Cover artby Konate Primus

NCAA 09 is back in a class all by itself. With 2k Sports canceling its college hoops title, there is no real competition in the college basketball video game department. Still, EA doesn’t let up one bit.

For the first time, NCAA Basketball 09 features NCAA Division 1 coaches–providing real-time feedback–putting you in the minds of college athletes past and present, all divisions and situations. Now you will understand slightly better what it’s like to have Coach K get in that a$$ after turning the ball over, experience CWebb and the Fab 5 or M.J. when he was just another good Tar Heel.

The game features the ESPN Classic Tournament of Legends—64 of the greatest college teams from every era are placed into the ultimate bracket and you get to decide who takes home the crown. You can take the court as the 1972 UCLA Bruins against any of the Tar Heels teams of the 1980s. EA really reaches a new level of authenticity with the help of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook bringing to NCAA 09 the actual style of plays, ratings and scouting reports for every Div. 1 team in the game. Developers applied new artificial intelligence, 1,000 new animations, a new defensive lockdown feature, 1,000 percent improved off the ball movement, and pick-and-roll situation. Not to mention all of the teams capture the look and feel of their era with full afros and pum-pum shorts. Even Michigan’s high socks and baggy shorts are captured.

NCAA 09

All in all, EA comes very correct with its latest edition of NCAA Basketball. There may not be anything groundbreaking about these new features, but it’s the tweaks and improvements that make this game the Second Best basketball title behind NBA 2k9. Without question, NCAA 09 is the best college title, period. They’ve captured what it feels like to play college hoops, and it will be interesting to see what they come with next. I take my graduation cap off to Electronic Sports for once again not failing!

Available November 19th. Reserve your copy today!