1UP writes: "Now that 2K's College Hoops franchise is a dropout, NCAA Basketball 09's the lone college hoopster on the market this season. That's bad news for 2K fans/purists -- the 2K titles have trumped EA's offerings the past two seasons -- but the good news is that EA's baller has undergone more than just a name change (the series had been branded as March Madness). This installment's made significant strides by cleaning up dozens of tiny gameplay air balls that kept it from my Xbox 360 starting lineup last year: NCAA now shares the gameplay engine with the much-improved NBA Live -- a smart way to improve both titles, and pretty much the only way to compete with NBA 2K9, the best hoops option on the market right now.
NCAA Basketball 09 sports two back-of-the-box additions this season: team tempo and coach feedback. The former feels a little forced and doesn't really offer much of an impact, though. You'll choose the style of play you want to implement -- find open shots, crash the boards, and so on -- and the game sets a tempo based on your decisions. If you play to that tempo (shown as a meter at the bottom of the screen), you'll supposedly have more success. If your opponent wins the tempo battle, they'll have more success. Personally, though, I'm a bigger fan of last season's momentum meter."