Tonight marks the official start of the 2013-14 NCAA Basketball season and with so many talented teams, it should be a memorable year. By now, you’ve probably heard the names Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins and you’ll soon see why those three lead the pack of one of the most anticipated freshmen classes of all time. To get you in the college basketball spirit, we spoke with Sports Illustrated writer and CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis about which teams might make the Final Four, his new show with Campus Insiders and what he learned from his soon to be released book about UCLA legend John Wooden, Wooden: A Coach’s Life.
Vibe: When you spoke to University of Arizona’s head coach Sean Miller for The Seth Davis Show, you said Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Kansas, Duke and Arizona were on another level. Of those six, who do you see in the Final Four and who’s the eventual national champion?
Seth Davis: I have Michigan State winning the national title because they have the best combination of talent and experience. We know what kind of talent Kentucky has and they’ll be hard to beat, but Michigan State brings back Keith Appling and Adreian Payne. As long as they’re healthy, have to put them in my Final Four. But of course there will be a team in Dallas that isn’t in the top four now. No one had Wichita State in their Final Four at the beginning of last season.
Yeah and I love Tom Izzo (Michigan State's head coach). I honestly don’t think any coach out-prepares him or does more with less come tournament time. I’d never bet against him. Which teams do you see making the Final Four?
I have Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville and Kansas. Duke is at five right now and Louisville would be No.2 at if Chane Behanen isn’t suspended. But someone is going to pull an upset and make it. Maybe it’s Wichita State, it might be VCU; I’m a big Harvard guy and they’re bringing back two guys who were suspended last season.
As a Tar Heel’s fan it pains me to say it, but I like Duke for the same reasons you like Michigan State. They’re a veteran team and they’re adding Jabari Parker who’s probably the most skilled of all the incoming freshmen.
You know we can’t be friends now, right? (Laughs because he’s a Duke graduate.)
Nah, you’re good (laughs). Every so often I like a Duke guy for different reasons. I loved Kyrie’s game, I liked Kyle Singler a lot, I interviewed Ryan Kelly’s mom and she was so sweet I had to root for him. You make that list.
Oh, well thank you (laughs).