The 2013-14 season opened on an US army base in South Korea as Georgetown and Oregon faced off, a meeting that re-introduced the world to Joshua Smith and was the initial win that propelled Oregon into the top 25 rankings. The trip must have been a success: according to the Pac-12, Washington and Texas will open the 2015-16 season on November 13 in Shanghai.
RELATED: Is your team in the field of 68? Check our latest Bracketology
One immediate take-away is whether this contest will help recruiting efforts. This game will present both teams with massive exposure: playing in China will be hyped months before the season begins, and countless classes of recruits will be aware of the two participants. UW and Texas will be making history by making the trip to Shanghai — this match-up will be the first between college or pro teams in China. Also, do either of the schools, or conferences, begin to recruit westward? Are there prospects in Asia and the Philippines that the conference feels they can tap into? The potential for recruiting and marketing makes this event a must-have for both the Pac-12 and Big 12.
MORE: Get caught up on all of today’s Bubble Banter
This seems like a strange moment to announce this game — why in the middle of conference tournament week? — but it is also hard not to get excited for both a future season of college basketball and the expansion of the college game. For years, colleges take their teams on preseason overseas trips every four seasons, and this is just an extension of that philosophy.
LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:
This is peak AAU basketball.
It will never be more AAU than that.
In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.
The crowd was insane for the game:
According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.
Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:
At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:
(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)
The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.
South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.
Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.
The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:
A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:
That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.
But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?