NGSC Sports

NCAA Basketball Preview 3-part series

Surprise, surprise, we start another preview of college basketball with some scrutiny, this coming from the University of North Carolina and the Tarheels Academic fraud investigation that surrounds the sports programs. While it may have ended in 2011, the constant questions of the current state of affairs can very much prove to be a distraction for the number six ranked team in the land (according to USA Today’s Coaches poll). So off of the USA Today’s Coaches poll, lets preview the Top 25 in a three part series.


1. Kentucky Wildcats: Coach Calipari seems to have himself yet another solid crop of incoming freshmen that in his system could lead the Wildcats of Kentucky to another dominant season. Clearly Coach Calipari has used the 1-and-done philosophy to the strongest of his abilities and has been able to continuously recruit in the top 10 each and every year. While a preseason ranked number one team has not been able to go the distance and win the National Title as number one in a very long time, Kentucky looks to be that team this year.

2. Arizona Wildcats: The team that could be a thorn in the Wildcats plans is the team from the Pac-12 division, the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona was led by their ability to make steals and take advantage of those steals into the open court and scores. 6th in the Nation last year, Coach Sean Miller looks to improve on last season’s performance as he enters his fourth season with the Wildcats. With a strong recruiting class combined with seasoned players, this team in Arizona could make a play for the National Championship.

3. Duke Blue Devils: Its Duke. Its Coach K Mike Krzyzewski, need more be said. Well, entering this season, Coach K looks to continue to pile onto his already hall of fame resume. Coming off his FIBA World Championship victory with Team USA, Coach K is back with the Blue Devils with a solid recruiting class to add to his already ready veterans to redeem themselves from what was a disappointing tournament run just one season ago.

4. Wisconsin Badgers: The Badgers had the inside of the paint in COMPLETE control last season as their two 7-footers were having a block party on a lightly basis. Opposing players were in for a “House of Pain” every time they drove the lane. Led by All American Frank Kaminsky, the Badgers looks to not just make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament, but win the whole thing and make the entire nation “Jump Around.”

5. Kansas Jayhawks: While Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid may have departed, the Jayhawks and Coach Bill Self look to continue their dominance of the Big 12 conference and get back to the Final Four once again. The incoming recruiting class is strong in the key positions and there is this kid Perry Ellis who happened to stick around and was just a dominant as Embiid. Could very well be an All-American if not a serious contender for Player of the Year. Rock Chalk Jayhawk Ku will be in full swing all season long and into the big dance in April.

6. North Carolina Tarheels: Now we get to the aforementioned Tarheels of North Carolina. The underachieving Heels last year proved to be a tough out in the ACC and with a solid team returning, Coach Roy Williams looks to improve from a season ago. Guard Marcus Paige looks to improve from his freshman year numbers and lead the Heels to the top of the ACC which now includes the former Big East powerhouse, the Syracuse Orangemen (who have troubles of their own). The Heels are an up and down team but when it comes crunch time, they always find a way to make the NCAA tournament.

7. Florida Gators: While the football team may be struggling to find its glory days, the Men’s basketball team has not lost a single step since its back-to-back NCAA title days. Coach Billy Donovan and his team looks to continue their dominance on the defensive side of the court, which leads to their offense putting up points of turnovers. If Donovan gets his half-court offense close to the same level as his defense, this Gators team could potentially be unstoppable for ANY team in the NCAA Tournament.

8. Virginia Cavaliers: The Cavaliers of Virginia came out of NO where to win the ACC.  The Cavaliers return their top scorer in Malcolm Brogdon, who looks to improve on his 15 pts-5 rebs-2 assists a game average. The nation could be seeing a triple double averaging machine in Brogdon if his game continues to evolve. While the incoming recruiting class is weak, the Cavaliers and Coach Tony Bennett look to beat the nation with his number one ranked defense in the country.

9. Louisville Cardinals: One of the better overall teams in the nation, the Cardinals of Louisville look to continue to be in the top 15 in the country in offensive and defensive categories. 8th in the country in points scored, 2nd in the nation in steals and 15th in points allowed last season. Coach Rick Pitino looks to continue his path to greatness as his incoming recruiting class is a very solid one. His team will be led by forward Montrezl Harrell who shot the lights OUT with his 67% 3-point shooting barrage. Harrell’s nose for the boards also dominated the team average over 8 rebounds per game. This Harrell kid is a special one, a definite candidate for Player of the Year honors if projections hold to form.

10. Texas Longhorns: With the addition of Center Myles Turner to add to the already solid team, Coach Barnes and the Longhorns look to be the biggest threat to the Jayhawks for the Big 12 conference title. Even without Turner, the Longhorns gave the Jayhawks fits. So do not sleep on the Texas Longhorns for if you do, they will gore right through you on their way to an NCAA Tournament appearance.

The top 10 is obvious to begin the 2014-2015 season. But those below them may have something to say when it is all said and done. So be sure to catch the 2nd part of this series, where the next 10 will be addressed.  Will Wichita St ever get the respect they deserve? Are the Aztecs of San Diego State this years unappreciated darlings? Ad where is the IZZO love? Stay tuned.

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Ralph Garcia


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