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November 7, 2012

A guide to the 2012- 2013 college basketball season

(Continued)

Baylor (women). Brittney Griner and company are good enough to be mentioned here. Might give a men's team or two a run for its money.

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TOP PLAYERS

Cody Zeller, Indiana. Might be the best player in Clan Zeller, which is saying something coming from that family.

Tim Burke, Michigan. Led Wolverines in scoring and assists last season. Don't expect a sophomore slump. He's too good to have one.

Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State. Played in the shadow of Jared Sullinger last season. Won't this year, especially after a confidence-building run through the NCAA tournament.

Doug McDermott, Creighton. Missouri Valley player of the year, third nationally in scoring, preseason All-American — might want to keep an eye on this guy.

C.J. McCollum, Lehigh. Score, score and score some more. Pretty good rebounder and can dish as well.

Isaiah Canaan, Murray State. Not many players from Murray State can — at least realistically — say they bypassed the NBA to return to school. Canaan did and could be a national player of the year candidate.

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BEST NONCONFERENCE GAMES

Syracuse vs. San Diego State, Nov. 11, on the USS Midway in San Diego. The original Battle on the Midway was spectacular. This one might have a tough time matching the magic of that game — a president in attendance, that purplish twilight — but two ranked teams on an aircraft carrier just has to be cool.

Kentucky vs. Duke, Nov. 13, Atlanta. Two heavyweights get an early test in the season. It may not have a moment like Christian Laettner's jumper in the 1992 NCAA tournament, but there'll be enough talent to make this a must-watch game.

North Carolina at Indiana, Nov. 27. Another power-program showdown, this one will be a gauge for the Hoosiers to see if they live up to the hype.

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