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November 10th, 2012
With a horrendous football season almost at its end, the Big Ten Conference rejoins the national conversation. The Big Ten had six bids to March’s NCAA Tournament (tied with the Big 12 for second-most) and four advanced to the Sweet 16 — tied for the lead among all conferences.
In a move that was largely centered around football, the SEC welcomes in two new teams this season. Missouri and Texas A&M join the fold making the conference that much more formidable on the hardwood. Missouri is coming off of one of the best seasons in program history while A&M is looking to continue the steady success they have achieved over the last few years under Bill Gillispie and Mark Turgeon. Kentucky has dominated this conference for the better part of three years but this season will be a challenge for John Calipari's squad.
The Pac 12 has been down for a few years now, but last year was historically bad. Only two teams (Cal and Colorado) made the NCAA tournament with both being double digit seeds. And for the first time ever, the conference regular season champ (Washington) was not invited. The out of conference portion of the schedules produced nothing worth noting in terms of big wins. Colorado did pull off an upset win in the tourney and Stanford did save some face by winning the NIT.
The 2012 Draft featured eight members of the 2015 NCAA graduating class. Despite that, a case could be made that the sophomore class is the most talent laden in all of college. Last year's draft had 13 players who had just completed their sophomore season, pointing to players making a nice turn in their development with a tad more seasoning. This year's sophomore class has some solid returnees who would have undoubtedly been top draft picks.
It’s the most beautiful time of the year. After months of waiting the day is finally arriving. With all due respect to Halloween, of course I am talking about the start of the NBA season- arguably the most anticipated NBA season in years. With the season’s commencement just days away, there are a variety of interesting storylines.
Before the concept of guaranteed rookie contracts came into existence in 1995, freshmen were seen as players who usually had a lot of growth in front of them at the college level. The NBA Draft changed forever in that fateful year and now with the "one year out of high school" rule, these first year players are usually seen as the cream of the crop of possible draftees. Since the rule came into place in 2007, we have seen 5 out of 6 #1 picks having just finished their first year of college, with sophomore Blake Griffin being the exception in 2009.