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College Basketball

Catching up (Twitter-style) with 53 of the nation's best teams

Admit it, you've ignored our game over the summer. Since the NBA draft ended, college basketball has been on the backburner. You have even dedicated yourself to learning the rules of team handball for the water cooler Olympics cred. But when the quadrennial festival winds down this week, we'll be about two months from the start of practice for the 2012-13 season ... and you'll be a bit lost as to what's happened in another realignment-fueled summer.

Don't worry, you don't need a full preview... yet. What you do need is the second annual Twitter-style State of the College Hoops union. In 140 characters (or less) per team, you'll be caught up on the most interesting news and team situations -- perfect for our ADD-driven world and to preserve your reputation as the office's sports guy or gal after track and field ends. There's only so much your colleagues need to know about Usain Bolt, you know?

(Teams listed in alphabetical order.)

Arizona

The frontcourt is reloaded with hyped talent, but if their Xavier transfer can't run the show, the Cats could be out like a Lyons in March.

Baylor

A lot of talent left, but there's a lot of talent left. Two E8s in 3 yrs have stamped program with cred. This team still Bears watching.

Belmont (Atlantic Sun to Ohio Valley)

Kerron Johnson returns, which gives the "other Valley" three legit stars. Can debutante Bruins pip Murray (Canaan) and Tenn St. (Covington)?

Butler (Horizon to Atlantic 10)

In Clarke and Dunham, perimeter shooting problem has quick fixes. Will quick move into A-10 be too much for Smith/Marshall tandem inside?

Colorado State

Good returning roster + terrific hire in Larry Eustachy = more wins coming in Fort Collins. Can they Ram their way into MWC top 3?

Cincinnati

Much like next meeting with Xavier (now on a neutral floor), UC's' condition is guarded -- good when u have Kilpatrick, Parker and Wright.

Connecticut

APR did what Nate Miles couldn't: Get UConn banned from NCAAs. 21 yrs ago, Tark went 26-2 in similar sitch. Is there a J.R. Rider in Storrs?

Creighton

Maybe the toughest McD since Rounders, Doug's the only 'D' the Jays featured last season. That must improve or they'll get busted again.

Drexel

Dragons would have danced last year if Chris Fouch hadn't been injured. Does redemption loom? Well, who else besides Mason is even eligible?

Duke

Devils could be movin' on up after landing Amile Jefferson to complement Mason Plumlee. Will anyone in the backcourt emerge as a stopper?

Florida

Gators will miss the Real Deal (and Walker), but there's enough back with Boynton, Murphy and Young plus some frosh guards to make UK sweat.

Florida State

Rare to ask how college team can overcome loss of 27yo Air Force vet, but Bernard James is a big interior loss for ACC tourney champs.

Georgetown

Love Otto Porter, but is he enough to help overcome the loss of sweet-passing big Henry Sims and some solid perimeter shooting?

Gonzaga

"Is this the year?" is now an annual muse in Spokane. Other non-football powers have broken through; there's a chance for this crew, too.

Indiana

The Hoosiers will win a lot this season. A whole lot. If frosh PG Yogi Ferrell is smarter than your average bear and D improves, look out.

Kansas

National finalists will miss T-Rob's automatic double-doubles, but Jeff Withey's back and the young depth missing last season is now there.

Kansas State

Trash Can Compliance pushed Frank Martin to South Cack. Bruce Weber's a questionable hire long-term, but should have returning Cats purring.

Kentucky

Foes don't feel bad that Cats lost almost everyone. Cal just locks (up more talent) and (re)loads. A step back is still a really good team.

Louisville

Cards dictate terms to everyone. Even the Yum! Center owners need help. Repeat F4 could depend on Luke Hancock's O to support lethal D.

Marquette

Team Bubble Watch graduated to big boy status. Now Golden Eagles must replace DJO and Jae. Much talent remains, so Buzz about them is legit.

Maryland

Will Terrell Stoglin's departure help young Terps morph into a more Turgeon-style ball-sharing team? Or will they lack offensive options?

Memphis

Last year: Where there was a Will, there was a way. Now only one Barton remains and hopes lie heavily on Jack, Black and Pastner's tack.

Miami

A year removed from an athletics scandal, injuries and bad luck, the Canes have the talent and the coach to make a legit run in an open ACC.

Michigan

Loss to Ohio confused Brady Hoke but wasn't a shock. Now Beilein must reload w/o his two best shooters, but Trey Burke's return is huge.

Michigan State

Draymond Green is a huge loss, but repeat after me: Never doubt Izzo. Especially not when he imports a lead guard like Gary Harris to help.

Minnesota

Trevor Mbakwe is back for his final season before AARP eligibility. His ability to score should round out a gritty, now-experienced roster

Missouri (Big 12 to SEC)

If bevy of transfers blend in and Bowers is healthy, the Tigers are a threat to win the SEC. Plus, Mizzou vs. Mike Anderson? #funforfans

Murray State

The nation is now aware of this Canaan baller. Foes will be reading from the Book of Isaiah again this season, and the Racers will profit.

New Mexico

Lobos have won at least share of three of the last four MWC crowns; Quant guru @DanHanner likes their fundamentals, even w/o Drew Gordon.

North Carolina

Third-best team in state? Only if Heels hold off Davidson. Just kidding. Sort of. Wing talent's there; so are frontcourt Qs beyond McAdoo.

North Carolina State

Pack fans are ever nervous about Rodney Purvis' eligibility, which remains in question. If he's available, expect many celebrations like this.

Notre Dame

Abro not getting an extra year was disappointing, but Cooley, Martin and Co. head a dangerous, experienced roster. Legit Big East sleeper.

Ohio State

No Sully or Buford, but Aaron Craft returns with his burning cheek rectangles of doom. Odds D. Thomas drops 40 on someone? #veryhigh

Oklahoma State

Explosive team that didn't reach its potential last year. If LeBryan Nash finds his equilibrium, that will help solve many in-game theories.

Pittsburgh

Last year was a blip, right? Too much talent returning, plus frosh Steven Adams and my-dad-got-fired hardship transfer Trey Zeigler says so.

Providence

If local star Ricky Ledo is deemed eligible, Cooley and the Gang will have enough talent to Get Down On It in a weaker Big East.

Saint Joseph's

Youth sometimes got served last season, but Hawks shouldn't die very often this year. Should be best bunch on Hawk Hill since E8 squad.

Saint Louis

What's a Billiken? A dogged defender who doesn't let you get to your favorite spots on the floor. Should be preseason league champ pick.

San Diego State

Opposite of UNLV: SDSU has guards and needs new frontcourt components to become good. This roster will be in the Big West in '13? LOL.

Stanford

Cardinal have chance in Battle 4 Atlantis to notch more top-50 RPI wins than P12 had all last season in nonconf play. Or they could go 0-3.

Syracuse

No Joseph, Jardine, Waiters or Melo = fresh start, but talent remains. C.J. Fair, Michael Carter-Williams and Co. plus DaJuan Coleman = ???

Temple

Already feeling sting of Ramone Moore's and Juan Fernandez's exits, Owls may also feel Atlantic City sting. NCAA L: 2nd as 5-seed since '10.

Tennessee

Vols fans must be Stokes'd. SEC's down and second half of last year augers well for Cuonzo's plan. Plus they can see Bruce Pearl on TV!

Texas

Horns only have 2 NCAA wins in last 4 yrs. That's not nearly enough given annual influx of solid talent. Early entry's hurt, but... #Barnes

Texas A&M (Big 12 to SEC)

Everything went wrong last season, and Big 12 is a tough league if you're running bad. A few games against Auburn, Miss St., etc. will help.

UCLA

Atlanta AAU asst has paid off, but Qs remain. Will Shabazz fit in D-first m.o.? Will Smith compete or eat? Tony Parker's already hamstrung.

UNLV

Could be best Rebs team since early '90s. Frontcourt's scary deep. Guard play, starting w/ @ANT_MARZ, will determine just how far they run.

USC

Trojans went 1-17 in a P12 with Utah and ASU in it. They need offense. Especially from the two guys who were 'kneed' last year. #Jio #Dedmon

Vanderbilt

Vandy rode an experienced core to its peak. Now what? Kevin Stallings wants to coach at least seven more years. First couple may be down.

VCU (Colonial to Atlantic 10)

Smart money says the Rams will be a threat again in March. Reddic or not, the A-10 debutantes come to avenge last season's tough R32 exit.

West Virginia (Big East to Big 12)

Mountaineers on Big Monday? Nothing's changed ... except the time slot, the opponents and the time zone in which they'll often play away.

Wisconsin

Instead of regular suicides, Badgers will practice running from bench to scorer's table. Bo knows winning, but can he replace Jordan Taylor?

Xavier

Post-#ZipEmUp malaise never truly ended. Now X-men start fresh, especially in the backcourt where the two (Tu?) starters have moved on.

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