It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: NCAA Men’s Basketball! The season tips off tomorrow with a day full of exciting match ups starting at noon. All eyes will be on the defending champion UNC Tar Heels, as well as Coach K’s young squad at Duke.
The Tar Heels open their season at home against Northern Iowa. Their title defense begins with a new look, as they have lost Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks to the NBA. These three players were their top scorers and will be sorely missed, but now it is time for others to step up. Joel Berry is back for his senior year after averaging 14.7 points a game last season (though he will miss the first few games with a hand injury) and junior Luke Maye is back after hitting that game-winning shot in the Elite 8 matchup against Kentucky last season. This team also has six incoming freshman, and head coach Roy Williams will be looking to his juniors and seniors to step up and lead these young guys.
Duke opens their season tomorrow night as well against Elon with a completely new look, as Grayson Allen is the only senior on this roster. The team lost some top scorers to the NBA as well: Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson and Amile Jefferson. Coach K has eight freshmen coming in this year, with the most anticipated being Marvin Bagley III. This kid is 6’11”, 220 pounds and will make a poster out of his opponents without a second thought. But with all the hype surrounding ESPN’s #1 overall recruit, we’ve forgotten that three other incoming freshman are in the top ten on ESPN’s list (Carter Jr., Duval and Trent Jr.). It’s clear that expectations are high for this team, seeing as they came in at #1 on the AP Poll (UNC is #9). The Blue Devils look to shatter expectations this season as they help their freshmen transition into NCAA athletes.
Another player to watch out for is Michael Porter Jr., who came in at #2 on ESPN’s top 100. He will be at unranked Missouri, and they will most likely look to him to provide that spark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjwDQd_6BbY (Check out Marvin Bagley III)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gItF3xsbrWU (Check out Michael Porter Jr.)