'College Hoops 2K8' for the Xbox 360

With cover star and No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA draft Greg Oden losing his entire rookie season to knee surgery, one has to wonder if the video-game gods have decided to lay a Madden-like curse on this blockbuster franchise. Oden's misfortune is a small price to pay for gamers – who cares about the Trail Blazers anyway? – and it's easy to see why the College Hoops series is the highest-rated college basketball sim on the market.

The graphics are as stunning as the sunset, the gameplay is custard-smooth, and the basketball simulation is as near-accurate as an arrow shot from Ted Nugent's bow. College Hoops 2K8 re-creates all the sights and spectacle of watching a game live at the Erwin Center so effectively that attendance at UT games could suffer from the competition.

New features this year include the 6th Man Advantage (fill up the 6th Man meter, and watch your confidence grow while your opponent's shrinks), All-American Training Challenge (go head-to-head against the best to improve your skills), Lock-On D, an improved Legacy Mode, and much more. CH2K8 makes the Final Four of any sports-playing gamer's collection.

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greg oden, ted nugent

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