The nice thing about college basketball is that five unknown players from a small, obscure school can knock off the big-university athletic powerhouses and win the national championship. That is precisely what happened last year, of course, when Loyola of Chicago played through a 26-game season and the championship tournament, using the same five men nearly all the way, and won the NCAA title. Five times in the past 14 years the school that won the title was so smalltime, athletically speaking, that it didn't even field a football team. The schools whose teams we predict will finish one-two in the standings this year both fit this pattern, though in different ways. Those predictions and scouting reports begin on page 43. More and more, the smaller schools, and especially the parochial schools, are turning to basketball for the student-morale boost that a winning sports tradition can deliver. One reason for this is the high cost of football—and one byproduct is the greatly increased competition for good high school basketball players. The annual rush to recruit is now as hectic as the Christmas scramble at the toy counters. A light-hearted examination of this trend begins on page 82. There is also a change, subtle but significant, in what coaches are looking for in players. They must be smart, and not just to stay eligible. Simple run-and-shoot basketball has been proved inadequate in the face of new, complex defensive tactics that demand discipline and mental as well as physical agility. The thinking player occasionally moves on to gamesmanship, and the outstanding practitioner of that art is former Kentucky star Frank Ramsey, who describes for spectators some of his tested stratagems on page 57. The pros he plays with now are aware of these ruses. His revelations and the rest of this Special Issue are aimed at enriching the reader's enjoyment of the coming season.