Opening day for the college basketball season is finally here. With it, there are predictions, hot takes and a full day of games that will probably end in absolute blowouts. Still, what it mostly means is the long, sad, basketballless offseason is over. Amateur superstars are back out on the hardwood again in an attempt to step on basketball’s biggest stage, March Madness. It all begins on day one.
Opening day is perfect for expanding geography knowledge
When your life revolves entirely around sports, it changes how you look at non-sports things. For example, holidays are not the same as your everyday calendar (except Thanksgiving. Football Thanksgiving is still Thanksgiving). One example is The Masters is the start of Spring. Another is March Madness is the Christmas season (sorry, Jesus).
Another way sports takes over is with geography. It is extremely rare when an acquaintance or relative gives me their list of possible schools without me knowing. That is because of sports. “Hey, Al, where do you think you’re going to go for school?” “Well, PJ, I am looking at Providence, UMass and UAB.” To which I will respond, “Oh you mean the school Rick Pitino brought to the Final Four, the team John Calipari took (but actually didn’t take because it got wiped away) to the Final Four, and the best football program in the country? That’s awesome, man. All good choices.”
Still, every once in awhile, a school will come up that I have never watched in the Southland Conference tournament or the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. A really good counter to that is opening day of the season where Stetson and Weber International play to give me a two-for-one learning deal or Jackson State shows me that Paul Millsap has a university (this is #FakeNews, they just played a school called Millsaps). Sports teach you a lot.
Eastern Michigan might actually be the Harlem Globetrotters
In the official first game of the college basketball season, Eastern Michigan took on NAIA Spring Arbor. Spring Arbor is an extremely not intimidating or athletically gifted team from a small Methodist University in Michigan. Nothing Eastern Michigan did in this game should have impressed me because of that. Instead, I was glued to the television (actually just my laptop while sitting in the back of class) as they skied for dunk after dunk after dunk. In the midst of the athletic showcase, they put together this minute stretch, which is quite possibly the most electric minute of hoops I have ever seen.
Will they win the MAC because of this show of athletic dominance? probably not. But regardless, this is a huge reason why opening day is awesome. These are all division one athletes and it’s great that for even one game, they get to show out to the peak of their athletic potential. Also, it gives media members a chance to make ridiculous knee-jerk reactions to things that mean basically nothing. Eastern Michigan might be my bandwagon team of the season.
No one is safe from the Zona train
An elite program with a chip on its shoulder is not necessarily ideal for the rest of the country. I expect Arizona to break at least 3 teams’ spirits this season. Also, Allonzo Trier is an NBA player stuck in college, which again isn’t ideal for every other program. They just look better than they ever have and honestly, I am scared.
The SEC is very good
They had no losses as a conference yesterday and Kentucky looked like the third best team in the conference. It has been a while since a while since this was a conference that got praised on its depth, but this year is going to be a real battle. After the ACC, this might be the best conference in basketball. Also, any time there is a chance Kentucky doesn’t win, I get very excited.