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Top early-season NBA games in 13-14
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 31, 2013 @ 11:55 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Is it March yet? Hardly. With the NCAA tournament in the rear-view mirror and Midnight Madness several months away, USA TODAY Sports examines several lookahead story lines for the 2013-14 college basketball season.
This week, we’ll take a look at some of the best early-season matchups. Of course, there will be a bevy of tournaments, but here’s a look at some must-watch clashes already set.
1. Kansas vs. Duke (Champion’s Classic), Nov. 12: The importance of a Bill Self vs. Mike Krzyzewski matchup will take a backseat in the spotlight to pave way for one of the most tantalizing freshmen showdowns in recent memory. Andrew Wiggins vs. Jabari Parker. It’ll be the first college matchup between the nation’s top freshmen, two of the most hyped recruits in the last decade. The Jayhawks won the Wiggins sweepstakes, edging out North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State for the nation’s top recruit as the headliner for a star-studded recruiting class only trumped by Kentucky. The Blue Devils landed the No. 2 recruit in Parker, who will team up with now-eligible Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood for a new-look Duke roster. This showdown will put two top 5 teams against each other, but more than anything it’ll be the country’s first glance at two of the game’s top upcoming stars.
2. Michigan State vs. Kentucky (Champion’s Classic), Nov. 12: Another must-watch showdown in Chicago pits an experienced Spartans roster against one of the greatest recruiting class of all time. Of course, John Calipari’s star-studded freshmen class will have much to prove, and an early-season test against a Michigan State team returning its core from a Sweet 16 finish will be a solid measuring stick for potential. Tom Izzo returns Adreian Payne (10.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Gary Harris (12.9 ppg), while Calipari welcomes top-10 recruits Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and James Young — to mesh with Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress, forming arguably the nation’s deepest and most talented team.
3. Indiana at Syracuse (ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge), Dec. 3: This Challenge always lends itself to some … [For more on Starting Five: Top early-season games in 2013-14, click here.]
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