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September 13, 2009

Roundtable: Imagine your dream matchup

At the College Basketball Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the college basketball coverage staff for his opinion about a topic in the sport. We have two questions this week - one Saturday and one today.

Today's question: If you could only see one more college basketball game, which two programs would you like to see and where would the game be played?

David Fox's answer:
There's no question it would be North Carolina-Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. This is the only regular-season basketball game that consistently matches any heated football rivalry. I want to experience Krzyzewskiville, the Cameron Crazies, the whole deal. With that kind of noise and bedlam, I don't think the tiny 9,314-seat arena can be described as intimate or cozy. But being that close to the court, breathing down the neck of the opponent, certainly has its appeal, and I don't care one way or another about Duke.

Mike Huguenin's answer:
Give me a 'Big Five" game at the Palestra in Philadelphia. The "Big Five" series isn't what it used to be, but the tradition, history and atmosphere at a key matchup between, say, La Salle and Villanova or Villanova and Temple would be fantastic. The key words are "key matchup." If two "Big Five" teams happen to be good in the same season - say, both in the top 20 - it would be electric and the Palestra would be rocking.

Jason King's answer:
Call me crazy, but there's no other game I'd want to see than a showdown between this season's Kansas and Kentucky teams. With players such as John Wall, Patrick Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins, Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry, you could have as many as eight or nine future first-round NBA draft picks on the court at one time. And who could ask for a better coaching matchup than Bill Self vs. John Calipari, who probably still has nightmares about Kansas' come-from-behind overtime victory over his former Memphis squad in the 2008 national title game. Kentucky is a young team and may not be all that crisp during the first month or two of the season, so I'd want to wait until April for the matchup. A site? How about a best-of-three series? One game at Allen Fieldhouse, one at Rupp Arena, then the decisive Game 3 at Madison Square Garden.

Steve Megargee's answer:
I'd have to go with a North Carolina-Duke showdown at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The heated nature of this rivalry and the energy of the Cameron crowd make this the one must-see regular-season game every season. You could argue that no game this coming season will be more anticipated than the Louisville-Kentucky showdown if only for the drama surrounding the coaches. But in any other season, the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry ranks a distant second to Duke-Carolina.



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