To mark this first day of SB Nation United, I wanted to highlight a few posts that jumped out at me while I was exploring after work.
The first is Big East Coast Bias' relieved reaction to the news that Madison Square Garden decided not to bid for to host an ACC Tournament between 2016 and 2021, the next available set of elimination events for the conference. This comes as a bit of a shock considering that ACC commissioner John Swofford talked about taking his conference's tournament to the Garden when Syracuse and Pittsburgh agreed to join, and you can bet those calls got louder when Notre Dame, famed for their Subway Alumni, elected to move their non-football sports to the league.
However, Swofford will have to find another site in the Northeast if he wishes to expand the event's footprint. And it won't be MSG's new in-city rival, as Brooklyn's new Barclays Center also declined to bid. In all likelihood, that means the two New York City arenas will probably stick with their current partners -- the Big East for MSG and the Atlantic 10 for the Barclays -- for the more than foreseeable future. Given that both of those leagues have plenty of members in easy travel distance of Manhattan and Brooklyn (at least for the moment, remember there are no guarantees in these days of conference realignment), MSG and Barclays Center management are likely willing to stick with the status quo, especially if they have watched a recent ACC tournament or football title game not held in the Carolinas.
As the 2012-13 season is approaching, I've elected to make preseason information a focus of this site. However, I haven't quite been able to go to the lengths in terms of team coverage that Mid-Major Madness has with its Season Preview section. Of course, when your blog is tasked with covering the length and width of mid-major hoops, you need to get an early start on things. Today's featured post is Nicolas Lewis' interview with South Alabama head coach Ron Arrow and three Jaguars' standouts, including Sun Belt Player of the Year contenter Augustine Rubit. The interview provides an early look at a team that should be in the thick of the Sun Belt race, alongside North Texas and surprise 2012 NCAA qualifier Western Kentucky, among others. Lewis' piece also looks at how the Jaguars' treated their recent trip to Canada, and the lessons learned from games against Windsor and Western Ontario.
Finally, SB Nation's College Basketball editor, Mike Rutherford, released his list of the Top 100 players in college basketball for the upcoming season. Creighton junior Doug McDermott, the only returning 2012 All-American, is not at the top of the list, and you likely won't be surprised when you see the name of the one player ahead of him, though you might argue with Rutherford's pick of Indiana sophomore Cody Zeller. I won't, as I feel that barring a dreaded sophomore slump, Zeller may very well lead the Hoosiers to heights last reached in the last century (2001's national runner-up spot notwithstanding).
McDermott is one of three mid-major players in the top five, which is an incredible feat in this day and age, as Lehigh's C.J. McCollum (no. 4) and Murray State's Isaiah Canaan (no. 5) are the top two seniors on the list. They're just ahead of the top-ranked frosh, UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad, who has yet to be even cleared for action by the NCAA.
Of course, as a Florida alum, I did a bit of a double-take when I saw Mike Rosario's name at the bottom (or top, in this case) of the list. Not because the Rutgers transfer doesn't have top 100 talent, but he had plenty of health and inconsistency issues in 2011-12, averaging a shade over 14 minutes of playing time in 31 games.