You can keep Kansas. You can have Kentucky (but not Wall!) For the most intriguing story of the college hoops season (today's SN column lead), I'll take my alma mater, Northwestern.
Why? Because they've never been to the NCAA Tournament -- and this year is their best shot ever to do it. NU even makes Sporting News' projection of the Tournament field.
This is huge. Sure, they might only be a 20-win team, not even worthy of the Top 25 (I'll take it!) But there is something compelling about the "never-been" novelty.
That's not to say Kansas won't be a great team -- or that Kentucky, as I argue, isn't the most intriguing college basketball team since UNLV 1991. (Go ahead: Name a bigger one.)
It's just that Northwestern is.... well, Northwestern.
The rest of the column today is actually loaded: I coin the name "ManBrees" to account for the NFL midseason awards co-MVP of Manning and Brees... I salute Dwyane Wade (and Joakim Noah!)... I mock RichRod and Weis (what else is new)... and I have a ton of Hot Stove.
Check it out here. More later.