With Saturday's deadline for non-agent-signing NBA draft entrants to withdraw their name and return to school, a handful of fan bases spent half the weekend with baited breath.
While Xavier's plans for a 2011 Final Four run were ruined, and Butler likely won't be duplicating their improbable run next year, Purdue and Virginia Tech unquestionably breathed a sigh of relief and are going to be prominently placed in the national picture next season.
Because of the return of big man JaJuan Johnson and swingman E'Twaun Moore, the Boilermakers are a true National Championship contender. Matt Painter's core remains on campus with a chance to finally live up to the hype they've been receiving for the past three seasons. While I think Johnson has a pro-career ahead of him, Moore still has a lot to prove, but his ability to score means he should contend for the Big 10 POY.
We all know Michigan State and Ohio State have talent, but Illinois is also going to be in the mix as Demetri McCamey and Mike Davis are coming back to Champaign. The Fighting Illini boast a nice freshman class, and Brandon Paul and D.J Richardson, two players with a lot to learn but a boatload of talent. Basically, the Big 10 is loaded for a second straight season.
In Blacksburg, Hokies junior Malcolm Delaney tipped off his twitter followers he was coming back for his senior season, meaning Seth Greenberg gets his play-maker for another go round, as all five starters return. A program that has played in just one NCAA Tournament over the past decade - often times finding themselves on the wrong side of the bubble - the Hokies will now be expected to compete for the ACC title with Duke and North Carolina.
Selfishly, I'm just glad college basketball got some of their top talent back (that gunner from BYU is coming back, too), and can dip my does in to a way too early pre-season top 10.