November is probably the best month of the year for many sports fans because sports fans have a wide range of different sports going on. The NFL has kicked off the second half of its season producing a regular season game ending in a stalemate. College football has become more intriguing after the #1 ranked team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide, suffered its first loss, and NBA headlines are swirling after the surprising hiring of Mike D’Antoni as the new head coach of the Lakers. With everything going on in sports, sports fans can be even more excited because college basketball is kicking off its 24 hour Tip-Off Marathon, where college basketball games are taking place all over the nation.
The Big Ten Conference is making a strong pre-season presence with five teams ranked in the AP Top 25. The Indiana Hoosiers begin the season as the #1 ranked team followed closely behind by Ohio State and Michigan, ranked #4 and #5 respectively. Also representing the Big Team, we have the Michigan State Spartans starting the season at #21 and the Wisconsin Badgers ranked #22. Indiana has started the season 2-0 behind solid performances by its senior captain, Cody Zeller. Michigan has already started at 2-0 as Tim Hardaway Jr. eclipsed the 1,000 career points mark in a 100-62 victory over Slippery Rock in Michigan’s season opener. Ohio State and Wisconsin both cruised in their season openers.
However, outside of the five teams ranked in the top 25 for the Big Ten, the Illinois Fighting Illini has also gotten off to a good start. The Fighting Illini are currently 2-0 and the Fighting Illini looked sharp in both of those victories. Brandon Paul led the offense as the Illini grabbed a 75-55 victory over Colgate this past Friday. Paul produced 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. On Monday, the Illini got a 89-64 victory over St. Francis (NY) behind a balanced scoring output by the Illini starting lineup as four of the five starters for the Illini put up double digit points.
The 24 hour tip-off marathon is going on all day today and tonight as ten Top 25 teams will see action including two Top 25 matchups. The first matchup will feature #21 Michigan State travel to face #7 Kansas while the nightcap game will feature #9 Duke vs #3 Kentucky. All in all, we have some great basketball games to watch today and if today’s games are a preview of the NCAA basketball season, I think it’s safe to say we are all in tune for a great basketball season.