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Breaking down this year’s awesome College Gameday schedule

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ESPN released their schedule for College Gameday during the 2013-2014 season, and man, do we have some good matchups to look forward to.

It kicks off with a double-header, a trip to the Palestra in the morning to see Temple take on La Salle which is followed by a trip up I-95 to Storrs, where the crew will take in the defending champs Louisville making their final visit to UConn as a league foe.

That’s a helluva way to kick off the year, and it only gets better from there.

Here is the full schedule:

  • Jan. 18: Temple vs. La Salle (The Palestra) and Louisville at UConn
  • Jan. 25: Michigan at Michigan State
  • Feb. 1: Duke at Syracuse
  • Feb. 8: Gonzaga at Memphis
  • Feb. 15: Florida at Kentucky
  • Feb. 22: Either Arizona at Colorado OR UCLA at Stanford
  • March 1: Kansas at Oklahoma State
  • March 8: North Carolina at Duke

Where do we begin?

Michigan and Michigan State has always been a heated rivalry, but with the Wolverines’ resurgence under John Beilein the past couple of years, it has finally returned to relevancy on a national stage. It should be fun to see the two best teams in the Big Ten squaring off on the sport’s biggest stage.

Duke’s visit to Syracuse was already going to be special, as the Orange are considering moving the court into the middle of the Carrier Dome. It will be a logistical nightmare, but with the College Gameday crew in town, I would expect the school to make the change. That will only add to the intrigue of the Blue Devils’ first visit to Upstate New York as an ACC rival. Oh, don’t be surprised to see these two battling it out for the ACC title by the end of the year. That will become a trend.

Memphis has the talent to be a top ten team this season and always has a raucous home court, while Gonzaga is, well, Gonzaga. This should be a good, late-season test for the Zags, who failed to make the Sweet 16 as a No. 1 seed last season.

Florida’s visit to Rupp is always destined to be a thriller. Kentucky is bringing in one of the most talented recruiting classes of all-time, but Florida has enough front court talent to matchup with the Wildcats. The Gators are good enough to challenge the Wildcats for an SEC title.

The Pac-12’s Gameday game will either be Arizona visiting Colorado or UCLA’s trip to Palo Alto to take on Stanford. Personally, I’m hoping for the former, as Arizona is a top ten team while Colorado may actually be the second best team in the league.

As good as the Gameday schedule will be up to this point, I think Kansas visiting Stillwater may actually be the game that I’m the most excited for. Everyone knows that when Oklahoma State is good, Gallagher-Iba Arena is one of the best home courts in the country, and thanks to Marcus Smart’s decision to return to school, the Pokes are a borderline top ten team. But with Andrew Wiggins committing to Kansas, the Jayhawks instantly became a national title contender and, as usual, the favorite to win the Big 12. There are a bazillion different storylines heading into this game. I’m pumped already.

The Gameday finale will pit Duke and North Carolina at Cameron. If PJ Hairston is allowed to play this season — and, at this point, I don’t see him getting blackballed by the NCAA — than this game could end up determining the ACC regular season title. Duke is probably the favorite to win the league, but Syracuse and UNC (with Hairston) aren’t all that far behind.

Here’s the bad news: the season doesn’t start for another three months, and it will be two more months before any of these games take place.

I sure could use a time machine right about now.

VIDEO: Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson throws down under-the-legs dunk after making 3-pointer

"CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Terrance Ferguson during the 2015 Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)"
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Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.

Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.

It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.

VIDEO: Manute Bol’s 6’11” son Bol Bol throws down in-game under-the-legs dunk

McPherson's Jacob Loecker attempts to steal the ball form Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege's Bol Bol during the first quarter of the boys' Class 4A Division I state championship basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Salina, Kan. (Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
(Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
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Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.

The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.

Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?