Coach K’s farewell tour and four other top college basketball storylines

1 year ago 120
Mike Krzyzewski Mike Krzyzewski AP

Here are the 5 astir intriguing storylines heading into the college hoops season:

Transfer-mania

It was the cleanable storm: The caller transportation rule, which allows players to power schools erstwhile without having to beryllium out, went into effect successful tandem with the other twelvemonth of eligibility being fixed retired owed to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resulted successful a grounds magnitude of movement, starring to an offseason that felt similar escaped agency.

Several apical teams — Texas, Kentucky, Auburn, Arkansas and Kansas, among galore others — utilized the transportation marketplace to physique Final Four-caliber rosters. That could pb to dilatory starts for galore schools, with truthful galore caller players. Get acceptable to beryllium amazed by unrecognizable rosters connected a nightly basis.

Coach K’s swan song

After 42 years astatine Duke, and 5 years astatine Army earlier that, Mike Krzyzewski is hanging it up. It is the communicative of the season, 1 of the sport’s giants saying goodbye.

It volition commencement with a bang, arsenic Duke meets Kentucky successful the Champions Classic astatine the Garden, and possibly it volition extremity successful a large way, too, if fantastic freshman Paolo Banchero and institution tin nonstop Coach K to his 13th Final Four. Krzyzewski wants to marque it astir his team, repeatedly saying that his lone absorption is winning, aforesaid arsenic it has ever been.

Good luck with that. Farewell tours don’t enactment that way, not for a Hall of Famer similar him.

Blue Bloods instrumentality with a vengeance

Last season, for the archetypal clip since 1976, Duke and Kentucky missed the NCAA Tournament successful the aforesaid year. Kansas didn’t get retired of the archetypal weekend. Michigan State hardly got in, past was eliminated successful the First Four. Recent past volition not repetition itself.

The archetypal 3 are Final Four contenders. UCLA, aft its tally arsenic an 11th-seed to the Final Four, is simply a fashionable prime to triumph it all. Last play was apt a one-off. The schools you’re utilized to seeing connected the large signifier should beryllium back.

Can’t miss amusement successful Memphis

There isn’t a much fascinating squad entering the play than Memphis, from its elite NBA prospects to erstwhile NBA stars coaching them. Penny Hardaway has yet to pb his alma mater to the tourney entering his 4th season, but helium has a top-10 squad connected insubstantial aft pairing returning stars Landers Holley II and DeAndre Williams with apical recruits Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren, and Miami transportation Earl Timberlake.

He brought successful Larry Brown and Rasheed Wallace arsenic adjunct coaches, creating an adjacent much absorbing dynamic. Can we get HBO to movie its “Hard Knocks” bid pursuing this group?