Jeff Goodman, now of CBSSports.com released a list of what he considers the top 20 non-conference games of the upcoming college basketball season. To no one's surprise, the upcoming North Carolina trip to Lexington to face Kentucky is #1 on his list. That game is sure to feature the nation's preseason #1 and #2 teams and a slew of future NBA players. Several Big East teams also have games on the list. Here are his games and comments that involve Big East teams.
2) Louisville at Kentucky, Dec. 31 -- There’s nothing like a New Year’s Eve tilt between these two rivals. The fan bases despise one another -- and there’s no shortage of disdain between the coaches, either.
6) Vanderbilt at Louisville, Dec. 2 -- Vandy has everyone back, and this is Kevin Stallings’ best chance to contend for a Final Four. Rick Pitino’s team has a blend of experience and talented young freshmen.
7) Memphis at Louisville, Dec. 17 -- The former C-USA rivalry has been renewed, and the timing is ideal – as both programs have no shortage of talent.
10) Florida at Syracuse, Dec. 2 -- Billy Donovan has stepped up his schedule and will travel to the Carrier Dome, where Jim Boeheim has had pretty good success over the years.
15) Cincinnati at Xavier, Dec. 10 -- This probably should be even higher with both teams ranked, the proximity and the hatred between fan bases and coaches.
17) Marquette at Wisconsin, Dec. 3 -- Another big-time, in-state rivalry with both programs likely being in the Top 25 this season.
I was surprised to see St. John's at Kentucky not on this list, given the fact that St. John's signed six of the top 100 and should be a very interesting team to watch next year. You could also make the case for Missouri and Villanova's early season game being a good one, provided Missouri and Frank Haith handle the coaching change well.