Thursday, November 7, 2013

College Basketball 2013-14 - Field of 68 - Pre-Season (adjusted for Week 1)

NCAA Pre-Season-ish Field of 68

The 1's - Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville
I had Michigan State as the #1 overall seed going in, just didn't publish fast enough before they dispatched Kentucky.  They have the best combination of talent and experience in College Basketball, and their coach is pretty good too.  I had Duke here in my pre-season scribblings, but Kansas gets the nod now that games are underway.  Kentucky showed well against Sparty, so they get to stay despite a loss.  Louisville is the defending champ and should cruise through a watered-down AAC.
The 2's - Duke, Oklahoma State, Arizona and Syracuse
I can easily see Duke moving back to a #1, but for now they can wait for a team above to slip back.  I would not be surprised if Oklahoma State wins the Big 12.  The PAC-12 looks deeper and stronger this year, so Arizona could be in line for a lofty seed if it meets expectations.  Syracuse is big and long and well, Syracuse-like.
The 3's - Ohio State, Florida, Memphis and Marquette
I think Ohio State will be really good, I just don't know if this is their best edition.  Florida has a lot of talent that isn't playing and needs to come together when it does.  Memphis will get an RPI bump from a better conference and has the talent to be here.  I have Marquette winning the new Big East, which should garner a high seed, although its depth might produce 4-5 losses for the league champ.
The 4's - Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico and VCU
I don't see how Michigan can be as good with Burke and Hardaway gone.  Wisconsin is always in this range and has two of the better victories thus far.  Recent history suggests the Mountain West and Atlantic 10 champs would be seeded in this range as well and given the talent at New Mexico and VCU, it is the perfect spot.
The 5's - Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Creighton
Can Baylor's performance match it's talent?  Will Connecticut be better now that they are tournament-eligible?  Do you think Doug McDermott is going out without a special year?  Oh, and Notre Dame is about as solid as it gets.
The 6's - North Carolina, UCLA, Wichita State and St. Louis
What has changed at Carolina to vault them much higher from last year's 8 seed?  The Shockers earn this spot based on talent and last season's run, but the MVC will be a little down this year minus Creighton.  St. Louis should give VCU all they can handle in the A-10.
The 7's - Villanova, Gonzaga, Virginia, and Oregon
Gonzaga isn't going anywhere, but last year was special.  Virginia will give the rest of the ACC fits and could be a surprise.  I also really like Villanova and Oregon to build on last year's momentum.
The 8's - Tennessee, Iowa, Cincinnati and Georgetown
I think this is the year Tennessee and Iowa get back to the tournament.  Georgetown will take a step back, but not a huge one and Cincinnati will be solid and no fun to play as usual.
The 9's - Colorado, Iowa State, Indiana and Boise State
I think Indiana may be a bubble team.  Colorado could go much higher if the talent plays to its level.  Iowa State should be good enough to get a 4th bid for the Big 12, even in a down year.  Boise State might be the 2nd best in the Mountain West.
The 10's - Harvard, Massachusetts, Georgia Tech and Arizona State
Harvard's poll ranking will probably be better than it's actual seed.  I like UMass better than LaSalle in the A-10.  Georgia Tech and Arizona State are gut picks based on talent returning and coming in.
The 11's - Missouri, UNLV, St. John's and California
This group nears the bubble and all four might hover here all year.  In the cases excluding St. John's, the talent that left is potentially hard to replace.  For the Red Storm, they need to put it all together.
The 12's - LSU, Providence, BYU, San Diego State, North Dakota State and Southern Miss
The Tigers, Friars, Cougars and Aztecs get the final 4 spots.  For LSU and Providence, they have to prove ready of the tournament step.  For BYU and San Diego State, they must once again show they are perennial members of the Big Dance despite personnel losses.
The 13's - Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, New Mexico State and Toledo
The 14's - Iona, UWGB, Towson and Northwestern State
The 15's - Davidson, UCSB, Florida Gulf Coast and Vermont
The 16's - LIU-Brooklyn, Norfolk State, Texas Southern, Boston U., Weber State and High Point

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