It was when I was sifting through my closet that I discovered it. Laying in the corner behind a bookcase, looking like no one had touched it in years. It's probably because I hadn't. When EA Sports announced in 2010 that they would no longer be producing NCAA Basketball video games, I was disappointed. I threw the game in my closet and didn't intend to ever touch it again. In an era where the emphasis on video games is to be as realistic and immersive as possible, NCAA 10 just didn't fit the bill. Compared to similar new products like NBA 2k15, the graphics lagged and the commentary was out of date.
To humor myself, I popped the disc in to my PlayStation and played a game. It was Illinois versus Indiana. And it was a ton of fun. So I did some digging around and found current rosters for the 2014-15 college basketball season. I'd hit the jackpot. I went through almost every single division-one team to make sure that the ratings and names were accurate (they were). The next step was changing the coaches for each school because that was one thing this roster transfer did not include. Bruce Weber still coached at Illinois, Bill Carmody was at Northwestern, and Tommy Amaker was at the helm of the Michigan Wolverines. I had some major changes to make, and I also edited several ratings on the Illini roster that struck me as too generous (Aaron Cosby with a very high dunk rating, Nnanna Egwu with a very high "outside-jumpers" rating, etc.).
The rosters that I have assembled are now as accurate and up-to-date as they could possibly be, especially in the Big Ten conference. Every single non-conference team that Illinois will face is in the game and has been accurately updated too. So now I'll begin the basketball simulation experiment, much like Brad did with NCAA Football 14. He will be a tough act to follow, but with the new relevant ratings these simulations should be a lot of fun to run.
Because there are sometimes two-to-three basketball games a week I won't necessarily be writing a simulation recap on each and every matchup. I will focus on only the more important non-conference games. In a week where the team faces Georgia Southern, Coppin State, and Austin Peay, I will most likely write one recap of all three of those simulations. But don't worry, all Big Ten conference games will be fully simulated and posted. Have some fun keeping track of the EA Sports version of the 2014-15 Fighting Illini along with me.