RTC Top 25: Preseason Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 9th, 2009

seasonpreview

You’ve undoubtedly been tracking our Tweeting the Preview series over the last two weeks.  Well, we just finished it up with Kansas coming in at the #1 spot, so now it’s time for us to tell you how we got there with our Preseason Top 25.  The four primary writers/editors here at RTC are voting for our weekly rankings, and in the interest of transparency we’ll put each of our ballots on the site every week.  If you disagree, let us know about it in the comments and we’ll try to address your points in kind.  This will also be where we post our weekly ballot for the Blogpoll, which will presumably begin later this month.

rtc top 25 - preseason 09-10

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Tweeting the Preview: #18 – #1

Posted by rtmsf on November 9th, 2009

tweetingpreviewOk, we’ve officially lost our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 8am EDT last Monday, there were 347 hours until tipoff of UNC vs. FIU and Ohio State vs. Alcorn State on Opening Night, Nov. 9.  Beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information about each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Monday’s entries, #18 to #1.  It’s taken 347 hours but we finally made it!

tweeting preview 18-1

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Everything You Need to Know About the 2009-10 Season…

Posted by rtmsf on November 9th, 2009

seasonpreview

So we realize that not everyone has a mental illness like we do and thinks about college basketball year-round.  Some of you do — the ones who keep emailing us about  Jerome Dyson, for example — but not all of you.  Therefore, if you’re just today realizing that there are actual games that count beginning tonight in Chapel Hill, Columbus, Syracuse and Berkeley as part of the 2009 Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, well, here’s your cheat sheet.

RTC Preseason Top 25 – will debut at 6:30 pm ET tonight.  If you like comparisons, here’s the Coaches and Media Top 25.  We also found time to give you our preseason bracketology.

RTC Preseason All-Americansfrom Aldrich to Warren, they’re all here.

RTC Top 65 Games & Tournaments – we picked them by month (Nov/Dec, January, Feb/March pt. 1, Feb/March pt.2) so you don’t have to.  If that’s too complicated, here’s the wrapup post listing them by both date and ranking.  Oh, and we also broke down each of the big holiday tournaments, from the CvC to the Preseason NIT and everything in between.  We even found time to give you a complete schedule of the ESPN Full Court package with some analysis thrown in.

30 Reasons We Love College Basketball – get yourself excited with some of the top plays and moments from the 2008-09 season here.

Cooler Than You – just for fun, we provided a list of the coolest names, best dunkers, nastiest long-range bombers and human erasers here.

Tweeting the Preview (click here for all) – a new feature this year, we analyzed each of the 347 teams in D1 in 140 characters or less.

Conference Primers (click here for all) – as usual, through our network of correspondents, we broke down each and every conference.

  1. Big 10
  2. ACC
  3. Big East
  4. Big 12
  5. SEC
  6. Pac-10
  7. Mountain West
  8. Conference USA
  9. Atlantic 10
  10. Missouri Valley
  11. Horizon League
  12. WAC
  13. Colonial
  14. West Coast
  15. MAAC
  16. Big West
  17. Summit League
  18. Southland
  19. MAC
  20. Sun Belt
  21. America East
  22. Big Sky
  23. Big South
  24. Ohio Valley
  25. Atlantic Sun
  26. Southern
  27. SWAC
  28. Ivy League
  29. Patriot League
  30. Northeast
  31. MEAC

RTC Impact Players (click here for all) - from Maine to Hawaii and back, we identified and describe the sixty impact players you need to keep an eye on this season.

What say we tip it off already?  The offseason is too damn long.

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Tweeting the Preview: #42 – #19

Posted by rtmsf on November 9th, 2009

tweetingpreviewOk, we’ve officially lost our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 8am EDT last Monday, there were 347 hours until tipoff of UNC vs. FIU and Ohio State vs. Alcorn State on Opening Night, Nov. 9.  Beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information about each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Sunday’s entries, #42 to #19.  From the bubble to safelin in today…

tweeting preview 42-19

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RTC 2009-10 Impact Players – Wrap-Up

Posted by rtmsf on November 8th, 2009

impactplayersOver the course of the last ten weeks we’ve broken down sixty players from around the country whom we expect will have the biggest impact on college basketball this season.  We performed this exercise geographically, choosing five high-major and one mid-major player from each of the somewhat arbitrary ten regions of the country.  If you’d like to read through the individual regions (and we highly encourage that), you can check all ten here.

impactcountry(2)

If you don’t have the time or inclination to read through all of the previous posts, we’ll summarize here for you by rating the strongest to the weakest regions.

(ed. note: we started this so long ago that Binghamton still had a promising basketball program, and DJ Rivera still had a place to play)

1.  Lower Midwest Region (OH, IN, IL, IA, NE, KS)

lower mw summary

Overview. This seemed pretty clear just at a first glance.  Aldrich, Collins and Harangody are three of the 1st team AAs on the RTC preseason list, and Brackins and Turner are on the 2d team.  This group has unbelievable scoring ability, size and experience.  The only weak link is the mid-major inclusion of Eldridge, who is a fine player, but not in the class of the rest of these superstars.  The nation’s heartland is the epicenter of college basketball talent this year.

Best Players Left Out. Where to start?  The depth in this region is incredible.  Gordon Hayward and Matt Howard at Butler, Robbie Hummell and E’Twaun Moore at Purdue, even Lance Stephenson at Cincinnati.  The #6-10 players in this region would probably be better than all but a few of the other regions.

2.  Mid-South Region (KY, TN, MO, AR, OK)

mid-south summary

Overview.  It was a very close call between this region and the South Atlantic, but we felt that the guard play of Warren and Wall with Anderson on the wing would compensate for what this team gives up in size.  And it doesn’t give up much, considering Patterson, Smith and Jordan are all exceptional inside.  Tough call, but Wall is the likely #1 pick, so he’s the x-factor.

Best Players Left Out.  Plenty of raw size here, including Samardo Samuels at Louisville, Michael Washington at Arkansas and DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky.  Throw in the skilled size of AJ Ogilvy at Vanderbilt and Wayne Chism at Tennessee and this area will punish you on the interior.

3.  South Atlantic Region (DC, VA, NC, SC, GA)

s.atlantic summary

Overview.  This is the third region that’s chock full of NBA talent – each of the rest below have smatterings of it, but not nearly as much.  Aminu, Booker and Singler all define skilled versatility, while Monroe could end up the best big in the entire country if he wants it enough.  Sanders is a little undersized but relentless as well.

Best Players Left OutEd Davis at UNC was a lighting rod topic, as some felt that he’d be an all-american this year with his length and skill set.  Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal are two others.  A good argument could be made that this region had the best players left out, but it sorta depends on how this year plays out due to their relative youth and inexperience.

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Full Breakdown Of The Top November Tournaments

Posted by zhayes9 on November 8th, 2009

seasonpreview

What’s the best part of the college basketball season kicking off? The early-season tournaments, of course! Coaches vs. Cancer, Preseason NIT, Maui Invitational, Anaheim Classic…these are our first opportunities to see the top teams in the nation, gauge exactly how much of a force they could pose this season, evaluate the progression of upperclassmen and estimate the talent level of the much-ballyhooed freshmen. The preseason tournament fields this season are not quite as loaded as in year’s past (you’ll recall last season Maui featured three top-ten teams, although two — Texas and Notre Dame — didn’t pan out), but there’s plenty of potential for memorable early-season classics. Let’s delve into the cream of the crop in November:

2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer (Regionals: November 9-11, NYC: November 19-20)

* RTC Live will be at the California subregional and the NYC semis and finals.

The Field: The powers-that-be decided to avoid any clunker matchups at MSG in mid-November, so they’ve given the four hosts — North Carolina, California, Ohio State and Syracuse – an automatic pass to the semifinals in NYC, so don’t expect any Gardner-Webb Cinderella stories invading the Big Apple. The tournament kicks off Monday and Wednesday at all four sites with Syracuse battling Albany and Robert Morris, California taking on Murray State and Detroit, North Carolina facing Florida International and North Carolina Central and Ohio State matched up against Alcorn State and James Madison. The semifinal games are set for November 19 with Syracuse vs. California as the under-card and North Carolina vs. Ohio State in the nightcap.

The Sleeper: The bigger news, in my opinion, that came out of the Carrier Dome last Wednesday when Syracuse stunningly fell to Le Moyne was not the final score, but Wesley Johnson scoring 34 points after a clunker in the exhibition opener. Big-time programs have been stunned in exhibitions before — you’ll recall Michigan State fell to Grand Valley State a few years back and still reached the Sweet 16 — and Syracuse was primarily experimenting with a man-to-man defense that Jim Boeheim could very well scrap for the season. Johnson exploding for 34 points shows he could be the go-to scorer Syracuse needs with Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf no longer manning the orange.

The Pick: I’ve been on their bandwagon all off-season so why not? My pick is Ohio State. Dallas Lauderdale keeps saying he should be ready to play. They return all-around performer Evan Turner who has a triple-double in his plans this season. William Buford and Jon Diebler can shoot the lights out and should really extend the Carolina defense. Receive steady point guard play from P.J. Hill and Jerime Simmons and that’s a possible top-ten team. I’ll take the Buckeyes to knock off UNC and California.

CBE Classic (Regionals: November 15-19, Kansas City: November 23-24)

*RTC Live will be at the semis and finals.

The Field: Much like the 2K Sports Classic, the semifinals are already set for Kansas City pitting Texas against Iowa and Pittsburgh against Wichita State. The four regional games are as follows: Texas facing UC Irvine and Western Carolina, Binghamton and Eastern Kentucky visiting Pittsburgh, Fairleigh Dickinson and Arkansas-Monticello taking on Wichita State and Iowa getting Duquesne and UTSA. The one possible upset here (not that it matters) is a high-scoring Duquesne team upsetting Big Ten bottom-feeder Iowa.

The Sleeper: It’s really hard to see Texas not annihilating this field, but could Wichita State knock off Pittsburgh? The Panthers won’t have Gilbert Brown (suspension) and possibly Jermaine Dixon (foot injury) for this one while already attempting to overcome the loss of DeJuan Blair, Levance Fields and Sam Young. Gregg Marshall returns seven of his top ten scorers for a squad that could linger near the top of the MVC led by senior guard Clevin Hannah and junior forward J.T. Turley, who is poised to become a star. If the Shockers can contain freshman forward Dante Taylor, they could live up to their name and pull a shocker in Kansas City.

The Pick: I have Texas ranked #2 in my preseason top-25 and they don’t have much sterling competition in this field. Pittsburgh was depleted by losses and may not even be an NCAA tournament team this season, Wichita State is a few rungs behind Creighton and Northern Iowa in the MVC and Texas’ first round opponent, Iowa, won’t be able to stay on the floor with the supremely talented Longhorns. Rick Barnes’ team is extremely deep at every position and could be a national title contender if Florida transfer Jai Lucas or newly-eligible J’Covan Brown provides stability at point guard. Damion James and Dexter Pittman are constant double-double threats inside.

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RTC Conference Primers: #1 – Big Ten

Posted by rtmsf on November 8th, 2009

seasonpreview

Josh & Mike from Big Ten Geeks contributed this preview for the Big Ten Conference.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Purdue (14-4)
  2. MSU (14-4)
  3. Minnesota (12-6)
  4. Michigan (12-6)
  5. Ohio St. (11-7)
  6. Illinois (9-9)
  7. Wisconsin (8-10)
  8. Northwestern (6-12)
  9. Penn St. (5-13)
  10. Indiana (5-13)
  11. Iowa (3-15)

All-Conference Team:

  • Kalin Lucas (G), Michigan State (110.2 ORtg, 28.6 Shot Percentage)
  • William Buford (G), Ohio State (108.1 ORtg, 27.6 Shot Percentage)
  • Evan Turner (F), Ohio State (108.3 ORtg, 25.3 Shot Percentage)
  • DeShawn Sims (F), Michigan (108.6 ORtg, 30.3 Shot Percentage)
  • JaJuan Johnson (C), Purdue (112.3 ORtg, 8.1 Block Percentage)

6th Man. Robbie Hummel (F), Purdue.

Impact Newcomer. D.J. Richardson (G), Illinois.

big 10 logo What You Need to Know.

  • The Big 10 is Very Good This Year. No, really, we mean it. Last year we predicted mediocrity, and I think we were mostly right. Although Michigan State had a great run in the tournament, it was not a Final Four team “on paper.” Indeed, the efficiency margins of the teams were bunched closely together, without any real spectacular performers. Sure, lots of teams made the Dance, but not a lot of them garnered high seeds. But we think that will be different this season, mostly because the Big Ten didn’t lose anyone. Sure, B.J. Mullens is gone, as are standouts Marcus Landry, Craig Moore and Jamelle Cornley. But the conference’s best players all returned, including the entire all-conference 1st Team. Throw in some strong recruiting classes, and you’ve got what appears to be the conference’s best year in possibly a decade. Although there’s not a lot of star quality to this conference–there might be less than 10 NBA players among the 11 teams–there is the experience that can take you far in March.
  • Michigan State and Purdue are the expected frontrunners, but they have company this year. Both the Spartans and Boilermakers return most of the minutes from good teams, so there’s no reason why one of them can’t win the conference crown. But watch out for Ohio State and (especially) Minnesota. They returned more minutes than anyone, and they also both have a couple other things going for them. For Ohio State, you might be talking about the most talented starting five in the conference, and one of the best in the country. With the Gophers, you have an incredibly deep roster. So deep that athletic freak and top 50 recruit Rodney Williams will fight for playing time. When these teams are grabbing high seeds on Selection Sunday, don’t forget where you heard it first.

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Tweeting the Preview: #66 – #43

Posted by rtmsf on November 8th, 2009

tweetingpreviewOk, we’ve officially lost our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 8am EDT last Monday, there were 347 hours until tipoff of UNC vs. FIU and Ohio State vs. Alcorn State on Opening Night, Nov. 9.  Beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information about each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Saturday’s entries, #66 to #43.  Your first NCAA at-large teams, ladies and gentlemen…

tweeting preview 66-43

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Where 2009-10 Happens: Reason #1 Why We Love College Basketball

Posted by zhayes9 on November 7th, 2009

seasonpreview

Shamelessly cribbing from the very clever NBA catch phrase, we here at RTC will present to you the Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball as we gear up toward the start of the season next week.  We’ll be bringing you players to watch for this season and moments to remember from last season, courtesy of the series of dump trucks, wires and effluvia known as YouTube.

#1- Where Greatest Game Ever Happens

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Tweeting the Preview: #90 – #67

Posted by rtmsf on November 7th, 2009

tweetingpreviewOk, we’ve officially lost our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 8am EDT last Monday, there were 347 hours until tipoff of UNC vs. FIU and Ohio State vs. Alcorn State on Opening Night, Nov. 9.  Beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information about each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Friday’s entries, #90 to #67.  Now we’re starting to get somewhere…

tweeting preview 90-67

Rank School Tweet
90 Wichita St Gregg Marshall is slowly turning things around at WSU; solid guards C. Hannah & T. Murry lead Shockers into Y3 of regime.
89 Utah The Utes can go huge with a 6’5-6’5 backcourt and a 6-5-6’11-7’3 frontline, but there’s no Luke Nevill so others must step up.
88 Wright St Almost everyone back incl. G Vaughn Duggins (12/4) for a team that will totally lock you up (#30 D and #8 defending 2s).
87 Marquette It’s all L. Hayward (16/9) this yr after heavy losses at MU, who’ll find it tough to run out to a great start again this yr.
86 Oakland POY candidate F Derick Nelson is back to join PG Johnathan Jones (natl. assist leader) and C Keith Benson (14/8) for SL fav.
85 S. Illinois SIU won’t have a repeat of the disaster in 09. Iowa transfer T. Freeman will help a lot, but young bigs need to step up.
84 Houston A. Coleman (19/8/2) & K. Lewis (18/3) one of best backcourts in America, but lack of inside pts will keep UH from top of CUSA.
83 Cornell The class of the Ivy, with all 5 starters back and firepower at every position, goes for 3 in a row; nobody else even close.
82 Miami (Fl) Canes bring back G James Dews (8/3) and F Dwayne Collins (11/8) and hope transfer Malcolm Grant can run the point.
81 Virginia ACC is in for a surprise with Tony Bennett’s style of play, but having ACC FrOY S. Landesberg (17/6/3) is a great start.
80 Arizona It’s the Nic Wise show as Sean Miller revamps a proud program. Must play defense and get production from 4* recruits, though.
79 Penn St Another B10 team that needed a weak conf this yr; PG T. Battle (17/5/5) is a star but losses of Cornley and Pringle hurt.
78 New Mexico St Strong team feat. J. Young (17/4/3) and J. Gibson (14/2) in backcourt, but Menzies needs his stud Fs to return in Dec.
77 LSU Don’t expect an SEC title, but F Tasmin Mitchell (16/7) is a stud and G Bo Spencer (11/3) a capable PG. Youth must step up.
76 Duquesne Dukes have 4 starters back incl. all-A10 forward D. Saunders (13/8); if PG spot is ok, this team can do damage in the A10.
75 Iowa St C. Brackins is a great player but he needs to hit the boards on the off end – ISU #12 def reb team, #339 off reb team in 09.
74 Northeastern Led by backcourt of Matt Janning (14/5/3) and Chase Allen (10/5/3), NE should be near top of CAA standings all season.
73 Akron Zips have a good shot at another NCAA berth, with top almost everyone back and RSCI #65 recruit Zeke Marshall on board.
72 Illinois St Star O. Eldridge (14/6) returns to a team with many key players back, but need to finish games strong (2-4 in OT last yr).
71 SDSU Count on 20 Ws for Steve Fisher, but 4 of his top 6 are gone and he needs quick production from a top 15 recruiting class.
70 Nevada C Luke Babbitt (17/7) & G Armon Johnson (16/4/4) make a stud inside/out tandem, but how will new coach David Carter adjust?
69 Arkansas C. Fortson (15/6/6) & M. Washington (16/10) are a great in/out duo and with everyone back UA will surprise in the SEC West.
68 Richmond UR has most back incl. D. Geriot (14/6) who missed last yr with an injury; trendy pick to win the A10 if UD and XU falter.
67 Seton Hall Transfers K. Lawrence & H. Pope will make/break this team, regardless of J. Hazell’s (23/4) point production every night.
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Cooler Than You: Some Of The Best Of College Basketball

Posted by jstevrtc on November 6th, 2009

seasonpreviewJust about anyone can name the best teams in college basketball, and, as far as individual players, if you’re reading this site you can most likely reel off three or four of your own personal All-America teams.  But what about those individuals who specifically excel at a few of the more exciting aspects of the game?  There are certain plays that make everyone come out of their seats:  a massive and powerful dunk that liberates some poor defender of his pride;  a ridiculously long three-pointer, especially at crunch time; and a blocked shot where the ball goes into orbit.  And of course everyone loves basketball players with cool names.  So here they are:  RTC’s rankings of the best dunkers, best long-range bombers, best shot-blockers, and coolest names in the game today.

The Most Excellent Dunkers

Unlike the NBA All-Star Weekend, we’ll begin with the dunk artists.  Each player is listed with a link leading you to an example or two of his work.  Sorry, UConn fans.  We respect you and your team, but we had to put Summers over Robinson because…well, you know why.

  1. Paul George, Fresno State  (vs St. Mary’s 2008, practice video 2009, Open Gym 2009)
  2. Chris Wright, Dayton  (vs Ohio State 2008, vs Marquette 2008)
  3. Durrell Summers, Michigan State (vs UConn over S. Robinson 2009, vs Minnesota 2009)
  4. Stanley Robinson, Connecticut (vs Michigan State 2009, vs Villanova 2008)
  5. Isaiah Thomas, Washington  (Madness 09)
  6. Scotty Hopson, Tennessee (vs Arkansas 2009)
  7. Keion Bell, Pepperdine  (Madness 09, Madness 09 over 5 guys)

Honorable Mention (or, guys who will probably be on this list by year’s end): Will Coleman, Memphis; John Wall, Kentucky; Delvon Roe, Michigan State; Wes Johnson, Syracuse.

The All-Jeff Fryer Team

This list of the best long-range bombers is named after the legendary (in our minds) Loyola Marymount guard who still holds the record for most three-pointers made in an NCAA Tournament game, an incredible 11 against Michigan in 1990′s second round.  If you can catch that game on ESPN Classic, it is something to behold.  You have to be a little nuts to be a bomber; you have to forget your last miss like it never happened and be willing to keep firing even when they just won’t fall (our editors are familiar with this feeling).  Here’s our ranking of 25 of this season’s best:

  1. T.J. Campbell, Portland
  2. Rihards Kuksiks, Arizona State
  3. Jared Stohl, Portland
  4. Andrew Goudelock, College Of Charleston
  5. Mike Roll, UCLA
  6. Jerome Randle, California
  7. Brandon Hazzard, Troy
  8. Ryan Staudacher, Montana
  9. Corey Allmond, Sam Houston State
  10. Ryan Wittman, Cornell
  11. Josh Young, Drake
  12. Corey Stokes, Villanova
  13. Jonathan Tavernari, BYU
  14. Gordon Hayward, Butler
  15. Troy Cotton, Wisconsin-Green Bay
  16. Tweety Carter, Baylor
  17. Rotnei Clarke, Arkansas
  18. Corey Lowe, Boston University
  19. Ricky Harris, Massachusetts
  20. Mac Hopson, Idaho
  21. Andy Rautins, Syracuse
  22. Nic Wise, Arizona
  23. Willie Warren, Oklahoma
  24. Jimmy Langhurst, Robert Morris
  25. Kelvin Lewis, Houston

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Where 2009-10 Happens: Reason #2 Why We Love College Basketball

Posted by zhayes9 on November 6th, 2009

seasonpreview

Shamelessly cribbing from the very clever NBA catch phrase, we here at RTC will present to you the Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball as we gear up toward the start of the season next week.  We’ll be bringing you players to watch for this season and moments to remember from last season, courtesy of the series of dump trucks, wires and effluvia known as YouTube.

#2- Where March Madness Happens

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