forces you to care about a crappy Browns-Chiefs matchup. Apply that to college ball. In case you're wondering, my teams to watch this year are Villanova (middle-of-the-road team in a big conference), Oral Roberts (because I giggled when I saw the name) and Northwestern (just kidding).

Beware the football-school kid. There are a lot of schools in the great land that have excellent football programs but abysmal basketball programs. Few things are more frustrating than that kid who still brings football-fueled passion to a wack excuse for a hoops squad. Nebraska/Iowa fan? Find something else to talk about. I can say this, as someone whose school recently went from horrible to ranked in college basketball.

I'd like to take a second and say hello to everyone who emails me saying I talk about Florida State too much.

Love you guys.

erwilkins@tribune.com | @remixchicago

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