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There aren't that many weeks separating us from the start of the college basketball season, but news is still mostly conference realignment and non-conference schedules. Coach Mack is excited for things to get going and so are we. Musketeer Madness is right around the corner (now with a new logo!) and practice starts in earnest soon. Until then, here's the news, and the absurdity, from around college basketball.

Idaho fans are being encouraged by the administration to "throw the V" at Vandals games this year. While it's nice for the university to celebrate the "unrivaled" impact they've had on the state of Idaho, it seems like the potential for abuse here is pretty great. Don't expect Wichita State to follow suit any time soon.

We hate all the incessant realignment talk, but this little tidbit is interesting. With the Big East relatively upset with Pitt and Syracuse for jumping ship, they could deny the two teams entry to their annual conference tournament in New York. With the ever loathable Orange and their open gym junk defense playing their usual weak non-conference slate, this move has the potential to keep them out of the NCAAs. We can only imagine what Jim Boeheim would say about that.

Austin Hatch was big news when he was first involved in a plane crash that killed the rest of his family. With recession, realignment, and Hank Williams Jr. dominating the news cycle now, it's easy to miss that the Indiana teen is back to what is left of his home.

Joe Lunardi mentioned Xavier in his chat this week. According to the pioneering baracketologist the boys in blue will come short of the Final Four again. He reasons that this is another great A10 for a program that keeps "knocking on the door", but doesn't have the firepower to get over the hump.

That's about what we have for now. Last week was a bit sparse as both of the staff of Banners took on the Towpath Half Marathon in Peninsula, Ohio. If you are looking for a flat, fast place to run, you can't beat it. Later this week we'll check in on Obi Harris and Dedrick Finn, as well as preview another player from this year's squad. Hang on, Nov 11th isn't that far away.