The college basketball preview package for the weekend of Oct. 26-27. For questions, please call (212) 621-1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; Graphics, ext. 6907. Reruns of stories and agate are available from http://apexchange.com or from the Service Desk (800-838-4616).
Individual team previews will move the week of Oct. 28 for these conferences: ACC (stories move on Oct. 28), Big 12 and American Athletic (Oct. 29), Big Ten and Big East (Oct. 30), Pac-12 (Oct. 31) and SEC (Nov. 1). Another package of stories is planned for Nov. 2-3.
The following stories are for release Oct. 26 and thereafter:
Conference realignment is at the point where it could be a category on Jeopardy! Only nine of the 32 conferences will not have any changes this season or next. Some moves are just adding a team or two while some are wholesale changes that have traditionalists shaking their heads. By Basketball Writer Jim O'Connell. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 9 p.m. Thursday. With glance.
BKC--LOOK WHO'S BACK
Sometimes a man just feels he has something left to prove. The reasoning was about that simple when Creighton's Doug McDermott and Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart announced they would pass on the NBA draft and return to school. McDermott wants to measure himself against more athletic and physical opposition in the Bluejays' first season in the Big East. Smart didn't want to end his college career on the sour note the Cowboys struck in the NCAA tournament. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 9 p.m. Thursday.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina coach Roy Williams hasn't had a very smooth year, from losing starter Reggie Bullock early to the NBA draft to dealing with offseason trouble faced by leading scorer P.J. Hairston. At least Williams can focus for now on practice work sculpting a team filled with young frontcourt talent. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m. Thursday.
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins and Duke counterpart Jabari Parker will meet in an early season showdown between potential No. 1 draft picks. The two superstar recruits, who will meet on a neutral floor in Chicago in November, headline a crop of first-year players in college basketball that could be among the best ever. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m. Thursday.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
Connecticut is used to dealing with the pressure that comes from consistent success. But with eight players returning from a 35-4 team that won the program's eighth national championship in April, the expectations for this season are greater than ever. UConn is a prohibitive favorite not only to win a ninth title, but to win every game they play, and by a wide margin. By Pat Eaton-Robb. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 9 p.m. Thursday.
Get ready for more whistles. In an effort to increase scoring from an all-time low last season, NCAA officials will be enforcing rules more tightly this year and that includes hand-checking. Physical play will get much more scrutiny, all in an effort to allow offenses to score. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m. Thursday.