August is the slowest month on the sport's calendar, and dozens of teams take foreign trips. The NCAA allows schools to fund these far-off flings once every four years, and they provide an 10 extra full, official practices. 

Beyond the head start on workouts, coaches love when this year occurs because their teams go against foreign competition and get a chance to see the world. This is one of the better perks for any student, who gets a trip to Europe or Australia, Canada or a tropical island. Often the teams facing big-time colleges are overmatched. Sometimes not. Regardless, it gives us our first peek at the upcoming season. 

Here are 10 teams we project as NCAA Tournament participants taking notable trips. 

Kansas | Italy

The Jayhawks, No. 2 in the Top 25 (and one), are already back home and showed zero reason for us to doubt them in Italy. Keep an eye on Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman, who had 32 points in the finale and averaged 19.3 points as KU went 4-0 in Rome and Milan, facing select all star-type teams. 

The Jayhawks' smallest margin of victory was 28. They averaged 99.8 points, despite freshman forward Billy Preston missing a game with a sore knee and center Udoka Azubuike sitting two games because of conditioning. While in Las Vegas, coach Bill Self said using a four-guard lineup may necessary this season. The only bigs on scholarship are Azubuike, Preston and Mitch Lightfoot, who is 6-foot-8.

KU got good play from Svi Mykhailiuk, Lagerald Vick and Devonté Graham, all vital if the Jayhawks are to contend for a national title. Those three and Newman would comprise a four-guard attack. Graham has a good shot at preseason Big 12 Player of the Year. 

"The best thing we got out of [going to Italy] was traveling and team chemistry and camaraderie," Self told the Kansas City Star. "I think we probably learned a lot about each other. ... I think maybe we learned how to play faster offensively. Even though there was obviously a quickness difference, I think different guys did a better job of driving the ball."

Purdue | Taiwan

No team will face a bigger challenge this summer because the Boilermakers are representing the United States in the World University Games in Taipei. Unlike every other traveling program, Purdue actually is playing for something.

The Games are held Aug. 19-30. It's like a smaller version of the Olympics -- held biennially -- with approximately 10,000 people competing (Purdue fans can watch games online). The opener is vs. Argentina (schedule here) on Aug. 20 at 5:30 a.m. ET. They will play five games before the quarterfinals start Aug. 27, with the gold medal game on Aug. 29. 

Kansas won this event two years ago, beating Germany for the gold. So the pressure's on Purdue, which still has talent despite Caleb Swanigan's departure for the NBA. Matt Painter brings back Vincent Edwards, Carsen Edwards, Dakota Mathias and P.J. Thompson, a group that once again could contend in the Big Ten. Purdue will get critical experience, and likely a distinct advantage over the rest of the country heading into the season. 

Duke | Dominican Republic

The Blue Devils' trip is well-timed because Duke is very young. Grayson Allen is the only returner who logged consistent minutes last season. Freshmen could dictate the Blue Devils' success this season. 

Point guard Trevon Duval is the guy to track. He could be one of nation's better floor generals this season. Wendell Carter is the new man in middle, and Gary Trent Jr. will be a wing man for Allen.

Duke's playing vs. the Dominican Republic national team on this trip. The games are Aug. 20 and Aug. 23, and Duke will face a real challenge because the Dominican Republic is prepping for the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup. The Dominican Republic is ranked 18th in FIBA standings. 

Arizona | Spain

Coming off Tuesday's big signing of five-star PG Jahvon Quinerly, it's going to be a great trip -- with a little less stress -- for Sean Miller and the Wildcats. They will play three games from Aug. 11-19 in Barcelona and Valencia. They'll play an All-Star team and Combinado Valenciano, the local club in Valencia -- that game will be Aug. 13. 

Arizona, ranked No. 1 in the Top 25 (and one), is unlikely to face a challenge. DeAndre Ayton is the big-name newcomer, but Allonzo Trier likely will lead the team in scoring. In Las Vegas, Miller said he expects Rawle Alkins to have a big sophomore season.

Miller figures to see all his guys in action and get an early look at his offense. Arizona should roll, much like Kansas in Italy. If this is the season Miller makes his first Final Four, he'll likely look back at this trip as critical. 

Wisconsin | Australia, New Zealand

Last month, Ethan Happ -- in line to be an All-American again -- spoke at length about reconstructing his game and the Badgers' trip to the other side of the globe. Similar to Duke, Wisconsin us undertaking a major roster overhaul, so this excursion is well-timed. Happ is Wisconsin's only returning starter. The last time the Badgers took a trip like this, guys named Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and Bronson Koenig were new, and things turned out pretty well. Greg Gard is hoping for more of the same can ferment with this trip. 

The Badgers play five games from Aug. 12-24, starting vs. the New Zealand Breakers (Kirk Penney, who played at Wisconsin from 2000-03, is on the roster) on Aug. 15. They'll also face pro teams from Sydney and Melbourne; Australia's quality of basketball has skyrocketed the past 15 years, so it's likely the young Badgers will get a good push from some pros. 

Most important is the advancement of D'Mitrik Trice, who could be Wisconsin's primary ballhandler the next three seasons. Newcomers are Aleem Ford, Brad Davison, Kobe King, Walt McGrory and Nathan Reuvers -- plus transfer Trevor Anderson

Texas | Australia

The Longhorns could be the Big 12's most interesting team after Shaka Smart's second-season letdown. Texas went from preseason top 25 team to 11-22. But they have a top-three recruit in Mohamed Bamba, who has the wingspan of a pterodactyl, and return combo guard Andrew Jones

If the Longhorns are to return to the NCAAs, the journey starts with a 12-day trip to Australia with four games, including exhibitions in Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney. This is the second time the Horns have traveled to Australia; the first was 20 years ago. 

Smart's guys will play pro teams from Australia's National Basketball League. They include Melbourne United, Cairns Taipans and the Illawarra Hawks. This trip is worth tracking. While the defense will be strong and Bamba should be the most talented player in every game, how will Texas perform with a roster that struggled to shoot last season? Juniors Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach Jr. will be asked to take significant steps forward.  

TCU | Australia

Yeah, a lot of teams are choosing Australia. That's in good part because of the uptick in talent there, but also -- per some coaches -- it's also viewed as a much safer alternative than Europe in the current political climate. 

The Horned Frogs will be missing a critical piece. Jaylen Fisher has a torn meniscus, and wasn't able to take the trip with the team. TCU is already underway down under; the Frogs beat the Savannah Price, a low-level club, 108-54 on Tuesday. They'll be away until Aug. 16. They've got one more game in Syndey, then three in Melbourne. 

Next up is the Aug. 10 game vs. COE, which helped cultivate Dante Exum, Ben Simmons, Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut. TCU also is scheduled to face the Melbourne All-Stars (Aug. 12), the Longhorns (Aug. 13) and the Knox Raiders (Aug. 15). 

TCU missed the NCAA Tournament last season but finished 24-15 and won the NIT in Jamie Dixon's first season at his alma mater. The expectation this season is an NCAA berth, something the program hasn't done since 1998. 

Butler | Spain

The Bulldogs are underway across the Atlantic. Butler had a coaching change in June, when Chris Holtmann was hired away by Ohio State. Alum LaVall Jordan, fresh off his first season as a head coach at Milwaukee, got the gig. Jordan has a solid roster and a fan base that expects a third straight NCAA Tournament berth. 

The Bulldogs are already three games through on their trip, having won 81-68 on Tuesday vs. Valencia (bodes well for Arizona). Butler is getting good showings from Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin, who should be the best Bulldogs this season. Keep an eye on Aaron Thompson, Paul Jorgensen (had 20 points, eight rebounds on Sunday vs. Arcos Albacete Basketball Club) and Sean McDermott, who will take on increased roles. Butler's final game is Thursday in Barcelona. So far, so good for Jordan in his new role. 

Alabama | Canada

Casual fans may not know super-athletic freshman point guard Collin Sexton yet, but that could change by Thanksgiving. Many viewed Sexton as a top-five recruit in the class of 2017. When he chose Avery Johnson and Alabama, the Tide's expectations rose as high as they've been in about a decade.

Bama is touring Montreal and Ottawa and taking on legitimate programs: McGill, Carleton and the University of Ottawa. On Monday, the Crimson Tide beat McGill 96-57. Another freshman, sharpshooter John Petty, had 22 points. Bama could be a sleeper pick to reach the Sweet 16, thanks in large part to Petty and Sexton. 

Johnson also has Braxton Key, Daniel Giddens, Dazon Ingram and Avery Johnson Jr. in the mix. The talent is intriguing, and this group will benefit from extra time to blend in the youngsters on this trip. 

Rhode Island | Bahamas

At No. 25 in the Top 25 (and one), Rhode Island is already out in the middle of the Atlantic (check out this perspective/journal entry from E.C. Matthews). A top 50 recruit when the Rams weren't attracting such talent, Dan Hurley has said Matthews is the most important recruit of his life. Matthews had potential to go pro early, but injuries set him back. Entering his fifth season, he'll probably go toe-to-toe with St. Bonaventure's Jaylen Adams as the Atlantic 10s' best player. Rhode Island should be the best team in the league again, according to coaches I spoke with. Hurley made the NCAAs last season, getting the Rams back to the Dance for the first time in almost two decades. 

Expect senior-laden Rhode Island to romp in Nassau, with Jared Terrell, Stan Robinson, Matthews, Jarvis Garrett going up against inferior opponents. URI plays against an all-star squad from the Bahamian National Team on Wednesday night, then plays again Saturday.