Roundball chatter: Big East meets Big Ten

Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:

  • The Gavitt Tipoff Games features matchups between Big East and Big Ten schools. A rematch of the national championship game between Villanova and Michigan highlights the 2018 showdowns. The other pairings include Georgetown-Illinois, Xavier-Wisconsin, Marquette-Indiana, Seton Hall-Nebraska, Ohio State-Creighton, Penn State-DePaul and St. John's-Rutgers. Among the Big Ten teams out of the competition include Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland, Northwestern, Iowa and Minnesota. Butler and Providence are the Big East teams missing from the action.

  • NC State made a big pickup, adding Sacha Killeya-Jones, a transfer from Kentucky. He will sit out the upcoming campaign and have two years of eligibility remaining. Kevin Keatts also landed graduate transfer Eric Lockett from Florida International. Lockett started all 32 games last season and averaged 14.2 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.

  • Kentucky announced a couple of games for the upcoming season. The Wildcats will begin a home-and-home series with Utah, starting in Lexington this season. Kentucky will face Ohio State while UCLA meets North Carolina in December in a Las Vegas doubleheader.

  • Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. said that he thinks he is the best player in the draft. I vote for Deandre Ayton of Arizona.

  • The ACC is proposing the NCAA tournament expand to 72 teams. I just don't agree with that.

  • Florida Atlantic landed guard Xavian Stapleton from Mississippi State. He played in 32 games for Ben Howland last season and started seven.

  • Could Las Vegas host a future Final Four? The NCAA has changed the rules about venues in cities which have gambling. The recent Supreme Court decision which opens up legalized gambling may have had a role in this.

  • Sad to hear of the passing of former SEC commissioner Mike Slive at age 77. He was the victim of cancer, a disease that we must defeat.

  • Also RIP to former Kentucky cager Bret Bearup. He passed away too young at 56.