It’s a new year and over 300 Division I college basketball teams are dreaming of an opportunity to play in the big dance. As the college hoops team gets started here are a few notes.
Given who’s returning and who’s stepping on campus, Duke may be significantly better than everyone else. Health is a concern, but the Blue Devils may still be the best team in the country even if Harry Giles isn’t ready right away.
The Pac-12 will be really interesting. There a lots of story lines beginning with the health of Dillon Brooks at Oregon. He had surgery this summer and may not be ready for the beginning of the season (hence the reason for the 3-seed). Arizona is dealing with Ray Smith’s third ACL tear while the eligibility of Allonzo Trier is up in the air. Washington welcomes Markelle Fultz, who may be the best player in the country.
Monmouth returns 15 players from last year’s team that probably should’ve had made the NCAA tournament. The Hawks have games at South Carolina, Syracuse, Memphis and North Carolina. They’re gonna have to win two of those games.
UAB returns all five starters the reigning Conference-USA Sixth Man of the Year from a team that won 26 games last season. The Blazers fell short of the NCAA tournament after losing in the Conference-USA tournament quarterfinals to Western Kentucky. I don’t think a loss in the C-USA tournament this season will produce the same result.
Wichita St has garnered a lot of respect nationally. Much of that is due to Gregg Marshall. Its going to be quite the feat if the Shockers make it back to the NCAA tournament this season. Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker are gone and the Shockers barely went dancing with them last season.
Last Four In: Texas, NC State, Butler, Davidson
Last Four Out: BYU, Notre Dame, Colorado, SMU
1.Duke16.Lehigh Greenville, SC
8.West Virginia9.Ohio St
5.UConn12.Pittsburgh Salt Lake City
1.North Carolina16.North Florida Greenville, SC
5.Clemson12.Monmouth Salt Lake City
4.Purdue13.Long Beach St
6.Saint Marys11.New Mexico Sacramento
7.Virginia Tech10.Dayton Indianapolis
1.Kentucky16.Fairleigh Dickinson/Jackson St Orlando
5.San Diego St12.Davidson/Butler Tulsa
6.California11.Illinois St Indianapolis
7.Rhode Island10.Florida Buffalo
1.Kansas16.South Carolina St/New Hampshire Tulsa
5.Washington12.NC State/Texas Orlando
6.Seton Hall11.Cincinnati Milwaukee
3.Michigan St14.Fort Wayne
2.Virginia15.New Mexico St