68 Things We Can’t Wait To See This Season

Kentucky's Jamal Murray (AP Photo/James Crisp)
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Here are the 68 things that we are looking forward to the most from the 2015-16 season:

  1. Maryland finally facing Georgetown in a game that actually counts. If only it wasn’t overshadowed by the Champions Classic.
  2. Speaking of which, the Champions Classic. Duke-Kentucky and Kansas-Michigan State. It doesn’t get much better than that until …
  3. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The highlight? Maryland at North Carolina and Indiana at Duke on back-to-back nights.
  4. Is Kentucky’s Jamal Murray the real deal?
  5. Can Kentucky’s guards actually co-exist?
  6. What about Skal Labissiere? Can he actually produce this season? Will he see the ball enough?
  7. Can Ben Simmons make LSU relevant?
  8. Shaka Smart at Texas. Can Havoc work in the Big 12?
  9. Derrick Jones. No explanation needed.
  10. How much of an impact will the new rules actually have? Will scoring increase? Is it going to come at the expense of game-flow?
  11. Can Mark Turgeon actually make Maryland a contender?
  12. Just how good is a healthy Marcus Paige? It’s going to take us another couple of weeks to figure that about.
  13. Bob Huggins’ sweatsuit.
  14. John Calipari’s Armani suits.
  15. Everyone’s talking Skal and Simmons, but what about Duke’s Brandon Ingram?
  16. Speaking of freshmen, Cheick Diallo’s eligibility. Will he play?
  17. Speaking of Kansas, which Wayne Selden do we see this season?
  18. Can Cuonzo Martin lead Cal to a Pac-12 title?
  19. The impact that Ben Howland, Bruce Pearl and Rick Barnes have on SEC hoops. They’re already making a difference in a league that’s on the upswing.
  20. The Kris Dunn show.
  21. Kyle Collinsworth triple-double watch.
  22. Relevant hoops at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym.
  23. Is Oklahoma really worth the hype?
  24. Tum Tum running things up in East Lansing.
  25. Hilton Magic. Is Steve Prohm the man that can unseat Kansas?
  26. Who does Bo Ryan have waiting to spring on us at Wisconsin?
  27. A deep postseason run from Tony Bennett to justify his playing style.
  28. How in the hell does Grayson Allen follow up the last college game we saw?
  29. The last hurrah for Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet.
  30. The Demetrius Jackson Show.
  31. Ben Howland’s return to the college game, and what happens when he puts the ball in Malik Newman’s hands.
  32. Will Indiana’s defense be good enough to make them relevant in the Big Ten title race?
  33. And can the Hoosiers withstand the external pressures with a fan base calling for their coach’s job?
  34. Speaking of external pressures, what about Louisville? With the scandal going on around them, can a team of new pieces find any kind of success?
  35. Will Kansas extend their string of Big 12 titles to 12?
  36. Will Arizona’s many newcomers defend at the level Sean Miller will demand of them?
  37. UCLA has a ton of talent on their roster, but can Steve Alford find a way to put it all together before the start of the NCAA tournament?
  38. Can anyone take control in a wide-open Pac-12 race?
  39. How do Cal and LSU handle the hype that will come with their talented newcomers?
  40. The rest of the national media play catch-up when they realize just how good Henry Ellenson is.
  41. How many rebounds is Rico Gathers going to get? And will he end up declaring for the NBA, NFL or WWE Draft?
  42. How will Gonzaga account for the loss of Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and Byron Wesley on the perimeter?
  43. Just how good is Daniel Hamilton going to be for UConn this season, and will Sterling Gibbs follow in Kemba and Shabazz’s footsteps?
  44. And will Kyle Wiltjer actually factor into the National Player of the Year race?
  45. Can North Carolina function with the pressure of being a national favorite with the NCAA cloud hanging over them?
  46. Can Villanova get out of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament?
  47. A much tighter Big East race than it’s been the last two seasons.
  48. Marquette incorporating a talented freshman class and whether or not that can get them back to the tournament.
  49. Can UAB repeat their run to and through the opening round of the NCAA tournament?
  50. Purdue’s front court. Is it enough to get them back to the NCAA tournament?
  51. UC Irvine’s Mamadou N’Diaye vs. UCF’s Tacko Fall (assuming he gets eligible). That’s two dudes that are 7-foot-6.
  52. Speaking of tall guys, how will Jakob Poeltl develop in his sophomore season?
  53. Miami is going to sell out season tickets this season. Are those fans going to see an ACC title contender?
  54. SMU playing for nothing but pride and winning the American.
  55. How hoarse Tom Izzo will be if his team makes it back to the Final Four again.
  56. Oregon State’s Gary Payton II getting reinforcements.
  57. The 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon.
  58. Will Florida State’s talented newcomers allow them to live up to the hype?
  59. What will N.C. State do for an encore after getting to the Sweet 16?
  60. Mick Cronin’s return to the sidelines at Cincinnati. Can they be a top 25 team?
  61. How North Florida deals with being the target in the A-Sun. They have the pieces needed to repeat.
  62. Rhode Island’s emergence as a favorite in the Atlantic 10. You’ll like Hassan Martin. I promise.
  63. Press Virginia.
  64. Can Seton Hall avoid another implosion?
  65. This Ryan Anderson character. Just how good is he?
  66. Ever heard the name Jalan West? You should.
  67. A wide open season where there is no consensus best team or best player, which leads to a crazy tournament and …
  68. … something that tops this: