Love ushers in NCAA Basketball 09

EA Sports rebrands annual March Madness college basketball game, with former UCLA center to front this year's cover on 360, PS3, PS2.

Even for those who don't much care for collegiate basketball, the academic league's annual elimination tournament best known as March Madness has a way of capturing water cooler conversation. The March Madness phenomenon has also played to the fore of EA Sports' annual basketball simulation, residing in the title of the game since the franchise was introduced in 1998. However, that will change as the hoops sim enters its 10th season later this year.

Kevin Love, in a candid moment of repose.

Bringing in line its annual college basketball game with its gridiron counterpart, EA Sports announced today that the next installment in the series will bear the title NCAA Basketball 09. The game will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 2 later this fall.

"There is more to college basketball than just the 65-team postseason NCAA Tournament, and our new name reflects this," commented EA Sports president Peter Moore. "College basketball is about the entire season, focusing on the fantastic school rivalries, recruiting, home court advantage, student sections, mascots, and loud arenas. The culmination of all of this is the tournament and NCAA March Madness, but to get there it takes so much more."

Along with officially announcing the game today, EA Sports said that UCLA alum Kevin Love will serve as cover star and spokesperson for this year's game. Drafted fifth by the Memphis Grizzlies and subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Love was named Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2008, leading the Bruins to a Final Four berth.

Aside from the name change, NCAA Basketball 09 will offer a number of revisions over last year's game. Headlining the game tweaks, EA Canada has included for the first time actual Division I coaches that will provide real-time advice, and players will also be challenged with running their home teams under the same precepts of their real-life counterparts. The Xbox 360 and PS3 editions of the game will also be operating an all-new gameplay engine, incorporating more than 1,000 new animation sequences and featuring revisited ball physics and opponent intelligence.

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Discussion

16 comments
MarcJL31
MarcJL31

Once again, EA could not keep up with the competition, 2K this time, and bought out the NCAA. I mean really. MM 08 was seriously pathetic compared to 2k8. And I say this being a died hard MM fan. I have played every single one and would have never switched to 2K but when MM 07 was not released for PS3, I tried out 2k7 and realized what I had been missing. I gave EA another shot with MM 08 and they let me down once again. Seeing as I have no other option, and I love college ball, GO SIUC, I guess I have to see how this turns out.

UABLP69
UABLP69

Yeah the new animations should be awesome, because I'm sick of knowing if the player is going to do something retarded by seeing the first step.

rwallacefan
rwallacefan

wow why in the world would you put him on the cover IMO EA Sports shouldve put like Michael Beasley but irregardless ill still buy this game sure wish EA would make it for psp tho but eh

nolliethebum
nolliethebum

How do you "chock"? And didn't U$C "chock" in the first round to Kansas State? The condoms haven't done anything relevant in college basketbal...ever.

IPHANTOMI23
IPHANTOMI23

UCLA SUCKS!! I can never buy a game with a fUCLA player on the cover, especially since he chocked in the tournament. GO USC!!!

theboneman00
theboneman00

Im pretty sure you have to graduate from the college before you can be called alumni.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Hope they spent the time making the game play solid.

blackace
blackace

Oh Snap!! The demo for NBA Live 09 is already out? What about NBA 2K9 demo? Is that out yet? Live 08's demo was good to, but we saw how the final game turned out. I never even finished a full season with Live 08, but have completed 3 full 82 game seasons with NBA 2K8. The fact that 2K won't be making anymore College Hoops games is slowly pushing me toward MM09. I'll wait for the reviews on all of EA's games before I give them a try.

SegArgyle
SegArgyle

The demo for nba live 09 was pretty darn good, so hopefully this game will be as solid, I liked the ea basketball titles better than 2k anyways, hopefully ea does for basketball what they did for hockey cuz 2k hockey took a few steps back

maaly81
maaly81

man im mad 2k aint makin theirs anymore. hopefully that means 2k9 nba will be two cuts above live as usual. I love college ball so I may be forced to get this one eventually

Lostboy1224
Lostboy1224

might rent it but i doubt that it will be as good as the 2k series.

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

still think OJ Mayo would've been better for twolves, ....beastly too good for EA game cover anyway, EA sports-it used to be in the game.

BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

College Hoops 2K9 would've sounded so much better, looked so much better, played so much better . . . . it would've been better overall. I'm not buying this. This game, no matter the title, hasn't been good since the Coach K series.

BulletsnOctane
BulletsnOctane

I hope Love and the game turn out to be great. There's so much potential on either end. Looks good, sounds good..

Sinister904
Sinister904

too bad 2k aint around to put Beastly on the cover