The deck of the USS Vinson will be transformed into a basketball arena for Michigan State to face North Carolina on Veterans Day.  (AP)

The deck of the USS Vinson will be transformed into a basketball arena for Michigan State to face North Carolina on Veterans Day. (AP)

The start of the NBA season is stalled in labor negotiations, but mens’ college hoops are getting started right on time.  The University of North Carolina is back on top in the pre-season polls, and even the University of Connecticut, minus a few scholarships, is expected to make a good run.

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports talked with Bill Littlefield about UCONN’s chances.

“If they have a couple injuries, that could change things,”  Forde said.  ”Jim Calhoun, as cranky as ever, will be on the sidelines.  I think that they’re absolutely a top 5 team, and I think the top 5 is really good this year.”

For fans who are missing the glitz and glamour of the NBA, Forde suggests tuning into the Veterans Day match-up between Michigan State and North Carolina.  The game will be held on an aircraft carrier, and President Obama will be in attendance.

“That’s a pretty good attention grabber right there,” Forde laughs.  ”And like I said I think the quality of play is going to be better.  So for fans that are going to be turning on the TV on Wednesday night wishing they had the NBA, well there’s going to be at least a decent alternative, I think, from college.”