For fans of NCAA College Basketball, Wednesday, November 25 will be like a party.
In March, the season was shuttered due to COVID-19, with no champion crowned for the first time. Some teams were set to make some noise during March Madness, some new faces would have shocked the world, and 67 games would have got us to one eventual champion in early April.
But none of that happened.
On the 25th, though, it all starts anew. Sure, there will be some games canceled due to the virus, and some other teams will be rusty at times. But there will be college basketball, and that is great news for bettors and fans alike.
Unlike other sports (except maybe European soccer), college basketball is unique in that there are so many games to bet each day. On a given Saturday, there might be 100 games, starting at noon and ending well into the night.
Here are four of the best NCAA Men's College Basketball games from the opening week (Nov 25), with predictions for each one (and odds for some).
Charleston at #16 University of North Carolina
Prediction: Tarheels to win by a big margin. Wednesday, Nov. 25, TBD
Why is this game on this list? Well, for one, I am a Tar Heel. But that is not why I have this one to watch: UNC is +2500 to win the title in April, which could be a decent flyer on a program that has been to nearly 30 percent of the finals since 2005.
#2 Baylor vs. #18 Arizona State
Prediction: Look for the Bears to win this one, and there to be a lot of points. A lot of points.. Wednesday, Nov. 25, 9 p.m. EST
The last game of the night at the Mohegan Sun 2K Empire Classic is the best, with the first ranked matchup of the season. Baylor was a big threat to win the title last season, and start the season with its highest ranking ever backed by Preseason All-America Jared Butler. But the Sun Devils have their own All-America in Remy Martin, and could make this an interesting evening.
#6 Kansas vs. #1 Gonzaga
Prediction: Gonzaga has Corey Kispert (Preseason AA), and should have the victory as well.. Thursday, Nov. 26, 6 p.m. EST
Well, this is not a bad game for the second night of college basketball. We should all be thankful to get such a big matchup after all the turkey is eaten.
Gonzaga lost the 2017 title game to UNC, and might have won last season; but the Zags come into this campaign as the favorite. Kansas is always good, and should be ready to rumble in the Ft. Myers Tip-Off.
#4 Virginia vs. Florida
Prediction: Cavs look ready to roll again, and are always a tough matchup for out of conference games. Friday, Nov. 27, 11:30 a.m. EST
The (still) reigning national champions come into 2020-21 in the top five, and will take on Florida as a nine-point favorite in the HomeLight Classic on Black Friday.
Sam Hauser is one of the ACC players to watch, after averaging 14.9 ppg and 7.3 rpg last season.
Where to watch NCAA Men's College Basketball games? Live on ESPN and Fubo.tv