A November to remember

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A November to remember

Alex Jewell, Staff Writer

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The wait is finally over: college basketball is here and it’s time for the top teams to prove themselves in order to win the championship. Even though nothing matters until March, preseason favorites have been a little different this year. Michigan State, Louisville, Florida and Kansas are all projected to make it to the final four according to ESPN. Blue bloods (teams that have won multiple championships), like Duke and North Carolina are not as highly projected. Most of that has to do with the fact that both teams have lost a significant amount of players, including what some experts say is the best player (and best shoe breaker) in college basketball Zion Williamson. 

Michigan State has been heavily favored to win the championship, in fact according to the NCAA 50% of experts picked Michigan State to win, no one has ever been favored that heavily in the history of the tournament. Around St. Joseph, fans have been eager to see this team play again after last year’s defeat to Texas Tech in the Final Four.

 “After the win over Duke in the elite eight, I really began to see that this team was something special, so I’m very excited to see what this team has to offer this year,” Michigan State fan Owen Franck, 10, who was particularly excited to see the Spartans play, said. The Spartans play on November 14 against Seton Hall.

The Kansas Jayhawks are coming off a disappointing season, losing in the second round to Auburn and having a less than impressive record. They bring back their star player Udoka Azubukie, who was injured last season. Kansas has been under fire by the NCAA for violating major rules, including illegally paying players to come for the Jayhawks. This news was horrible for the basketball community and as ESPN commentator and college basketball expert Dick Vital put it “ a disgrace to college basketball as a whole.” However, they are still preseason favorites for the final four, as they return Azubuike to the lineup.

Florida is a newcomer to the projection lineup this year. After they got dismantled by Michigan in the second round, the Gators hope to rebound most of their returning starters and new talent to the roster, including 5 star commit Scottie Lewis. A small number of basketball followers are excited to see what Florida can do. 

Jon Askew, 11, is one of those basketball followers  “You know a lot of people are excited for MSU, Duke, and Virginia; I’m more excited to see Florida play just because of all the talent they’re returning and bringing in,” he said.  The Gators are no stranger to the final four, but in the past couple of years they have failed to reach it. 

Now to the true new kid on the block in college basketball– Louisville. Over the past few years, the Louisville Cardinals have failed to reach the tournament and have fallen off the grid a little bit.  Louiville last won the championship back in 2013 with a win over Michigan.

 This season, however, feels a lot different with head coach Chris Mack bringing in a ton of new talent, including five star recruit Samuell Williamson and four star recruit Aidian Igiehon. Both players bring extreme talent to the table and with a very experienced head coach running the show, Louisville may very well be back to its glory days.

It seems like as each year passes the hype for college basketball gets better and better, and this year is no different. Many teams have very high expectations heading into this year. Personally I hope Michigan State goes all the way, I really liked the way they played last year and they return most of their starters.As with any college sport, however, everything is very unpredictable and no one knows what’s going to happen when the ball is tipped off.