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Polling Place: What time of season do you start tuning into college basketball?

Even NFL nuts and NBA lovers come around to the college hoops season eventually.

Illinois v Marquette
Illinois and Marquette already played an exciting one.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

There are places in this country where interest in college sports reigns supreme. College football in Alabama, for example. College basketball in Kentucky, for another.

In a pro sports town such as Chicago? Yeah, good luck with that.

But even NFL nuts and NBA lovers come around to the college hoops season eventually. It’s a cold, hard fact because — come on — everyone comes around. If not in November, then maybe after the Super Bowl. If not then, then of course for March Madness. Go ahead, try to deny it. You can’t. You wouldn’t dare.

In this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, we asked respondents when they start tuning in to college hoops: out of the gate, after football or not until March.

“Never isn’t an option?” @mike9827 commented.

OK, fine, so he dared. We’d still bet he could at least hum along to “One Shining Moment.”

Also this time: a Blackhawks poll and a Bears poll. Let’s get to ’em:

Poll No. 1: When do you start watching college basketball?

Upshot: Over the first week of games alone, Illinois threw away a game at Marquette, DePaul went off from the three-point line late in an upset of Rutgers, and Kansas and Duke made statements against Michigan State and Kentucky, respectively. And that’s just a small slice of the early-season pie. It’s a lot of fun for those who dig it, but, hey, you do you.

Poll No. 2: Would you like to see the Blackhawks drop the “interim” tag from Derek King’s title and lock him in as coach?

Upshot: We won’t lie — we knew it was way too soon to ask this question. But we also knew there would be a good number of “yeses” given how wild Hawks fans have been going for King in his first handful of games since taking over for Jeremy Colliton. “Realistically and objectively, it’s smart to wait a little while,” @arosen76 wrote. “But the fan in me says yes because I love this freaking dude.”

Poll No. 3: The Bears host the Ravens on Sunday. What about that four-game losing streak?

Upshot: According to @RAGreen2019, it “depends on which version of the defense shows up.” Will it be the version that’s without star pass rusher Khalil Mack or the version that’s without star pass rusher Khalil Mack? Oof, those are the same thing, aren’t they? With Mack out — for the season — it’ll be tough sledding for the 3-6 Bears against the 6-3 Ravens.