The UW men's basketball team's 2010 non-conference schedule is shaping up to be another tough one as the team announced Thursday it will play in the 2010 Old Spice Classic Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando.
The tournament is only four years old, but it has quickly developed into one of the better preseason tournaments and 2010 will be no exception. Joining UW in the field is Pac-10 Champion California, Atlantic 10 Champion Temple and NCAA Tournament qualifiers Texas A&M and Notre Dame. Boston College, Georgia and Manhattan round out the 8-team field.
At first glance, Wisconsin might be considered the favorite in the tournament. While there are a lot of respectable teams in the field, Cal and Notre Dame both lost seniors Jerome Randle and Luke Harangody, respectively, while Boston College will have a brand new coaching staff. Wisconsin's toughest competition might come from Temple or Georgia.
In a weird coincidence, the Old Spice Classic bracket could look very familar to Badger fans. Wisconsin would have played Temple in the NCAA Tournament this season had Cornell not upset the Owls in the first round. Steve Donahue, who coached the Cornell team that beat both Temple and Wisconsin, is now the head coach at Boston College.
Cornell was better than the Eagles will be in Donahue's first season, but there's no question he can coach. Temple's head coach, Fran Dunphy, will also have his team ready. He signed an eight-year contract extension Wednesday and has led the Owls to three straight Atlantic 10 titles.
If I had to seed the field today, this is how I would do so:
4) Notre Dame
5) Boston College
7) Texas A&M
There's no question that Jon Leuer is the best player in the field and that might be enough to win this tournament.