NCAA Basketball 09 First Look

Sporting a new name, the NBA Live engine, and former UCLA Bruin Kevin Love on the cover, EA's college basketball game is poised for tip-off.

College basketball gamers will certainly have an easier decision to make this December than in years past. The withdrawal of 2K Sports from the college basketball simulation market now means that EA's NCAA Basketball 09 will be the only collegiate hoops game to hit the shelves this season. We had a chance to check the game out for the first time at the UCLA campus where former Bruins star Kevin Love was named as this year's cover athlete.

The series, formerly known as NCAA March Madness will, for the first time, use the same engine used in EA's NBA Live series. As a result, improvements to player and ball physics, which will make their debut in NBA Live 09, will likely be included in NCAA Basketball 09 as well. In addition to the efficiency that using the same engine will provide, the game's developers are hopeful that the additional six weeks of development time (following the release of NBA Live 09) will allow them to evaluate feedback and make the game even stronger while providing an experience unique to college basketball.

While many of the game's features are still under wraps, EA did reveal that one feature unique to the NCAA Basketball 09 series will be the addition of team tempo. Prior to the start of each game, you will have the ability to set your team's ideal tempo. You will be able to choose between half-court, balanced, and up-tempo offenses, with the assumption that players will be more effective when playing their brand of basketball. A meter is displayed on the bottom of the screen indicating which team has imposed its tempo on the other.

Another feature making its debut in NCAA Basketball 09 is the addition of head coach feedback during the game. The head coach will share his tips and feedback on your play from the sidelines. While some of the comments simply berate you for sloppy play, others attempt to direct play toward your team's particular strengths.

The in-game play-by-play will again be handled by Brad Nessler and Dick Vitale, with Erin Andrews occasionally chiming in with a sideline report. This was one of the strengths of last year's NCAA March Madness 08 game and should be strong again this year. Although many of the gameplay features introduced in the NBA Live series will be carried over to EA's college basketball game, developers did confirm that five-on-five online play (introduced via a patch in NBA Live 08) won't be included in NCAA Basketball 09. However, online multiplayer involving more than two players has been confirmed for NCAA Basketball 2010.

Check back on GameSpot as we will be bringing you all the latest information on NCAA Basketball 09 when we learn more.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

20 comments
Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

NYYankeesrok25
NYYankeesrok25

cannot agree more with the people who are saying EA is crap now. The only good games they've made over the last 5 years was madden and MVP baseball. NEVER a good basketball game, and never attempted to make it better. They do what they can to get by and for people to keep dumping money into their name.

corespoon
corespoon

kreegs i know that. i was responding to someone else. the last game EA made that was any good for college sports was i ncaa fotball 04. had all the d-1aa teams and could mock the other schools cheers when you scored in there house. fun times. but i just wanted to say it's funny how ea puts best seller on there games. there proud of there crap.

kreegs
kreegs

corespoon, Your post doesn't make much sense. 2K stopped making NFL games because EA bought the exclusive license, not because they couldn't compete on product quality. EA realized they couldn't compete on quality so they made sure to get rid of their competition. It made more sense for their bottom line to buy exclusive rights then to lose market share to the better product being produced by Sega. Now that they have exclusive rights, where's their incentive to produce a better game? People will buy it regardless for the most part because they have no other option if they want to play football or college basketball. Competition is often the motivating factor in improving the game. I'm sure you can guess what lack of competition is going to do to the quality of the product. Look at Madden if you want an example.

ROLLTIDE06
ROLLTIDE06

What sucks though is that EA is buying out the competition so they can make more money. You're delusional if you think otherwise. EA might have wanted to be the best at one point, but now they are buying everything out so they can control the market and call themselves the best because no one else can compete with them. EA has yet to put a decent Madden game out on the next-gen systems in my opinion. The gameplay was much better on XBOX. It's incredibly frustrating that it appears like EA had a hand in 2K not getting the college hoops license. If you want to defend them, then go ahead. They are destroying the competition because they buy it out. It's dispicable. If they made a great product consistently, then I wouldn't have any complaints. But with no competition, why bother?

ROLLTIDE06
ROLLTIDE06

If you want to play a decent, no ... very good EA sports game -- then go play FIFA '09 and NHL '09. NCAA '09 is great for college football fans as well. After that, I choose NBA 2k9. I haven't liked any of the next-gen Madden games and I've yet to play this years. EA will have to make a lot of improvements in college hoops to hang with 2K's college hoops game (which apparently they don't have to worry about).

corespoon
corespoon

SilverWeeZy Posted Oct 10, 2008 11:07 pm GMT I must say every person below me saying EA is and I quote "GARBAGE!!!!!!" is just GARBAGE themselves... EA is and has been the best football game. Thats why 2K stopped making there's. They couldn't stay with Madden. Even though EA has bought everything out, they got the money to do that so they do. EA is not garbage. They just want to be the best like everyone else. I still like 2K don't get me wrong, its just EA has 2K beat this year, for the first time. Thumbs up for EA in 09!!!! -- i hope your being a smart arce. if not shame on you. EA is garbage. yes EA has the money to buy this stuff b/c they where out years b4 2k was. plus they where charging at least 30 buck more for there games back in the ps2 days. madden was $50 2k5 was $20. and was a better game. that game is still better then the maddens there putting out now. last years college hoops was great. EA has not made a decent sports game in years, there ncaa bball has sucked for years and madden has sucked longer.

SilverWeeZy
SilverWeeZy

I must say every person below me saying EA is and I quote "GARBAGE!!!!!!" is just GARBAGE themselves... EA is and has been the best football game. Thats why 2K stopped making there's. They couldn't stay with Madden. Even though EA has bought everything out, they got the money to do that so they do. EA is not garbage. They just want to be the best like everyone else. I still like 2K don't get me wrong, its just EA has 2K beat this year, for the first time. Thumbs up for EA in 09!!!! :)

maaly81
maaly81

no one loves college bball games. Shame 2k wont have one. I wanted to be able to play as my favorite college players.

brooklynupe1911
brooklynupe1911

The hate for EA is based on a simple business principle --> Competition breeds better performance/production. EA has been lacking in their annual sports line in comparison to 2K Sports the last few years and they have decided their way to deal with good old American Free Enterprise competition is to create a "Quasi-Monopoly" by buying out the licenses from sports associations to surpress the competition... Much like most monopolies, potential consumers will get the short end of the stick, b/c the corporation (EA Sports) has no "real" incentive to create a bigger & better game each season b/c who are they competing against... Its like running a race when you are the only runner on the track, or in the world... why push yourself. Esp. if anyone wants to see a runner... they have to go see you... So sad... So Un-American...

maaly81
maaly81

dang, looks like no one wants to get this game. college bball just gets no love

maddenplayer16
maddenplayer16

NBA live 08 (garbage!), March Madness 08 (garbage!!)...let me predict the future NBA Live 09 (Garbage!!!) And oh yeah you guessed it NCAA Basketball 09 (GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!)

Qui21
Qui21

I hate EA sports

labeckio
labeckio

Just like Madden, no competition. Now I'd expect it to be just like Madden, GARBAGE!!! Thank god sports is a seemingly dieing genre, I hope if the sports genre dies off, EA follows with it. I haven't seen a quality game come out of their studios, just their partners they publish for. Anyone can find a publisher in today's market if the game is good.

maaly81
maaly81

I don't think they will take full advantage of being the only college hoops game out there. Look how long it took for them to do a decent madden. They have the opportunity of a lifetime this year. I was a loyal 2k college hoops guy, but don't plan on checking this mess out

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

If EA can make NCAA with the same quality they made NHL 09 they will have a giant winner. There is no doubt that there is a huge audience out there begging for a quality college BB game. EA, just get it right!

kreegs
kreegs

I doubt they do much to improve on their college basketball game now that they have no competition. Just look at what happened with Madden after they bought exclusive rights to NFL games. Quality went down the toilet because they knew people would buy it regardless.

brooklynallday
brooklynallday

I have a feeling about this game. is going to be good

SG_Fred
SG_Fred

I hope this game ends up being solid. Their march madness series sucked