32 Conferences in 64 Days: Horizon

Welcome to the Horizon League Robert Morris! A usual powerhouse in their old conference. I think they will be in the mix in their new home as well. Everyone is picking Wright State to win this conference but I give the edge to Cleveland State because of their ability to play defense.

  1. Cleveland State
  2. Wright State
  3. Robert Morris
  4. Youngstown State
  5. Northern Kentucky
  6. Detroit Mercy
  7. Oakland
  8. IPFW
  9. UIC
  10. Green Bay
  11. Milwaukee
  12. IUPUI
  1. Cleveland State- The Vikings were better than what their record shows last season. A 7-11 record was not terrible for a team that didn’t bring back anyone from the 2018-19 season. They bring back the whole roster and bring in JUCO transfers to add to their depths. Their offense needs to step up to make this prediction come true, but they are great defensively and that shouldn’t change.

2. Wright State- The public’s favorite to win the Horizon is the 2019-20 regular season champion in Wright State. They bring back 4 out of 5 starters and have the role players who can step up to fill those gaps. The Raiders will be in the tight fight for the conference and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they win the title again.

3. Robert Morris- Welcome to the Horizon League Robert Morris. The Colonials were NEC regular season champions but were upset in the conference tourney before COVID happened. While I believe that the Horizon is stronger than the NEC, they bring back 4 out of 5 starters so I think they will be in the conference race in their new home this season.

4. Youngstown State- The Penguins were the Horizon’s most improved team in 2019-20 season and they bring back most of their production. They finished 4th last season and they will be improved this season and that is why I think YSU is my dark horse to win the auto bid from this conference.  

5. Northern Kentucky- March Madness fans have gotten use to seeing the Norse in the conversation for the auto bid from the Horizon. They will take a fall from that usual top 3 spot this season. They lose 3 of their top 4 scorers and I don’t think they have the depth to replace that production. NKU will have a winning record in conference but there is a handful of teams better than them in the Horizon

6. Detroit Mercy- A usual program that is towards the bottom of conference has Titans fans excited for this season because they have a roster who can win games in this conference. Will they be in the top of the conference? No but they should have a better than. 500 record.

7. Oakland- The Golden Grizzles were the definition of an average team in this conference last season. They bring back most of their production but do not add any talent that will help them improve. They will be in the middle of the Horizon again with just under a .500 record.

8. IPFW- Welcome to the Horizon League Mastodons! This program is the toughest to predict in this conference. They have a lot of new cast members from a decent squad in 2019-20. If they can mesh quickly, they could be a threat for the top 4 of this conference. They will enjoy not traveling as much as they did in the Summit league which must be a boost to moral. IPFW just makes sense in the Horizon.

9. UIC- The Flames had a successful season in 2019-20 with a 10-8 conference record. They lose 4 starters from that roster so I think they will take a step back to the bottom of the conference. They have some role players that can step up to keep them from the basement of the Horizon but do not except a winning record.

10. Green Bay- A 3rd place finish last season was considered a success by most Green bay fans. So why did they fire their coach? No one knows why and it is still the most surprising move this offseason in all of college hoops. They lose all their chemistry with a move like that and I think it will be a tough season and it will be interesting to see if they can rebuild quickly.

11. Milwaukee- Coach Pat Baldwin enters his 4th season at the head of this program in a little bit of a downwards spiral. His best season will be the first season in 2017-18 if this trend keeps on going. They do not bring in any talent to improve their roster from a 7-11 team from last season.

12. IUPUI- The Jaguars who finished dead last in the Horizon will stay at the bottom of this new look Horizon League. One of the worst defensive teams in the nation last season do not look like they will improve on that side of the ball. Losing their top 2 scorers and not getting any transfers to replace that scoring.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Colonial Athletic Association

The CAA is always a conference that the public forgets about until their conference tourney title game is on national TV. This season will be very entertaining so I suggest everyone to tune in to some regular season games. Delaware is a clear favorite but a couple teams will challenge them this season.

  1. Delaware (15 Seed)
  2. Hofstra
  3. Elon
  4. Drexel
  5. Towson
  6. UNC Wilmington
  7. College of Charleston
  8. Northeastern
  9. William & Mary
  10. James Madison
  1. Delaware- The best team in the CAA this season will be the Blue Hens. They bring back all of their production from their 11-7 squad. They are the most experienced team in the CAA and they will be on top of the mountain when the regular season ends. A tight conference will make this race a lot of fun, but I think the Blue Hens will prevail.
  2. Hofstra- The Pride is losing over 75% of their production from last season but they still have Jalen Ray will be in the running of CAA player of the year. I think if they can get their JUCO transfers can step up and be great role players then this Hofstra team will be able to be in the regular season title race.
  3. Elon- The Phoenix will be the most improved team in the CAA, they bring back 80% of their production from a young team last season. I think they played a lot better in March and will take that good vibes into this season and be in the top 3 in the CAA. Should be a fun team to watch with their fast pace.
  4. Drexel- The Dragons had a young roster last season and struggled in conference play finishing 6-12. They have another year of experience and bringing some newcomers will be give them depth which will led to a successful season. They are a fast paced team so watch some Drexel games if you like points.
  5. Towson- The Tigers coaching staff did a great job of bringing in talent this offseason because they lose a lot of their 12-6 season. The biggest question mark for this team is the back court because they lose their top 3 guards and will need newcomers to fill those roles. If they can find some guard play then they can be in the top 3 in the CAA this season.
  6. UNC Wilmington- a 5-13 finish in the CAA was a tough season for the Seahawks. They bring back 85% of their production from last season. Bringing in a solid freshmen class will bring them more depth than they had last season which is why I think they will be in the middle of the pack in the league this season.
  7. College of Charleston- This starts a run of 3 teams who were in the top of the league and will fall towards the bottom. Losing Grant Riller is a huge blow for the Cougars. Riller averaged 22 points a game last season and the next scorer was at 11 points a game. They do not bring in any newcomers to replace that offense.
  8. Northeastern- Some people will be surprised I have this program so low. The Huskies lose 76% of their production from a solid 11-7 finish in conference play and they do not bring in any talent to replace that production. Teams will be able to bully their front court all season and Northeastern will have a tough season. 
  9. William & Mary- Losing the most production in the CAA is not a great start to this offseason for the Tribe. They will be a very small team this season ( tallest player is 6’ 6”) and I don’t think they are a team designed to play fast and don’t have the outside shooting to keep up with a lot of teams.
  10. James Madison- Finishing last place by 3 games in a conference like CAA is not a great sign for any program. The Dukes lose a 50% of their production and having all their transfers needing to sit out this season is not going to help. JMU will be on the bottom of the conference again

32 Conferences in 64 Days: C-USA

C-USA always has a bunch of teams that are fighting for that auto bid when March comes around. This season will be no different. I could see my Top 5 have the talent to win the conference tournament. But who will be the surprised team that no one saw coming?

  1. Western Kentucky (13 Seed)
  2. UAB
  3. North Texas
  4. Marshall
  5. Old Dominion
  6. Louisiana Tech
  7. UTSA
  8. Charlotte
  9. Middle Tennessee
  10. Southern Miss
  11. FAU
  12. FIU
  13. UTEP
  14. Rice
  1. Western Kentucky- Coming in tied for 2nd in the conference was disappointing finish for the Hilltoppers who preseason favorites were. They bring in Kenny Cooper who sat out last season because of transfer rules. Having the experienced floor general will help this offense improve which was their weakness last season. They might have a depth issue but I think their top 5 will overcome their bench issues.
  2. UAB- Andy Kennedy is a huge hire for the UAB program. He brought in one of the best transfer class in the CUSA. They also bring back a lot of their production. The mix of new coaching, newcomers and some solid returners. Except the Blazers being in the race for the conference title and the auto bid.
  3. North Texas- The 2019-20 Conference USA regular season champions bring back 60% of their production. The issue is I do not think their newcomers will be able to replace all of that in one season. The Mean Green will be a very good team but I do not think they will be a back to back regular season champion, but you never know when it comes to March.
  4. Marshall- The Thundering Herd finished a solid 10-8 season in 2019-20 on a 3-game winning streak. They have the most returning production of any team in the conference at 96%. This team is my dark horse who no one will want to face in the C-USA tournament. They need to shoot the ball better but if they do then watch out for the Herd. 
  5. Old Dominion- The Monarchs are one of the slowest teams in the nation. They want to walk the ball up the court and winning 40-35 is just fine with them if possible. They bring back 85% of their production from last season where they finished in the middle of the pack in conference. Their experience will make them improve by I don’t think gets them to the top.
  6. Louisiana Tech- The Bulldogs were right in the conference title race finishing 1 game out of 1st place in 2019-20. Losing over 50% of their production from last year will be hard to replace right away. Except the Bulldogs to be back towards the top in a few years when their freshmen are experienced.
  7. UTSA- The Roadrunners bring back most of their roster from a 7-11 team last season. But they do not bring in any players who should help the team right away. I think this team will be in the same place at the end of the season then they were last season. The Roadrunners seem to be stuck in the mud.
  8. Charlotte- This 49ers program loses 4 out of their top 5 scorers from a team that came in at 10-8 during conference play. They are the best recruiting class in the conference according to ESPN. If they can mesh as a team quickly then they could be back when they were last season but I think they will have some growing pains this season.
  9. Middle Tennessee- The Blue Raiders finished in dead last a season ago in the conference. They bring in 4 transfers and only lost a role player to the portal. This team is hard to predict because of all of the new faces. I think they will end up in the middle of the conference. The most important thing for this program is to keep all these players in the future to build something.
  10. Southern Miss- One of the most improved teams in the CUSA will be the Golden Eagles. They bring in 3 out of the top 40 JUCO rankings according to ESPN rankings. The 5-13 record in conference last season will turn into around a .500 record this season. If they can find their groove I can see them raise a few spots above this 10th spot.
  11. FAU- The Owls will miss Jailyn Ingram this season who got hurt in March and most likely won’t see the court this season because he has applied for a medical hardship redshirt. Guard Cornelius Taylor will need to step up for the team to have any success in this conference this season. Coach Dusty May will be in for a long year.
  12. FIU- The Panthers have one of the fastest teams in the nation. Any 2 seasons with decent seasons in conference play I think they take a step back this season.  FAU lives and dies with the 3 pointer and they lose both of their best shooters. I just don’t think they will be able to find that offense. 
  13. UTEP- El Paso was a great place for the Miners last season. A 13-4 home record versus a 3-9 record away from home is proves the great home court advantage they had. Losing some or all their fans this season will hurt them in this season of COVID. Also losing their top 2 scorers will make the offense struggle. 
  14. Rice- The Owls lose their top 5 scorers from last season. They did not bring in much talent to replace that. Chris Mullins will need to have a magically offensive junior year for this team to be any good. It will not be a fun season for Rice.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big West

Welcome UC San Diego to the Big West and division 1 basketball. Usual powerhouse UC Irvine will have some tough competition for the conferences auto bid. There are 4 teams go enough to win the conference tournament and go to March Madness.

Big West

  1. UC Santa Barbara (14 Seed)
  2. UC Riverside
  3. UC Irvine
  4. UC Davis
  5. Hawaii
  6. Long Beach State
  7. UC San Diego
  8. Cal State Bakersfield
  9. CSU Northridge
  10. Cal Poly
  11. Cal State Fullerton
  1. UC Santa Barbara- The Gauchos bring back all of their talent from a 10-6 conference record. Led by leading scored Amadou Sow coming back to lead this team. Anything worse than winning this conference would be a disappointing for the Gauchos.
  2. UC Riverside- Why are the Highlanders so high when they had a losing record in the Big West last season? (7-9). Callum Mcrae junior center will be joined in the paint by John Perry. Both of these centers are 7’1” and are now experienced. Along with some guards who can shoot from outside I think it will all come together this season with that in and out offense they run. Watch out for the Highlanders.
  3. UC Irvine- The Anteaters lost 3 out of their 5 starters and they did not reload as Big West fans are come accustomed too in the last. They will be a very good team in the conference, but I do not think they have the experience to win the conference this season. The Anteaters will be back on top in a year or 2
  4.  UC Davis- The Aggies had a solid season with a young roster last season with an 8-8 record in conference. They bring back that young roster who has 1 more year experience now. The Aggies are my dark horse pick to get the automatic bid in the Big West. I see a lot of potential and if they are clicking on all cylinders by March, watch out.
  5.  Hawaii- The Rainbow Warriors bring back most of their roster from an 8-8 Big West campaign last season. With a couple of transfers who will be role players for this team I except them to be back in the .500 range for another season.
  6. Long Beach State- The 49ers were stuck as one of the worst teams in the Big West for a while but started to look like a better basketball team last season. A tough finish made them 6-10 in conference, but they bring back all their talent and was a great defensive team. If they can find a little bit more offense, they will be a good Big West team.
  7. UC Davis- Welcome to the Big Show UC Davis! Entering their first season in division 1, I except the Tritons to not be as bad as some of their fellow transitioning teams. There is a lot unknown but look for UC Davis to make some noise in the Big West.
  8. Cal St Bakersfield- Coming over from the WAC. The Roadrunners will not be able to avoid their issues that they had last season. Their offense last season was a big issue and I do not see it getting any better. Maybe playing some new teams will help but I do not see first year success for this team in the Big West.
  9. CSU Northridge- Losing 4 out of 5 starters is tough production to replace from a 10-6 team which was good for tied for 2nd in the Big West. The Matadors have enough depth coming back to avoid being all the way into the bottom of the conference, but they will be in the bottom half of the Big West
  10. Cal Poly- Coming in last place in the Big West last season, The Mustangs bring back most of their roster, but it is still a young roster. Out of all the times in the bottom 4 of these projections I think Cal Poly is the most likely to jump up into the top half of the league but I think they are still a year or 2 away from being a solid Big West team.
  11. Cal State Fullerton- The Titans lose 4 out of 5 starters from this past season. That team was towards the bottom of the conference with a 6-10 record. With no talent coming in this season. It is a pretty easy pick to put the Titans on the bottom.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big Ten

The Big Ten has been considered the best conference in the nation the last few season. the conference will be in the race for that title again while getting the most NCAA bid. I do not see a clear cut favorite in this league and I dont think anyone team will be dominate enough to be in the 1 seed race. With no clear leader it will be a fun season in the Big Ten.

  1. Wisconsin (2 seed #6 overall)
  2. Iowa (3 seed #11 overall)
  3. Michigan State (4 seed #15 overall)
  4. Illinois (5 seed #18 overall)
  5. Ohio State (5 seed #19 overall)
  6. Michigan (5 seed #20 overall)
  7. Rutgers (6 seed #22 overall)
  8. Indiana (8 seed)
  9. Purdue (10 Seed)
  10. Minnesota (first four out)
  11. Penn State
  12. Maryland
  13. Nebraska
  14. Northwestern
  1. Wisconsin- The Badgers had a down season for Wisconsin standards last season but was still a solid Big Ten team that become out heading into March to get back up into the top 4 seed conversation.  Greg Gard’s 2020-21 squad will remind you of Big Ten football, a line up with all seniors that plays awesome defense. It might not be the sexy option to watch but this team will have the best defense in the Big Ten and have enough offense to win the conference.
  2. Iowa- Hawkeye fans are still yelling about Luke Garza not winning the national player of the year last season. I do not agree with them because Toppin deserved it, but they do have a case to disagree. Garza coming back makes Iowa a top team in the Big ten and the nation. If hey can keep their guards healthy (both injured for time last season) they can win the league.
  3. Michigan State- How does the Spartans respond from losing Cassius Winston who was one of the best 4-year players that Tom Izzo has ever had? They will reload and be one of the top teams in the Big Ten. Joshua Langford who they lost for the season early in 2019-20 is back and he will have to step up if Izzo’s team will have their usual success. They are a top 25 team but won’t be around the top 10 like they usually are. 
  4. Illinois- The Fighting Illini caught the eye of the average college basketball fan when they seemed to come out of nowhere to be a tournament team and upsetting teams in conference play left and right. They return all their starters and have Adam Miller a freshman expected to break into the starting lineup. Ayo Dosunmu will be in the Big Ten POY race and the Illini is my dark horse for the Big Ten title.
  5. Ohio State- The Buckeyes are the biggest wild card in the Big Ten. They lost a ton of talent including the Wesson brothers. But they bring in huge transfers. Seth Towns from Harvard got all the talk this offseason, but I believe that Justice Sueing from Cal will have the bigger impact. If they can all mesh, I could see Ohio State being as high as a top 15 team but there is risk of being on the bubble as well.
  6. Michigan- Just like their archrivals there is a lot of unknowns about the Wolverines. Coach Juwan Howard has had success so far in Ann Arbor. They lose Zavier Simpson but Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner are back. If Livers can stay healthy this season than Michigan will be a quality Big Ten team and safely in the tournament.
  7. Rutgers- Piscataway was rocking last season with all the hype that Steve Pikiell’s squad brought to campus. The Scarlet Knights were a legit NCAA tournament team and fans must have been heartbroken when the Big Dance was canceled. Returning their whole roster should get those fans excited again. I don’t think they are a top team in the conference, but they should be dancing in March.
  8. Indiana- The Hoosiers played with fire last season losing some games late in the season and getting very close to the bubble. Fans should be excited for this Indiana team especially when Trayce Jackson-Davis didn’t even test the NBA draft waters when he was considered a possible one and done player.  They should be dancing in March but they have to be careful because a couple of losses again will put them right on the bubble.
  9. Purdue- Losing Matt Haarms hurts this Boilermakers squad but they do have a bunch of production coming back. The biggest question mark is their role players. The top 5 players are solid but after those 5 its all freshmen. If they can get the young guys to step up then Purdue will be a tournament team. They will be sweating on Selection Sunday, but they will be on the correct side of the bubble.
  10. Minnesota- In a weaker Big Ten, The Gophers would have been in the tournament last season they had the talent. They were on the wrong side on the losses that would have gotten their resume to be good enough. Will Pitino’s squad be good enough to get the Big Ten a record 10 bids? They have the talent to make it but with other power 6 conference getting better they will be on the wrong side of the bubble at the end of the day.
  11. Penn State- The Nittany Lions were hurt the most by March Madness not happening in the Big Ten. Like Rutgers they would have been a tourney team which would have broken a missed postseason skid. The difference is that PSU was a senior heavy team especially Lamar Stevens who was arguably the best player in program history. They bring in some transfers and 3 starters, but it won’t be enough to match the production missed by Stevens being gone. Penn State will upset some top Big Ten teams but wont have enough to make it in March.
  12. Maryland- Mark Turgoen had the best team of his career last season. So why are they way down on the projections? Because they lose almost all of their production and do not replace it with enough talent to reach those levels. Transfers Galin Smith from Alabama and Jairus Hamilton from Boston College will need to step up for the Terrapins to have any chance to be successful in the Big Ten.
  13. Nebraska- The Cornhuskers will have another season at the bottom of the Big Ten with Northwestern. They do have some hope for the future with 6 non senior transfers coming in but I don’t think all that talent with mesh together in time for this season. Watch out for Nebraska in a year or two.
  14. Northwestern- The Wildcats lost three buy games last season (Merrimack, Radford and Hartford) which is not an ideal situation to be in when you are in the best conference in basketball. They have a young core that fans in Chicago will watch closely but I just don’t see it getting any better for them. There are 12 teams that could potentially go dancing in the Big Ten then 2 fighting not to come in last.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big South

Another competitive season of Big South play is coming. A usual program is on top of my predictions with Winthrop but some new programs who haven’t had success lately with be in the hunt for that at large bid when March comes around

  1. Winthrop (15 Seed)
  2. Charleston Southern
  3. UNC Asheville
  4. Radford
  5. South Carolina Upstate
  6. High Point
  7. Hampton
  8. Campbell
  9. Gardner Webb
  10. Longwood
  11. Presbyterian
  1. Winthrop- The Eagles were part of a two headed monster with Radford on top of the Big South in 2019-20. Unlike Radford, Winthrop brings back everyone on the roster which includes big man DJ Burns who will be in the Big South Player of the Year race. With point guard Hunter Hale as an experienced floor general I don’t think anyone can challenge the Eagles in the Big South.
  2. Charleston Southern- Guard Phalndrous Fleming Jr is my pick for Big South Player of the Year. I think he leads this Buccaneers squad to their best season in recent memory.  Charleston Southern will shock a lot of people who don’t follow the Big South closely. Fleming Jr vs Winthrop in the conference title game would be very entertaining.  
  3. UNC Asheville- The Bulldogs have the best junior class in the Big South. They lost 7 games last season by 5 or less points. Some of those games go the other way and Asheville looks a lot better. With another year of experience, I think this is the team that can challenge Winthrop and upset them in the conference tourney.
  4. Radford- The Highlanders lose their 8 top scorers from that team who won a share of the Big South regular season title. Most teams that lose that much talent I would put even lower than this, but I trust Coach Mike Jones to get the most out of this roster. It is possible they are in the bottom half of the conference but I just cant put a powerhouse that low until I see it happen.
  5. South Carolina Upstate- The Spartans seem to always be an average team in the Big South. Nothing about their roster makes me think that will change. Except Upstate to have a .500 record with a good upset and a bad lose on the resume.
  6. High Point- I think Panther fans excepted the name of Tubby Smith to be able to get more recruits or transfers into this program. While still underwhelming they finally have an experienced team with some transfers coming in. They were a very young team last season and they played better late in the season. I think Tubby will have the best team at High Point in a long time and will be taking the steps towards success in the Big South
  7. Hampton- On Paper the Pirates bring back a lot of their production from last season but they do lose Jermaine Marrow who was their best player by a mile. They will need someone to step into that role and that might take a few games to happen so I could see the Priates being the most improved team when you compare December to March.  
  8. Campbell- Campbell might have the best front courts in the Big South with 3 quality centers that they can rotate in. The Fighting Camels came in last place in Big South play last season but I do see improvement towards the middle of the conference with potential to be a top team if everything clicks.
  9. Gardner Webb- The Bulldogs separated from the rest of the conference as the 3rd best team behind the two headed monster. They lose also as much as Radford and do not bring in any transfers to replace that talent. They will need Jaheam Cornwall to play out of his mind for the team to have any success.
  10. Longwood- The Lancers had a great run in the Big South to a 9-9 conference record which exceeded expectations. That senior class has left the building, and no one is coming in to replace them. This will be a bad season for a program that seemed to be on the rise.
  11. Presbyterian- This program is in a tailspin, losing transfers everywhere and not replacing any of that talent. The Blue Hose might not win a game in the Big South if their young players don’t improve drastically.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big Sky

The big names in the Big Sky will rule another season on top of the conference. Montana and Eastern Washington will get all of the talk from the media this season but watch out for Southern Utah when the conference tournament starts.

  1. Montana (16 Seed)
  2. Eastern Washington
  3. Southern Utah
  4. Montana State
  5. Weber State
  6. Northern Arizona
  7. Northern Colorado
  8. Sacramento State
  9. Portland State
  10. Idaho State
  11. Idaho
  1. Montana- The Grizzles lost their top 3 scorers from last season, but they replace them with 3 transfers who should come in and be major production for this team. Montana has won the last 2 conference tourneys that were played. They will have a target on their back all season again but I will give them the edge over the rest of the top of the Big Sky.
  • Eastern Washington- The 2019-20 Regular Season Big Sky champions bring back the whole roster but do not add anything to enhance their team. They did win the regular season title but got swept by Montana in their 2 matchups. I think they are neck and neck with Montana, but the main question is, Can the Hawks beat the Grizzles?
  • Southern Utah- If the Thunderbirds can find some offense then I think SUU can challenge the top two teams in the Big Sky. They don’t have any superstars on their team, but they have 6 players who I consider very solid Big Sky players.  Watch out for the Thunderbirds when it comes to March and conference tourney play.
  • Montana State- The Bobcats took a step in the right direction towards the mountain that is the Big Sky conference. Ending up with a .500 record in conference is a good start for that climb. They bring back the same roster talent, so I except them to take a step in the right direction and Montana State as my Dark Horse for this conference.
  • Weber State- Weber State is the biggest unknown for the Big Sky. The Wildcats had an 8-12 conference record and lose their top 2 scorers BUT they bring in 6 transfers! This program is usually in the top half of the Big Sky so I will top them right in the middle because if the transfers can play well together except them to fight for the leagues auto bid. They could also not mesh well and be back to where they were last season.   
  • Northern Arizona- The Lumberjacks ended up .500 in Big Sky play and lose 3 of their starters but UNLV transfer Jay Green will fill up a lot of that missed production. This roster’s talent looks a lot like the same from a season ago so I except NAU to be around .500 again.  
  • Northern Colorado- The Bears who are usually towards the bottom of the Big Sky had a historic season last season with the 2nd place regular season finish. They didn’t get the chance to make March Madness and lost out their chance as they lose 4 starters and don’t replace them with anything. The Bears will fall the most from last season in the Big Sky. 
  • Sacramento State- The Hornets were one of the slowest teams in 2019-20 allowing under 60 points per game last season. The issue was that they couldn’t score at all. They do not bring in an offensive firepower so I don’t except them to improve much from being a subpar Big Sky team this season.  
  • Portland State- The Vikings had a very successful season last year with a 12-8 conference record. They lose their whole rotation as they lose their top 7 scorers. They do bring in 2 transfers from power 6 programs, but the depth is gone. The Vikings might surprise some teams, but I don’t see much success.
  1. Idaho State- The two teams from the State of Idaho were in the basement of the Big Sky together with only 4 conference wins each (next team had 8). Unlike their in state rival, the Bengals looked like they could play with anyone in the conference at times last season. They need to be able to sweep Idaho though which they didn’t last season (1-1). I think the Bengals can take a step in the right direction, but they aren’t jumping any teams in 2020-21
  1. Idaho- The Vandals just looked like they were in the wrong league most of the season last year. With no transfer help coming right away I don’t see how this program climbs out of the basement of the Big Sky.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big East

The Big East fills a little bit more whole with UConn back in their old home. It also helps that this will be one of the best Huskies team since they won their last national title. Villanova will be battling for a 1 seed and a handful of others will be in the at large picture.

Big East

  1. Villanova (1 seed #4 overall)
  2. Creighton (2 seed #7 overall)
  3. UConn (11 seed Last 4 byes)
  4. Seton Hall (12 seed Last 4 in)
  5. Providence (11 seed Last 4 in)
  6. Marquette
  7. Xavier
  8. Butler
  9. St. John’s
  10. Georgetown
  11. DePaul
  1. Villanova- The new version of the Big East came into form in 2014. Since then Nova has won an outright or share of a regular season conference title 6 of 7 of the seasons. Jay Wright’s squad was also a 1 or 2 seed 5 of those years as well. They lost soon to be lottery pick Saddiq Bey but bring back everyone else. Collin Gillespie looks like he is about to step up as the next great Villanova point guard. No one is that close to challenging Nova in the conference, unless Creighton can really play above their expected talent.
  2. Creighton- Ty-Shon Alexander deciding to go pro is the only reason that the Blue Jays is not on the same level as Villanova. Coach McDermott will need to find some offense from their role players this season but except this team to be one of the best defensive team in the nation. The ceiling for this program is a 2 seed I believe. There is a gap between the Blue Jays and Nova but there is also the same sized gap between them and the teams below them in the conference.
  3. UConn- Welcome back to the Big East UConn! Dan Hurley brings in a solid squad to the Huskies old home. A good mix of experience players and young talent lead by 2nd year guard James Bouknight. UConn will be around the bubble all season and the whole state of Connecticut should get excited about the Huskies getting back to a solid program in the conference they should have never left.
  4. Seton Hall- The Pirates were in line for a high seed in NCAA tournament in 2020. Losing Myles Powell their best player to go through South Orange in a long time. Seton Hall will fall from the top of the Big East and top 25 but they will still have a chance to get an at large bid and will be in bubble talks all season. Their X factor is Harvard grad transfer point guard Bryce Aiken. If he can average 16 points in the Big East like he did in his last season in the Ivy then watch out for Seton Hall to pull some upsets.
  5. Providence- The Friars had one of the most roller coaster seasons in recent memory. Losses to Northwestern, Penn, Long Beach State and Charleston led to a bad 7-6 non-conference record.  Then they started Big East play 6-6 which is not terrible in a good Big East in 2020 but doesn’t get them close to the bubble with those losses. Then they go on a 6-game winning streak to end the regular season with wins against Seton Hall, Marquette and Villanova who were all ranked at the time. Providence was one conference tournament win away from going to the big dance. They have the same talent coming back this season so except them to be back in the bubble conversation. 
  6. Marquette- The Golden Eagles fans have started to get frustrated over Marquette not playing to the level that is excepted during the Tom Crean and Buzz Williams days. They would have made March Madness in 2020 but I think this will be a down year for the Golden Eagles. A lot of lost talent and unknowns coming in. Will be a very interesting season for Marquette.
  7. Xavier- Coach Travis Steele fared better in his 2nd year in Cincinnati but still didn’t live up to exceptions. The Musketeers were predicted to finish 3rd in the Big East and finished T-6th. They lost most of their production this offseason but do get a grad transfer in Nate Johnson from Garner Webb which will help fill those holes. Coach Steele will have to do his best job yet to get this team just to the bubble. I see a lot of struggles trying to find this team’s production this season, definition of a rebuild.
  8. Butler- The Bulldogs are hoping that Bo Hodges gets a waiver to play this season because the ETSU transfer will make the team good enough to be on the bubble but with Hodges it will be a tough season for coaches LaVall Jordan squad, offense will be hard to come by for the Bulldogs.
  9. St. John’s- The Red Storm were all the talk in the Big East after the non- conference slate. Finishing with a 11-2 record with wins over West Virginia and Arizona. The Johnnies did not carry that positive vibes in Big East play with a 5-13 conference record. Coach Mike Anderson is building something in Queens but I think that is 1 or 2 seasons away. With a solid freshmen class coming in getting those players experience will help this rebuild be successful. Watch out for the St. John’s to pull some upsets in the Big East but will end up short of the bubble.
  10. Georgetown- Hoya fans will want to take out the film of the 90’s and early 2000’s because this season will be ugly. A bad season last season was saved a little bit by the efforts of Mac McClung. McClung is in Lubbock Texas now so he won’t be able to save this season from being terrible for Patrick Ewing. Ewing is a Georgetown and basketball legend, but I don’t see how this program gets out of this hole with him at the helm. Wouldn’t be surprised there is a change next offseason. 
  11. DePaul- Just like St. Johns, the Blue Demons were all the hype after a 12-1 non-conference record with wins against Iowa, Minnesota and Texas Tech. The city of Chicago was a buzz with hype that DePaul might be relevant in the Big East. A 3-15 Big East record made all of that hype go away really fast. I think DePaul could be a good basketball team and maybe will breakthrough this season but until they play a full season, I will put them at the bottom of my predictions.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big 12

The Big 12 top 4 teams might be the best top of any conference in the nation. As usual the question is, Can anyone else go the Big Dance? Oklahoma State having an postseason ban which doesnt help but except the Red River Rivalry be very important for at large bids for both teams.

  1. Baylor (1 seed #2 overall)
  2. Kansas (1 seed #3 overall)
  3. West Virginia (4 seed # 14 overall)
  4. Texas Tech (4 seed #16 overall)
  5. Texas (6 seed #24 overall)
  6. Oklahoma State (Not eligible for postseason)
  7. Oklahoma (9 seed)
  8. TCU
  9. Iowa State
  10. Kansas State 
  1. Baylor- A long run in March if COVID didn’t exist would have made this official but after this season we must recognize that there is an elite men’s college basketball program in Waco Texas. They have the front runner for Big 12 Player of the Year in Jared Butler Jr. They lose only Freddie Gillespie from last season where they would have been a 1 seed. The Bears will go toe to toe with Kansas just like last season. Unless the whole team gets injured, there is no doubt Baylor will be back as one of the nations best team.
  2. Kansas- Choosing between the Jayhawks and the Baylor Bears is the toughest choice between the top 2 teams in any conference. They lose Dotson and Azubuike which was their 1-2 punch that no one could stop when they were clicking.  But as always Bill Self went out and grabbed the players the roster needed to be one of the best in the nation. Marcus Garrett will be in the POY discussion and true freshmen Bryce Thompson will be in the starting lineup and will be a huge part of the team’s success. Except to see a 1 next to Kansas on Selection Sunday.
  3. West Virginia- Bob Huggins has had a couple of “rebirths” during his time in Morgantown. The latest revamp of the team is the death of “Press Virginia”. WVU pressed 33% and 36% of the time in 2017 and 2018. Then last season the Mountaineers only pressed 17% of the time which is about average in the NCAA. No more press but the program is still one of the best defensively every year and that wont change. The difference this season will be that Huggins’ team will be able to score. They return Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebewe who both average double digits. If they can find some outside shooting, they could battle for the conference title. WVU is my dark horse in the Big 12.
  4. Texas Tech- Chris Beard must be sitting at his desk clicking refresh on his email to see if Mac McClung’s waiver gets approved. If McClung can play this season than the Red Raiders will jump into a 3-way race for being the favorites in the Big 12. But even without McClung, Texas Tech brings back a lot of fire power and will have two transfers starting in Joel Ntambwe from UNLV and Marcus Santos-Silva from VCU. They don’t have a lot of experience outside of their starters so if they can get some production from their bench then they will be very dangerous.
  5. Texas- Shaka Smart might have been saved from the pandemic because he was on the hot seat as the Longhorns did not have a shot at an at large bid and didn’t have the fire power to upset the top of the Big 12. But they bring back the whole roster from last season and add true freshmen Greg Brown who will start for this team. The longhorns will be a NCAA tourney team this season and could be a sneaky team that could sneak up into the top 20 and a 3-4 seed if they can play better defense then they did in 2019-20
  6. Oklahoma State- The biggest news this offseason in the Big 12 was Oklahoma State getting banned from the 2021 postseason for recruiting violations. Cade Cummingham was the top recruit in this freshmen class. It is a shame that we won’t be able to see if Cummingham can lead the Cowboys to the big dance. But they will still a good team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they upset one of the top teams this season.
  7. Oklahoma- The battle of the State of Oklahoma in the Big 12 will be alot of fun this season. the Sooners will have a starting lineup with 4 seniors. De’Vion Harmon the 2nd year point guard will be a huge part of this team’s success. If he can get the most out of the very experienced fellow starters than the Sooners can be a top 25 team. Lon Kruger will have this team ready and being 2 years removed from Tre Young, things seem normal in Norman.
  8. TCU- There is a large drop off between the middle of the pack in the Big 12 and the bottom 3. TCU is the best team of that bottom tier. The Horned Frogs have a very experienced 7-man rotation coming back. The bottom 3 teams in this conference are very close to each other so not the easiest to predict but I will give TCU the edge because of their experience.
  9. Iowa State- Iowa State was 5-13 last season in conference play and they lost 3 out of their 5 most productive players. The Cyclones will have a very tough season and fans will look at this like a throwaway season. Steve Prohm better get on the recruiting trail and develop his underclassmen, or the program might be stuck in the Big 12 basement for a while.
  10. Kansas State- How is this the same program that won the Big 12 title and went to the Elite 8 just a couple of seasons ago? This is a gutted roster with only 1 upperclassman on the roster (not a starter). The Wildcat fans have someone to be watching this season which is how the young guys develop but it is hard to see this team win many games in the Big 12.

32 Conferences in 64 Days: Atlantic Coast Conference

The 2019-20 season will not be a talking point for the ACC in the future. All the ACC haters and major conference haters will be upset that the conference will be back. The ACC would have gotten 3-4 teams in the NCAA Tournament, they will be back to their usual 7-8 teams in the 2020-21. the ACC will be better and a weaker mid major at large contenders will help the ACC get back to their top 3 conference status.

  1. Virginia (2 Seed) 5 Overall
  2. Duke (2 Seed) 8 Overall
  3. Florida State (7 Seed)
  4. Louisville (8 Seed)
  5. North Carolina (8 Seed)
  6. Maryland (9 Seed)
  7. Miami (FL) (11 Seed) Last 4 Byes
  8. Virginia Tech (12 Seed) Last 4 in
  9. Syracuse (12 Seed) Last 4 in
  10. Clemson Next 4 Out
  11. NC State Next 4 Out
  12. Georgia Tech
  13. Boston College
  14. Notre Dame
  15. Pitt
  16. Wake Forest
  1. Virginia- With no March Madness in 2020 Virginia enters as the defending champions again. Virginia was a big part of the historically bad ACC 2020 season but with a great recruiter class and only losing one starter. Except the Cavaliers to be on battling for the top spot in the ACC with Duke and possibly a 1 seed.
  2. Duke- The Blue Devils had 3 players go in the NBA draft this past spring. But as always Coach K reloaded with talented freshmen. But unlike past years there is no obvious NBA top 5 draft pick on this team. Duke will still be in the conversation for a 1 seed and fighting with UVA for the ACC title but there will have to get production from more than just their starters this season. It might take a couple of games to mesh as a team, but you can except to pencil the Blue Devils into their usual spot come March.  
  3. Florida State- While there is a decent drop off from the top 2 teams from the next group of ACC teams. Leonard Hamilton’s squad returns all but one player from his rotation last season. He also grabbed the highest rated recruit in program history in Scottie Barnes. The Seminoles will be around the bottom of the top 25 rankings and no one will talk about them per usual. This program deserves more respect and I think it is possible for them to get up in the top 15 if the ACC is better than experienced.
  4. Louisville- The Cardinals were looking like the powerhouse in the ACC last season until they went into a downhill spiral for 2 weeks in February. They were one of the most interesting team in the conference heading into Greensboro. They were a tournament team last season even with the funk they had. They lost a lot of talent but got a big grad transfer in Carlik Jones from Radford. Chris Mack will have the team in the postseason, but it will be interesting to see if they can compete with the cream of the crop in the ACC
  5. North Carolina- The Tar Heels would not have been at large bid team last season. That statement seems crazy to even type out. They lose the only player that was worth much on the hardwood last season in Cole Anthony. Big man Garrison Brooks will have to keep up the role as leader of this squad. UNC is a tough team to track but I trust Roy Williams to have this team ready to start getting back the program into form. They have a large range of possibilities, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up a top 4 seed in March.
  6. Miami (FL)- Jim Larranaga’s program was a steady at large bid team but they were a combined 29-34 the last 2 seasons with no projected March Madness bid. Projecting them to be At large bid again this season might been a bit optimistic. Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong needs to step up and be a team leader. With Cincinnati transfer Nysier Brooks the Hurricanes will be hovering around the bubble. A couple of wins versus the ACC teams above them and they will be safely in the tourney.   
  7. Virginia Tech- Mike Young’s first season in Blacksburg has low exceptions going into the season. Even with a 7-13 league record, the season was a huge success because of one game. The Hokies went to Maui with a 6-0 record (playing mostly cupcakes and Clemson) matchups up with preseason #1 Michigan State and pulled the upset. Ending the season on a 2-11 run is not ideal but those good start to the season is good to build on for the upcoming campaign. Except to see VT in the bubble talks all of March.
  8. Syracuse- Guess what…. Syracuse is going to be on the bubble again. They lost Elijah Hughes to going pro, but they return a core nucleus full of upperclassmen. Jim Boeheim’s best teams are experienced rosters who are experts in running the 2-3 zone. This team will be great defensively and they have more offense talent than they have had the past few years. The Orange probably will be going to Dayton and will be a hot topic on Selection Sunday.
  9. Clemson- The Tigers are returning most of their roster from a 9-11 conference record. Clemson fans should just focus on football as they usually do. This roster could not break through to a winning record in a watered down ACC. Aamir Simms will be in the hunt for a conference all American but that will be a bright spot in a sub-par season. The ceiling for this team is sneaking into the big dance If they can upset some teams but I don’t see it happen.
  10. NC State- Wolfpack fans hoped new coach Kevin Keatts brought his program building skill that he used to build up UNC Wilmington the past few seasons. 2018-19 wasn’t as good as some people excepted with some bad losses but they did have big wins (Beat Duke by 20 and won at UVA). Taking the positives and not losing much production is a good recipe for this rebuilding program. They won’t be in the top half of the ACC, but they will take steps towards getting bad there.
  11. Georgia Tech- Josh Pastner has not been able to find any offense in Atlanta. It has been 10 years since GT has been in the NCAA tournament. With a starting lineup of all upperclassmen, Pastner needs to improve, or he will start being on the hot seat. I just do not see where the Yellow Jackets will be able to find the offense to be able to compete with the top half of the conference.
  12. Boston College- Most of college basketball media seemed to believe that Jim Christian would have been fired and the COVID saved his job. The Eagles have been terrible for many seasons now and they will be bottom feeders in the conference yet again. The way that Christian was on the chopping block in March 2020, wouldn’t be surprised if he is fired in the middle of the season.   
  13. Notre Dame- The Fighting Irish were highly projected going into 2019-20 season. Only getting 20 wins but a .500 record in conference in a below average ACC was not enough. Mike Brey had the program as an ACC mainstay in March but that is just not the case anymore. Losing their best two players in John Mooney and TJ Gibbs and not replacing them with equal pieces. I do wonder how many more bad seasons before Brey is on the hot seat.
  14. Pitt- Jeff Capel is another hire that got an ACC program excited but there has been no progress in getting the Panthers any better. Capel did come into a program that was a forest fire because of Kevin Stallings. Ithiel Horton, the Delaware transfer will have to be one of the best offensive players in the ACC for Pitt to be any good this season.  
  15. Wake Forest- I think Steve Forbes coming over from ETSU is a great hire for the Demon Deacons. Tough to see much about this team. They have 2 transfers that are still wanting for word from the NCAA on their waivers to play right away. Forbes will need a couple season to build this program back up and it will be interesting season to see how good they can be this season.