The Final Four long ago outgrew arenas like Madison Square Garden, but in addition to raising money for a great cause, will tonight's Jimmy V Classic offer at least a partial preview of what we may see in April at Reliant Stadium in Houston?

Only No. 4 Kansas currently ranks among the top quartet as it prepares to face No. 14 Memphis (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET), but it seems unwise to count out the Tigers or No. 7 Syracuse and No. 8 Michigan State, who square off in tonight's second game (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET). None of the top four teams at this time last season eventually made it to Indianapolis, those latter teams instead ranking No. 7 (West Virginia), No. 8 (Duke), No. 14 (Michigan State) and No. 20 (Butler).

Scott (South Dakota)

Hey Fran - how good are the Jayhawks this year? Longtime fan, so I've been duped by some good pre-season rankings and regular season results. How "good" are they in reality? Thanks!!

Fran Fraschilla
Fran Fraschilla

You've been duped by regular season results? What planet have you been on? Has anybody had a better run than Bill Self? Remember, Roy Williams and Larry Brown lost NCAA tournament games as well. I really like this Kansas team. Offensively it has a lot of weapons and will certainly be improved once Josh Selby is eligible on Dec. 18. Marcus Morris just might be the most versatile forward behind Singler and his brother does great dirty work. If UCLA exposed an Achilles heel defensively last week, it was in pounding the ball inside against the twins and Thomas Robinson. Overall they are a top five team and one of my picks to get to the Final Four. Full transcript

dave (ri)

has the [V Foundation] helped anyone in your family?

Nick Valvano
Nick Valvano

As a matter of fact, my brother's middle daughter Jamie, who is 38, was diagnosed five years ago with breast cancer. I wouldn't say it's research that we funded that [means] she's cancer free right now, but it was research that was done years ago that helped her. It's kind of eerie that in his ESPYS speech he said that the research might help someone in his family and it did. Full transcript

Comment »