Roundball Chatter

Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:

• The pairings for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge were announced recently. Wow, I am so excited about the Michigan State-Duke matchup! Coach K vs. Tom Izzo?! Kalin Lucas and the Spartans against Kyle Singler and the Blue Devils?! This game should be a showdown of top five clubs, maybe even No. 1 against No. 2. It should be awesome, baby with a capital A! Okay, okay, I know it is going to be a while, but I am thrilled with this one folks.

• The ACC-Big Ten event has some other interesting clashes. Purdue, with JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore back, meets Virginia Tech. The Hokies got good news with the return of Malcolm Delaney. North Carolina meets Illinois and Ohio State faces Florida State in other marquee matchups.

• What terrible news for the Texas A&M program and the family of recruit Tobi Oyedeji. The 6-9 forward died in a car accident following his prom. He was an only child, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to the Aggies, as well as coach Mark Turgeon, on this awful tragedy.

• I have always talked about the importance of making good decisions. Obviously Providence's Jamine Peterson made a pretty bad one. Peterson, who averaged 19.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 2009-10, was dismissed from the Friars due to a violation of team rules. Coach Keno Davis said, "regardless of his athletic accomplishments, it is essential to the integrity of the program that every student-athlete meets the high standards and expectations we have at Providence College." I salute Davis for making this call.

• It was nice to see that a pair of Texas players were granted a medical hardship waiver for last season, regaining a year of eligibility. Guard Varez Ward and forward Shawn Williams were given the good news. Ward will be a redshirt sophomore for the upcoming 2010-11 season, while Williams will be a redshirt freshman. Ward ruptured his right quadriceps tendon on November 24; he underwent surgery and missed the remainder of the season. Williams suffered a left ankle injury on December 12 and also sat out the rest of the season.

• Now that the draft lottery is in the books, who would you take if making the first selection in the NBA draft -- John Wall or Evan Turner? My guess is that the Wizards will go with Wall, even with Gilbert Arenas returning.