Last Updated 4:05 PM, November 07, 2021

College basketball is back. Here's everything you need to know for the first day of the season

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The men's NCAA tournament field of 68, predicted before opening night
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3:13 pm, November 4, 2021

Tuesday's opening night schedule

The first day of the season is stacked with games.

Here's a look at the top 25 games for both men and women on Tuesday, all times ET:

Men — Click or tap here for a live scoreboard

  • No. 4 Villanova vs. Mount St. Mary's | 4:30 p.m. | FS1
  • No. 17 Ohio State vs. Akron | 6 p.m. | ESPN2
  • No. 24 UConn vs. Central Connecticut | 6:30 p.m. | FS1
  • No. 3 Kansas vs. Michigan State (New York City) | 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • No. 5 Texas vs. Houston Baptist | 7 p.m. | Longhorn Network
  • No. 7 Purdue vs. Bellarmine | 7 p.m. | Big Ten Network+
  • No. 13 Oregon vs. Texas Southern | 7 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
  • No. 18 Tennessee vs. UT Martin | 7 p.m. | SEC Network
  • No. 19 North Carolina vs. Loyola (Maryland) | 7 p.m. | ACC Network
  • No. 21 Maryland vs. Quinnipiac | 7 p.m. | Big Ten Network+
  • No. 23 St. Bonaventure vs. Siena | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 12 Memphis vs. Tennessee Tech | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 15 Houston vs. Hofstra | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 16 Arkansas vs. Mercer | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 22 Auburn vs. Morehead State | 8 p.m. | SEC Network+
  • No. 11 Illinois vs. Jackson State | 8:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
  • No. 1 Gonzaga vs. Dixie State | 9 p.m. | Root Sports
  • No. 14 Alabama vs. Louisiana Tech | 9 p.m. | SEC Network
  • No. 25 Virginia vs. Navy | 9 p.m. | ACC Network
  • No. 9 Duke vs. No. 10 Kentucky (New York CIty) | 9:30 p.m. | ESPN
  • No. 2 UCLA vs. CSU Bakersfield | 11 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Women — Click or tap here for a live scoreboard

  • No. 4 Maryland vs. Longwood | 11 a.m. | Big Ten Network+
  • No. 12 Iowa State vs. Omaha | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 25 Texas vs. New Orleans | 12 p.m. | Longhorn Network
  • No. 1 South Carolina at No. 5 NC State | 5 p.m. | ESPN
  • No. 24 Virginia Tech vs. Davidson | 5 p.m. | ACC Network Extra
  • No. 17 Georgia Tech at Central Michigan | 6 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 9 Iowa vs. New Hampshire | 7 p.m. | Big Ten Network+
  • No. 11 Michigan vs. IUPUI | 7 p.m. | Big Ten Network+
  • No. 13 Kentucky vs. Presbyterian | 7 p.m. | SEC Network+
  • No. 16 Florida State vs. North Florida | 7 p.m. | ACC Network Extra
  • No. 22 Arizona vs. CSU Northridge | 7 p.m. | Arizona Live Stream
  • No. 7 Baylor vs. Texas State | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 21 South Florida vs. UTRGV | 8 p.m. | ESPN+
  • No. 23 Texas A&M vs. Texas A&M-CC | 8 p.m. | SEC Network+
  • No. 10 Oregon vs. Idaho State | 10:30 p.m. | Oregon Live Stream
7:56 pm, November 7, 2021

Champions Classic preview: Duke-Kentucky, Kansas-Michigan State

Duke Athletics Duke basketball

As has become an annual tradition, the opening night of the men's basketball season will feature four of the most successful programs in the sport squaring off in the Champions Classic. This year's matchups are No. 3 Kansas versus Michigan State, followed by No. 9 Duke facing off against No. 10 Kentucky. Below is the TV schedule for Tuesday's double-header.

Click here to read everything you need to know about the matchups and TV information.

4:57 pm, November 4, 2021

Preseason rankings: Andy Katz's Power 36 for men's basketball

UCLA is No. 1 in Andy Katz's preseason Power 36 rankings

UCLA takes the top spot in Andy Katz's final preseason Power 36 rankings. While reigning runner-up Gonzaga is second, defending champion Baylor is No. 9 after losing a ton of talent.

Here's his top 10:

1. UCLA: Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr., confidence and leadership.
2. Gonzaga: Drew Timme’s ability to dominate his position.
3. Texas: Chris Beard can put together a roster of transfers better than most.
4. Kansas: The Jayhawks are stocked with elite college basketball returnees who are all about the now, not what’s next. 
5. Villanova: The Villanova way doesn’t stray. This team’s culture is locked in.
6. Purdue: Trevion Williams isn’t getting the respect he deserves. He could be dominant.
7. Michigan: Hunter Dickinson looked stronger and more focused, and that’s trouble for the Big Ten.
8. Illinois: Andre Curbelo is going to be one of the best point guards in the country.
9. Baylor: The Bears are going to be just as difficult to score on and deal with this season.
10. Duke: Coach K seemed chill, at ease and ready to roll.

Click or tap here to check out his complete Power 36.

5:06 pm, November 4, 2021

South Carolina tops Autumn Johnson's preseason women's Power 10

South Carolina women's basketball is No. 1 in the preseason

Autumn Johnson has South Carolina, UConn and Stanford leading her preseason Power 10 rankings of the season. The Gamecocks return Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke. among others, while bringing in the No. 1 recruiting class.

Here's her top 10:

  1. South Carolina
  2. UConn
  3. Stanford
  4. Maryland
  5. NC State
  6. Louisville
  7. Oregon
  8. Indiana
  9. Iowa
  10. Baylor

Click or tap here to read a complete breakdown and explanation for the top 10.

7:41 pm, November 4, 2021

No. 1 South Carolina battles No. 5 NC State to highlight women's opener

NC State women's basketball upset No. 1 South Carolina last season

What better way to tip off the 2021-22 women's college basketball season than with a heated non-conference battle, when No. 1 South Carolina faces No. 5 NC State. 

The setup of this anticipated game is almost déjà vu of last year's matchup on Dec. 3, when the No. 8 Wolfpack upset No. 1 South Carolina, 54-46

South Carolina shot an uncharacteristic, season-low of 27 percent from the floor in that last matchup. The Gamecocks finished the year at 44 percent shooting while outscoring their opponents by a plus-17.3 margin. 

Zia Cooke and Laeticia Amihere were the only players in double-figures for the Gamecocks in last season's loss, recording 11 points each. NC State's Kayla Jones paced the Wolfpack with 16 points as one of the four double-figure scorers. 

The upset boosted NC State up four rankings to No. 4 in the next poll, while knocking the Gamecocks off the No. 1 throne to No. 5. Before then, South Carolina owned the No. 1 spot for the past 12 AP polls that dated back to the 2019-20 season. Expect the Gamecocks to come to avenge that loss against the Wolfpack with a goal to remain on top of the rankings this season on its road to March Madness.

We will have a much-anticipated battle between South Carolina's Aliyah Boston and Elissa Cunane in the post. In last year's meeting, Boston was held to an uncharacteristic nine points and nine rebounds, while Cunane filled the stat sheet with 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks.

However, this season Boston will be equipped with some help in the — 6'7 Syracuse transfer Kamilla Cardoso — in hopes to match Cunane's inside presence.  

I believe they will have a great chance to do just that, revamping their squad with tons of weapons, including their entire Final Four squad. But NC State returns its ammunition as well with its entire Sweet 16 lineup returning, plus Rutgers transfer Diamond Johnson.

--Autumn Johnson

5:31 pm, November 4, 2021

16 men's basketball national player of the year candidates

March Madness correspondent Andy Katz ranks his top 16 men's basketball national player of the year candidates, led by UCLA star Johnny Juzang.

  1. Johnny Juzang, UCLA
  2. Drew Timme, Gonzaga
  3. Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
  4. Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
  5. Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
  6. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
  7. Paolo Banchero, Duke
  8. Collin Gillespie, Villanova
  9. E.J. Liddell, Ohio State
  10. Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse
  11. Marcus Carr, Texas
  12. Jaden Ivey, Purdue
  13. Emoni Bates, Memphis
  14. Max Abmas, Oral Roberts
  15. Remy Martin, Kansas
  16. Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky

5:21 pm, November 4, 2021
Iowa's Caitlin Clark is ready for more
3:14
5:28 pm, November 4, 2021

The case for the top 11 men's basketball title contenders

Needing a prediction for the college basketball national champion, five months before they cut down the nets in New Orleans? This might help:

Here are the top 11 teams in the Associated Press preseason poll. The eventual winner appeared on that list in 12 of the past 14 seasons, so it’s been a most reliable omen. (Not always, however. Title-bound Connecticut was 38th in the voting in the 2010-11 season, the same neighborhood as Richmond and Murray State). Funny thing about this year’s 11 is how many of them have recent scores to settle with March and early April:

  1. Gonzaga
  2. UCLA
  3. Kansas
  4. Villanova
  5. Texas
  6. Michigan
  7. Purdue
  8. Baylor
  9. Duke
  10. Kentucky
  11. Illinois

No. 1 Gonzaga

When last seen, the Zags’ unbeaten season was crashing to Earth against Baylor in Indianapolis. That makes two championship game defeats in five years for Gonzaga, coming in different flavors — trailing the Bears for a good 33 seconds into last year's game, leading North Carolina with 110 seconds left in 2017. While falling short on that stage should never be considered a defect — there are 350-odd teams every spring who would love the chance to lose the title game — it can gnaw at a program.

This is the 96th consecutive week the Zags have been in the AP poll, the longest streak in the nation. Next is Villanova at 41. The Zags have been ranked No. 1 in six of the past 10 seasons, owned their league, piled up individual awards and in general, achieved everything a program could dream. Except. One. Thing.

Until that happens, Mark Few’s middle name is Most Accomplished Active Coach Without A Championship. Or at least tied with Bob Huggins.

No. 2 UCLA

Wait a second. West Coast teams at Nos. 1-2 in the rankings? If that seems rather odd, consider the last time it happened in a preseason AP poll was 31 years ago. A Bruins title would end all manners of frustrating streaks; it’s been 25 years since a West Coast champion, while UCLA’s 11th and most recent crown was back in 1995. The glorious past is never far away for the Bruins. “We have the greatest tradition in the history of our game,” coach Mick Cronin said recently. “We don’t play just for us, we play for Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), Reggie (Miller), Baron (Davis), Russell (Westbrook) . . . “ But their most recent Final Four came with genuine pain because, yeah, that Jalen Suggs Hail Mary did bank in. The 93-90 overtime loss to Gonzaga in April gave UCLA the very bittersweet taste of being on the wrong end of an epic, and presented a cause for the 2021-22 season.

“We’ve got the chance to do something so special,” returning star Johnny Juzang said.

Click here to see the chances for the other nine teams.