And in this one-and-done era of college basketball that both Kentucky and Duke have tailored their programs to, many if not most college players don't hold deep childhood fanhood ties to the teams they suit up for.
No one who played for Kentucky or Duke Tuesday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis were born yet on March 28, 1992, when Christian Laettner famously intentionally stepped on a supine Aminu Timberlake, then went on to hit the turnaround jumper over Feldhaus as time expired that lifted the Blue Devils past the Cats, 104-103, in overtime in the regional finals.
The Jayhawks may have a new-look lineup but they do have plenty of Division I experience. Kansas is also bringing back seven-foot center Udoka Azubuike. Freshman forward R.J. Barrett is going to make redshirt sophomore guard K.J. Lawson look like a middle schooler trying to guard a high school senior.
The Cavaliers are one of the most likely suspects to upset the Blue Devils this season-and will be a key conference opponent along Duke's already-anticipated route to the ACC title. All averaged 14 points per game or better a year ago, and while this team is probably far more talented, it will have to integrate many promising newcomers to achieve its goals. It's well-intentioned, sure, but it's never going to work. We've just got to see.
The big difference between Parker and Randle heading into 2019 is that while Parker's team option was a franchise taking a chance on him, Randle's player-option in his Pelicans contract allows him to control his future.
"I learned something about my team tonight", Spartans coach Tom Izzo said.
But Duke flips that on its head.
The 2014 NBA Draft produced an intriguing crop of talent, with most of the players just starting to come into their own now. And they're impossible to guard. Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro can knock down shots; however, it seemed to me like we are better built to slow the pace of the game down. Yes, I am calling this 18-year-old man child by his first name because he is already that big of a name already, despite being three whole years younger than me.
Which Duke standout would you draft with the first pick?
Of course, the frustrating thing about this team is that it's not just the Zion show.
That's right. Duke had three freshman forwards drop over 20 points in a game against the No. 2 team in the nation.
Beyond this dynamic duo, Kansas also has Silvio De Sousa and David McCormack, both of whom will be rotational players and significant role players in the second unit.
That's the reality for any team that will face this Duke squad in 2018-19. Williamson had seven of Duke's 38 rebounds.
The Kansas Jayhawks past year were a team easy to underestimate, or at least easy until one considers the tremendous influence of head coach Bill Self.
The Jayhawks do have some holdovers from a year ago, though, and they will no doubt rely on bruising big man Udoka Azubuike and springy guard Lagerald Vick against the Spartans. If they keep playing this way, No. 1 Kansas might just stay on top of the college basketball world. This is a risky team that should be mentioned in the same breath as Kentucky and Duke, but even Vegas wavers in granting that respect, listing Kansas at +950 to win the 2019 NCAA title.