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2019-2020 College Basketball Preview

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The 2019-2020 college hoops season is just around the corner, and with that comes the great predictions, the unlikely statistics and the performance metrics that will predict which teams will likely make a deep run in the tournament come March… But it’s never that easy.

Everybody had Duke marching to the Championship at the beginning of last season – and will certainly make similar predictions about this year until, predictably, most of their predictions will fall apart one weekend in March. But every season brings surprises, (Like Baylor coming out of nowhere to win 20 games last season).

That is why college basketball is the most joyful and upsetting sport we have… where one week your team looks as if they could reach the Final Four – and the next week they get blown out at home by East Tennessee State.

Oh, by the way? The three-point line is now 22 feet 1 3/4 inches. That might change the outcome of EVERYTHING.

#1 Michigan State is the best team in the country. Tom Izzo and crew went to the Final Four last season with most of their returning team (A shock in today’s one and done era). It’s hard not to like this team, as senior PG Cassius Winston looks to be the best player in college basketball. Add on returning 6’8” junior Xavier Tillman and we should be watching this team make a DEEP run in March. MSU have 11-2 odds to win it all…

#2 Kentucky has two 5 star freshmen in Tyrese Maxey and Khalil Whitney, who fit nicely into John Calipari’s “Prepare them for the NBA” system. The problem is that in the One-and-Done era, only two teams have actually won the National Championship that are starting five-star future NBA players. (The 2012 Kentucky Wildcats and the 2015 Duke Blue Devils).

# 3 Duke returns Tre Jones and adds two five star freshman studs in Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt (6’10” and 6’9”, respectively). They will have to face a VERY TOUGH

#4 Louisville team twice during the season who are expected to be better than last year’s 20 win team due to the addition of St. Joe’s transfer Lamarr Kimble (Who can shoot the lights out).

#5 Kansas is dealing with the NCAA recruiting sanctions leveled against them, but the return of Udoka Azubuike from injury and Devon Dotson’s decision to not test the NBA Draft has them looking like the best team in the Big 12. Of course, health is always a concern with Azubuike coming back from a hand injury and after last season’s string of close winds and losses, (Barely beating KSU, Losing to Texas Tech) they need to be playing with a fire that burns from the knowledge of not having a tournament to play in come March.

#6 Florida This team is a powerhouse. Andrew Nembhard and Tre Mann are remarkable playmakers surrounded by great shooters. Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear, jr. loads them up front. The SEC will be absolutely tough and This could be a title run 20 years after the last one for this Gators team.

#7 Auburn may have some issues from outside, which may make them vulnerable when they face bigger teams – although with 6’8” athletic big Babatunde Akingbola ripping down boards, this team could be one of the more athletic squads we will see this season.

#8 Villanova should be the best team in the Big East, but they may have issues at point guard, unless Collin Gillespie has taken big strides in his game. The always dangerous Wildcats are still superbly coached, balanced in the shooting department and will make magic with an 8-9 man rotation.

#9 Ohio State is tough… like really tough. Ever hear of DJ Carton? YOU WILL. The kid is an elite athlete and scorer and should lead this team far… He will play Michigan State only once this season – and it should be one of the most anticipated games of the year. He’s good enough to lead this well balanced team into the pre-season top ten… We’ll see how far he can take them come tourney time.

#10 Maryland is really balanced and sophomore experience will lead them to some great wins. Again, the Big 10 is full of big time front lines and missing a true big may cost them on occasion. Serrel Smith jr. showed a lot of promise last year and should step up while surrounded by a team with a loaded wing component. They face MSU twice… these are two other must see games.

#11 Virginia is still reeling off of their National Championship last year and won’t be AS good. But will still turn some heads… These guys just always seem to breeze through the giants of the league come tourney time…

#12 Purdue will miss Carsen Edwards as their go to scorer but they still come back stacked. Trevion Williams has NBA potential after a terrific freshman season.

#13 Florida State is awfully scary, and starts a very big lineup – their issues are in scoring in their half court offense. Get them on the break, however, and these guys are going to cause a lot of problems for opponents.

#14 Seton Hall will fight for the Big East title against Villanova – and with their four returning starters, they should get off to a fast start. Myles Powell is the truth – and should be a large factor in whether or not they make a decent tourney run.

#15 North Carolina – bring in superstar point guard Cole Anthony (Son of Greg) who is expected to be one of the best players in the country as a true freshman. The ACC is always a battle and the Tar Heels could make some ripples in the conference with Anthony at the wheel.

Coach Chris Beard has #16 Texas Tech riding high, and brought in grad transfers Chris Clark and TJ Holyfield. (My favorite name in college hoops this year). If Kansas hits any drags, the Red Raiders will be your Big 12 champions.

#17 Memphis – IS THIS THE MOST EXCITING TEAM IN THE NCAA? Perhaps. Penny Hardaway is ready for the big time and he has recruited four possible future NBA players. 7’1” James Wiseman is absurdly talented and Hardaway’s former AAU player… The question remains: Will Hardaway become a superstar coach at the D1 level? Or become a casualty of the Chris Mullin/Clyde Drexler variety and flame out after a couple of seasons? Whatever the case – it should be a fun season to watch the Tigers…

#18 Gonzaga – How do these guys stay so good year after year? Mark Few is a top-five coach, and with his front court drop of Killian Tillie and Drew Timme he returns an extremely impressive basketball team. Texas A 7 M transfer Admon Gilder could be the key to taking this team all the way… And Few has a tendency to get his teams clicking at the right time.

#19 LSU – NCAA Sanctions aside, these guys belong in the top twenty and may challenge for the SEC title. Trendon Watford is poised for a break through year and even though they lost some guys to the professional ranks last year. The problem may be the drama hanging around the program…

# 20 Arizona/Oregon – I had to include one Pac-12 team here, and since the conference doesn’t look that strong, these are the two best teams. One of them belongs in the top 20. Arizona brings in point guard Nico Mannion and Josh Green and if Sean Miller can shake his past demons, he could get these guys playing like a sweet 16 team. Oregon is in a similar position – big time impact freshman, grad transfers and a shooter in Addison Patterson. (Remember, the move of the three point line will affect a lot of percentages… Look for the numbers to fall all around.)

Hopefully that gets you started… but as we all know, these are kids, the tournament determines everything and you just never know what might happen…A team like #26 Creighton could come along and shock the world. (For the record Creighton is a terrific team… we just didn’t have space to get that deep…)

Good luck out there. Watch three point percentages to drop significantly. That is all.

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The Return of NBA after the Coronavirus Pandemic and What you Should Expect

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The NBA 2019/20 season remains suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic, but plans for season restart are underway. The main question remains to be how the rest of the regular NBA season will be like. Since suspension back on March 11, many concerns have been raised with the safety of the players being a priority.

The NBA’s board of governors recently approved a well-revised format for the restart of the season. Twenty-two teams are set to take part, and a tentative start date of July 30 was also agreed upon. The board has approved the restart of the NBA season and is the first step toward resumption of action. However, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. NBA has been working closely with the National Basketball Players Association to develop a comprehensive plan for the restart. Gamblers from all over will be excited to hear that the NBA will be back soon. However, have you found the right bookmaker to place your bets when the season restarts? Have you thought of the bonuses that you can take advantage of? Well, a reputable site such as captaingambling.com got all your betting needs covered. You will be a better place to choose the right online gambling site that gives you the best offers.

While we anticipate the NBA’s return, the following are some things you should know before the restart;

Restart and end dates 

The NBA season is expected to resume July 30, and the finals should be no later than mid-October. However, the dates set are only tentative and depend entirely on how things pan out in the next couple of days.

Teams expected to return.                                                 

A total of 22 teams are expected to return playing when restart is agreed upon. They include those from the eastern and western conference.

The Eastern Conference comprises of Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards.

The western conference comprises of LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns.

The selection of the teams is based entirely on the competitive format that the BOG approved.

Venue for playing the games

The games and practices will be near Orlando since the project restart includes the Walt Disney World resort usage. The players are expected to be housed within a single site location for the rest of the season to minimize the possibility of contracting the virus.

Total of games that each team is expected to play before the begin of playoffs 

The number of games is not quite certain as it will mostly vary with a specific team, although a total of 72 or 73 games should be played after the eight seeding games are included.

What will happen if a player doesn’t want to participate? 

The coronavirus pandemic has presented a global Challenge, and the NBA understands that. The players’ safety is crucial, and that’s why there’s a clear guideline in case someone chooses not to take part in season restart. There are several situations where a player might be exempted from resuming training and playing. If a team identifies one of their players to be at a higher risk for severe illness as a result of the disease, he doesn’t have to be part of restart and won’t lose their salary. On the other hand, if a player has their health intact and still opts not to take part in the restart, he will lose a part of his earning depending on the number of games missed. Some players remain hesitant about the decision to restart the season with concerns over their safety. It will be interesting to see who goes back and who doesn’t.

Expected start date of 2020/2021 season 

Many measures have been put in place, with most sources pointing towards a start date of December 1, 2020. That’s when the next season is expected to start. However, all dates are tentative and will not necessarily hold unless everything works out as expected. The Dec 1st restart is assuming that the 2019/20 season restarts on July 31 as scheduled. If not, the dates will have to be revised upon further discussions.

If the plans for season restart work out, there will be an influx of games, and players will need all the fitness to get through a tough patch. You should expect lots of games to be played within a short period. It presents an excellent opportunity for basketball lovers and gamblers to follow all the action closely once again.

 

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The 25 Day Plan That Could Bring Back NBA Betting This Summer

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Hope is not lost when it comes to pro basketball returning.  Above all the NBA is not yet ready to give up on resuming the 2019-20 season.  May, June or even July is a possibility for the NBA’s return.  Of course, much of this will ride on where things will stand with the coronavirus crisis.  Health and government officials will have to give the OK.  But to the NBA’s credit, they are already preparing on how they will pick up the pieces if given clearance.  For those wanting a return of NBA betting the good news is that the Association has too much to lose with a cancelation.

Ultimate Incentive 

While politically correct virtue signaling is part of any PR effort for a return there are some hard numbers to consider.  In this case, there is a harsh reality that will force commissioner Adam Silver and owners such as Mark Cuban to fight to the death to save the season.  Due to its massive television contracts with ESPN and TNT, the NBA stands to lose an estimated $1 billion in revenue if the season is lost.  Thus, the formulation of an emergency plan to re-open play just as soon as possible.

The 25 Day Plan 

On the whole, the Association’s 25-day play would encompass testing, social distancing, and then a 14-day training camp.  All games would likely take place at a single quarantined site with no fans.  Las Vegas is the likely venue for the NBA’s return.  Cause by the NBA using Sin City for its summer league along with numerous suitable courts and plentiful luxury hotels.  Since the majority of NBA revenue is from TV the fact that there would be no fans, while painful, is not of primary concern.  Losing the TV money is the ultimate nightmare scenario.

Schedule and Playoff Possibilities 

As far as the online sportsbook schedule there may be some regular-season games played before the playoffs.  Another possibility is that there could be expanded playoffs with no regular season.  Perhaps a preliminary round of marginal teams would be played first.  For example, teams in seventh through tenth place in each conference could play a best of three series with winners advancing to the regular eight-team playoffs that would follow.  Also, it’s possible that the season could extend all the way to September and the start of the NFL.

President Trump

One thing that NBA fans and gamblers have on their side, to the astonishment of many, is United States President Donald Trump.  The President has consistently stated at recent press conferences that he wants sports to return as soon as possible.  Trump is pressing for a return of American commerce in all of its forms and won’t let up.  Furthermore, Trump understands that sports will be a tremendous morale boost to a country in pain.  He has met with all of the professional sports commissioners and has his coronavirus task force working towards solutions to bring sports back.

Adam Silver

 NBA commissioner Adam Silver is one of the savviest marketing leaders not just in sports but in all of business.  Silver stated his desire to Trump that he wants the NBA to take the lead in bringing back business and a sense of normalcy to American life.  Silver is another asset that will make it more possible for action at betting sites for NBA later this summer.  Accordingly, he knows he and the Association will be heroes for returning.  More emphatically the NBA can do more for American happiness and morale than practically anything else.

Mark Cuban

 In turn, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is another fighter on the side of fans and gamblers.  Cuban has joined Trump’s blue-ribbon panel that is tasked with working in sync with health officials to get the economy jumpstarted again.  So too has Cuban been adamant about the NBA having no choice but to return.

Failure is Not an Option

 Silver has bought himself plenty of time and has not put a hard deadline in place.  For this reason, there is a realistic hope that the NBA will do everything possible to return to action this summer.  Consider the alternative, which is no alternative at all.

 

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Updates on Cancelled and Postponed Basketball Events

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NBA suspension continues until further notice

On March 11th, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz announced that he tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, prompting league officials to suspend league play for the remainder of the 2020/21 season until further notice. This includes all playoff games. Two days later, on March 12th, fellow Jazz player Donovan Mitchell also announced a positive diagnosis for the virus.

Since their announcements, at least 12 additional NBA players, and 1 team owner have tested positive for Covid-19. Among those infected are:

  •   Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets
  •   Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics
  •   Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons
  •   James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks

Unnamed players testing positive for the virus include 3 from the Brooklyn Nets, 2 from the Los Angeles Lakers, 1 from the Denver Nuggets, and 3 from the Philadelphia 76ers. Christian Wood has made a full recovery. Kevin Durant, as well as 5 unnamed players have been reported as symptom-free. Marcus Smart, Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell have all been cleared by Doctors. There has been no update as to the status of James Dolan, or the remaining 4 confirmed unnamed players.

As of now, the 2020 NBA Draft is still scheduled to take place June 25th at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. However, as New York has been declared the epicenter of the coronavirus in the United States, it is highly likely those plans will be amended prior to Draft day. It is probable that the NBA will follow the WNBA’s example, and hold this year’s draft “virtually.” 

WNBA postpones start of 2020 season indefinitely

On April 3rd, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert released a statement announcing the postponement of all pre-season training camps. Team training camps were scheduled to begin on April 26th. In that same statement, it was further announced that the regular season opener scheduled for May 15th would also be postponed until further notice.

Commissioner Engelbert went on to say: “While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees.”

Sydney Wiese of the Los Angeles Sparks is thus far the only confirmed case of Covid-19 among active players in the WNBA. Wiese had spent the winter playing basketball in Spain, and tested positive for the virus upon her return to the United States. According to a statement released by the Sparks, Wiese is “in positive spirits and feeling fine. She’s been in self-isolation at home in Phoenix since her return and is encouraging everyone to practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

Theresa Plaisance of the Connecticut Sun also took ill this past December while playing basketball in China. Plaisance was initially diagnosed with pneumonia, as well as an “unknown virus.” It is now believed that Plaisance may have contracted Covid-19. She recovered fully from her illness prior to returning to the United States.

The 2020 WNBA Draft will take place on April 17th as originally planned. However, the Draft will be held virtually.

NCAA cancels 2020 March Madness Tournament

Following the postponement of all NBA league play on March 11th, the NCAA announced one day later on March 12th that the 2020 March Madness Tournament would be canceled. This marks the first time the tournament has been canceled for any reason in it’s 81 year history, and effectively ended the 2019/20 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball seasons.

The Ivy League had already announced the cancellation of their championship tournament. On March 10th, the Ivy League awarded the 2019/20 championship to Yale based upon regular season performances. 

2020 Summer Olympics rescheduled for 2021

On March 24th, in a joint statement, President Thomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee, and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced that the 2020 Summer Olympic Games “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.” This year’s Olympic Games were originally scheduled to begin on July 24th in Tokyo, Japan.

Since the initial announcement last month, it has been confirmed that the Summer Games are now scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021. The Olympic flame will remain in Japan until the games begin next year. The name “Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games” will also remain in use next year.

This marks the first time the Olympics have been cancelled since 1940, when both the Winter and Summer Games were put on hiatus due to the escalation of World War 2. Ironically enough, the Olympic Games originally planned for 1940 were also scheduled to be held in Japan.

During the pandemic you can always watch basketball sports events in VR.

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