25 Biggest Storylines of the 2013-14 College Basketball Season Thus Far
Biggest Storylines of the 2013-14 College Basketball Season Thus Far
The college basketball season is in full swing and it looks like it might be the craziest season yet. We all know how crazy college basketball can get and the upsets have been aplenty thus far. In case you have missed the first month of the season, two teams who have been ranked No. 1 in the polls have lost. The Kentucky Wildcats began the year ranked No. 1 before losing in the Champions Classic to the Michigan State Spartans.
Michigan State was then No. 1 for three weeks before losing to the inconsistent North Carolina Tar Heels at home. It's not often you see the Spartans lay an egg at home and lose to a team who has been as inconsistent and unpredictable as any this season.
The defending champions, the Louisville Cardinals, have been under the spotlight as well as they have been fighting to defend their crown, but have already lost. Who did they lose to? Who else but the Tar Heels.
With the season finally underway and a month into play, what are the biggest storylines of the season thus far? Could the fantastic freshman class be the biggest storyline? How about the inconsistent play of North Carolina? How about the fact that it seems like no one wants to be No. 1?
With the season being so young and already so crazy, it has the makings of one of the wildest seasons in recent memory. If November and December are this hard to predict, imagine how crazy March Madness will be. Yes, the best time of the college basketball year is still months away, but with the way things are going, you would be hard-pressed to find a disappointed college basketball fan.
Check out the biggest storylines of the 2013-14 season thus far and tell me which stories you think I've missed.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at email@example.com.
25. Michigan Drops Out of Rankings
After three early-season losses, the reigning national runner-ups are now out of the Top 25 rankings -- assuming they will drop after losing as the No. 22 team -- after starting the season as the No. 7 team in the nation.
24. Shabazz Napier's Clutch Shot
Shabazz Napier has been known as a clutch shooter and that hasn't changed. Check out his latest working of magic against the Florida Gators.
23. Is Adreian Payne Regretting Decision to Come Back?
Adreian Payne struggled with the idea of staying in college or entering the NBA draft a season ago as a possible lottery pick. Since he's a senior now and not in the NBA, has he regretted his decision? I doubt it, he's averaging 15.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
22. Could the ACC be Better Than Ever?
Adding a handful of former Big East teams like Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, the ACC could end up being better than it ever has before.
21. Class of 2014 Recruiting Decisions
We got to see the top recruits for the 2014 class choose their future homes -- at least for a year. Tyus Jones, Jhalil Okafor and Cliff Alexander. Let's just say the rich keep getting richer.
20. Doug McDermott Player of the Year?
Doug McDermott is one of the best players in college basketball and he's not even a freshman. Yes, he's an upperclassman and he's averaging nearly 25 points and seven rebounds per game.
19. Steve Alford's New Job at UCLA
Steve Alford left his job with the New Mexico Lobos after one of the best season's in school history for the highly-respected UCLA job. He has won eight of his first nine games with the school and looks like he's the change the program needed after Ben Howland.
18. Andy Enfield's New Job at USC
Andy Enfield left hi job at 2013's Cinderella, Florida Gulf Coast, for the USC Trojans job. He is now rivals with new head coach of UCLA, Steve Alford, but has not been so successful thus far. He has lost three of his first eight games with the school -- all to unranked teams.
17. ACC-Big Ten Challenge
Everyone watches the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and it looks like the two best conferences in college basketball are matched up relatively evenly.
16. Champions Classic
A possible Final Four preview? Four of the best teams in the country faced off in the most exciting early-season spectacle. Michigan State took down No. 1 Kentucky while the Duke Blue Devils fell to the Kansas Jayhawks.
15. How Good is the Big Ten?
The Big Ten has five teams that are ranked in the Top 25 right now and they could have even more before the season is over. This is easily the deepest conference in the country.
14. Can Mitch McGary Live Up to the Hype?
Given a preseason All-American honor after a slightly above average 2012-13 season, people were wondering if Mitch McGary could live up to all the hype as a sophomore leading the Michigan Wolverines. He is averaging 9.3 points and 8.8 assists and Michigan is 6-3 through nine games. You be the judge.
13. This Year's Cinderella?
There are many possibilities such as Wichita State or Massachusetts, but the season is still young. This will be fun to watch.
12. Chane Behanan's Reinstatement
Chane Behanan was a big piece to Louisville's championship puzzle a year ago and was suspended early in the season for a violation of school policy. It sounded like his future with the program was nearing its end, but he was reinstated a few weeks later by Rick Pitino. His character is something to keep an eye on.
11. No More Dominant Big East
The Big East was once the best conference in college basketball. Now? It has weakened drastically. How will college basketball's landscape change?
10. Louisville's Title Defense
Defending your crown is never easy, especially after losing some key pieces like Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng. How will Louisville respond to adversity? Oh yeah, and how about that Kevin Ware guy?
9. John Calipari's 'Not Fair' Comments
John Calipari and Tom Izzo had a war of words prior to their early-season matchup -- jokingly of course. Calipari came off as a crybaby, however, as he muttered the words "not fair" when he was speaking of the Spartans' experience compared to his young Wildcats. Poor guy.
8. What Type of Team is North Carolina?
They lost to Belmont and then beat the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals. Then they proceeded to lose to UAB and beat Michigan State shortly after. What kind of team do you have exactly, Roy Williams?
7. Experience of Michigan State
Michigan State is the most experienced team in college basketball and that has been their trademark all season long. Will this win them a championship?
6. Aaron Gordon Leading Arizona Wildcats
Can freshman Aaron Gordon lead the Arizona Wildcats? His 13 points and 9.1 rebounds per game isn't too shabby.
5. Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart is a sophomore and could potentially be the most dominant, exciting player in college basketball.
4. Jabari Parker's Stellar Play
Jabari Parker might have it all: basketball IQ, talent and leadership ability. This kid is going to be a star one day at the next level.
3. Top Freshman Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins has been the most talked about freshman in the nation this season. Will he live up to his potential or is he not mature enough yet -- oh yeah and he's already declared for the NBA draft.
2. Kentucky's Youth
How will Kentucky's freshman class fare this season? A year ago, the talented youth failed to produce an NCAA Tournament berth and a loss in the first round of the NIT.
1. College Basketball's Freshman Class
The theme of college basketball this season has been the freshman class. It may just be the best ever.