College Basketball

National Championship Game Preview and Picks: UConn Huskies vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Traditonal powers still set up historic title bout
National Championship Game Preview and Picks: UConn Huskies vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Prepare to see history.

Whatever happens in Monday night’s national title game, either Kentucky or Connecticut will become one of the most rare champions in the NCAA Tournament.

With 11 titles between the two, the Wildcats and Huskies aren’t in a spot they’ve never been, even in the last five years. But both have taken a path to the title game that, while not unprecedented, puts each school in exclusive company.

Elite Eight Preview and Picks: Florida Gators vs. Dayton Flyers

Florida meets another upstart as Gators seek Final Four bid
Elite Eight Preview and Picks: Florida Gators vs. Dayton Flyers

A team can’t reach six regional finals in nine seasons, including four in a row, without being either the dream crusher or dream maker.

Consider the teams the Gators have faced in the NCAA Tournament since the year of Florida’s first title in 2006: Florida defeated George Mason in the Final Four in 2006 and Florida Gulf Coast in the Sweet 16 in 2013. But the Gators also were one of the victims of Butler on the Bulldogs’ second run to the national title game in 2011.

Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Michigan Wolverines vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Michigan, Tennessee made key adjustments to reach Tourney's second weekend
Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Michigan Wolverines vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Transformation is one of the key words for both Michigan and Tennessee as they reached the Sweet 16.

The top players for both teams have transformed themselves from last season. Michigan's Nik Stauskas added muscle to make him much more than a spot-up jump shooter. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes lost 10 pounds to become a more mobile and versatile big man.

But beyond individuals, both teams had to transform through the course of the season.

NCAA Tournament 2014: March Madness Bracket Cheat Sheets

Need help? Athlon editors give their picks to help you win big
<p> NCAA Tournament 2014: March Madness Bracket Cheat Sheets</p>
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Now that Selection Sunday is over, it's time for March Madness to kick into high gear. It's that time of year when everyone—even the guy in the cubicle next to you who still plays Dungeons & Dragons—starts caring about college basketball.

12 teams that could pop NCAA Tournament bubbles

These teams could rise up during conference tournaments and steal bids from bubble teams
12 teams that could pop NCAA Tournament bubbles

Beware of bid thieves.

For weeks, basketball fans been watching the NCAA Tournament bubble, hoping their teams can win the games they should and maybe score an upset or two.

But an NCAA Tournament bid isn’t always in the hands of the bubble teams. In just about every season, a team that has no business playing in the Big Dance will make a run at a conference title by grabbing an automatic bid at the 11th hour.

These are those teams, the spoilers. Bubble teams should watch with trepidation.

North Carolina's Leslie McDonald earns Athlon Player of the Week honors

McDonald's Tobacco Road rival earns Freshman of the Week
North Carolina's Leslie McDonald earns Athlon Player of the Week honors

When North Carolina’s season started, P.J. Hariston and Leslie McDonald were in NCAA suspension limbo.

McDonald, though, was the clear No. 2 anytime the two suspensions were mentioned. Now that he’s been in the lineup for weeks, McDonald has proven himself one of the key missing pieces for the Tar Heels’ season.

The senior guard led North Carolina with 21 points in Thursday’s 74-66 win over Duke and added 19 points in Saturday’s rout of Wake Forest to earn Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.

Grading the notable new college basketball coaches for 2013-14

As the coaching carousel comes to a close, we grade new faces at UCLA, USC, Minnesota and more
<p> As the coaching carousel comes to a close, we grade new faces at UCLA, USC, Minnesota and more</p>

Coaching turnover in college basketball appears to be as tame as ever.

With 39 coaching changes so far, the 2013-14 coaching carousel is poised to be the most inactive since in four years. In each of the last three seasons, at least 50 Division I programs changed coaches.

Miami Hurricanes 2016-17 Basketball Team Preview and Prediction

Davon Reed leads new cast of characters in Coral Gables
Miami Hurricanes 2016-17 Basketball Team Preview and Prediction

Not that Jim Larranaga isn’t smart enough to figure all this out, but he enters the 2016-17 season facing questions he’s never had before.

 

The Hurricanes coach, coming off his second Sweet 16 appearance in four seasons, has a brand new roster once again. Unlike his rebuild of 2013’s ACC championship and Sweet 16 squad, he also has talent — namely, the first top-10 recruiting class in program history.

 

He may not know what to do with it until December.

 

Pittsburgh Panthers 2016-17 Basketball Team Preview and Prediction

Michael Young, Panthers turn page to the Kevin Stallings era
Pittsburgh Panthers 2016-17 Basketball Team Preview and Prediction

Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings ... wait ... who? What about Jamie Dixon, the man who led Pittsburgh to 11 NCAA Tournaments in 13 years and was the cornerstone of the program?

 

In an intriguing twist, Dixon exited in the offseason, after leading Pittsburgh to a 21–12 record and to a one-and-done trip to the NCAA Tournament, to return to his alma mater, TCU. This prompted the hiring of Stallings, who spent 17 seasons at Vanderbilt and was the longest-tenured coach in the SEC.

 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2016-17 Basketball Team Preview and Prediction

Irish are looking for new leader but remain NCAA contender
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2016-17 Basketball Team Preview and Prediction

For the second straight season, Notre Dame has lost two vital pieces of an Elite Eight team. But the Fighting Irish — as they have done so often in the Mike Brey era — will identify new leading men.

 

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