Last season in college basketball was one of the most exciting in recent memory, and this year looks like it won't be any different. A new class of freshman are looking to make their mark, and more teams than ever before have a legitimate chance to win a national championship.
Here are some crazy things we think will happen this year:
Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, and Virginia are all in the preseason top 10. Syracuse and Pittsburgh will be better, and the new coaching additions of Danny Manning at Wake Forest and Buzz Williams at Virginia Tech will make those teams relevant for the first time in a while. This conference will give us two or three great games every week, which is good news for college basketball fans everywhere.
UConn won the national championship as a 7-seed last season, but went only 24-7 during the regular season. The Huskies might actually have a better team this year with Rodney Purvis and Sam Cassell, Jr. filling the void left by Shabazz Napier, and the American is much weaker with Louisville joining the ACC. UConn won't win the title again, but they will have a better regular season.
The Mustangs would have been a top-10 team if five-star recruit Emmanuel Mudiay didn't elect to play in China for a season instead of going to SMU, but this team is still really, really good. Larry Brown's squad missed out on the NCAA Tournament last year, but that won't be the case again - and they'll make some noise once they get there.
Bill Self and the Jayhawks have been atop the Big 12 for 10 straight years, and have won the conference with worse teams than this one. That dominance has to end at some point. Texas, Iowa State, and Baylor will all be among the country's top teams, and one of them will end Kansas' reign.
The Shockers' toughest test this season is against Memphis, and outside of that, no one really looks challenging on their schedule. I think they'll be upset late in the season, but Wichita is still going to be very, very good.
Everyone seems to be ready to concede the Big Ten to the Badgers, who are fresh off their first Final Four appearance since 2000. However, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois are all improved, Tom Izzo will have Michigan State playing at a high level, and I think Maryland will have a good season in their first year in the conference. Wisconsin will get everyone's best shot, and someone else will sneak up and finish the season atop the conference.
Okafor has a dominant post game and might already be the best big man in the country. He's got great footwork, good passing ability, and is a dominant rebounder. Duke will rely on him to carry the load this year, and don't be surprised if he delivers a Final Four appearance for the Blue Devils.
The Wildcats were stacked last year, and they only lost two players from the team that made the national championship game. Add in four more five-star recruits, and this team will be scary good.
What are your predictions for this college basketball season? Tweet your thoughts @brauf33 and leave a response in the comments!Back to the NCAA Newsfeed