The 2013-2014 College Basketball season tips off tonight with 19 ranked teams in action. Connecticut vs. Maryland (6:30, ESPN2), St. John’s vs. Wisconsin (7, Big Ten Network), and Oregon vs. Georgetown (8, ESPN) are the ones that will draw the most interest. We love college hoops, even though it has essentially been boiled down to a 6-week season (end of February, March Madness, title game first week in April). Here was our annual list of the Top 50 players in college basketball from the summer. And the mid-summer Top 25 rankings. And now, some fearless predictions on the season:
1st Team All-American, Not by Position:
Lisk – Andrew Wiggins (Kansas), Julius Randle (Kentucky), Russ Smith (Louisville), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Doug McDermott (Creighton)
Top 8 NCAA tournament seeds from 2013 that will miss the tourney in 2014:
McIntyre – Kansas State, St. Louis, Butler, NC State, UNLV, Georgetown
Lisk- Kansas State, UNLV, Butler, Illinois, NC State, Colorado State
Non-NCAA tournament team from 2013 that will make the tourney in 2014:
McIntyre – Kentucky (obvious), Arizona State, Tennessee, Iowa.
Lisk – Kentucky, Connecticut (back from ban), Iowa (good enough last year, went to NIT final, better this year), Baylor (won NIT, Drew can’t screw it up 2 years in a row), Virginia (look to have a schedule that can position them better), Tennessee
Over/under 32 Wins from Kentucky (regular season, conference tournament, NCAA tournament):
McIntyre – Over
Lisk – Hmmm, Over. That would mean about 27-4 plus wins in the SEC and reaching the Final Four.
Will Kentucky go unbeaten Yes/No:
McIntyre – Yes
Over/under 18 ppg for Andrew Wiggins:
McIntyre- Under (17.1 is my prediction)
Lisk – Over. The last time a Kansas player averaged over 18 was Sherron Collins in 2009, but I think Wiggins just gets above it.
Coach that will be on the hot seat come February:
McIntyre- Rick Barnes, Texas. That one’s too easy. Another name? Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest.
Lisk- Andy Kennedy, went all out last year with Henderson, and if it goes badly this year, could see pressure. Barnes and Bzdelik are good ones. I’ll throw Stan Heath at South Florida moving into a new conference. If 2012 looks like a blip on the radar in year eight, pressure could mount.
Better record for new coach in LA: Steve Alford at USC or Andy Enfield at USC?:
McIntyre – Alford, only because the Bruins have more talent.
Lisk – Alford
Will any announcing duo be better than Fox’s Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery?:
McIntyre – No.
Lisk – Yes? Though Raftery is still the man. I’ll just say that there are so many good announcers in college basketball that do the work and bring the passion and knowledge with so many matchups.
Final 4 picks:
McIntyre- Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Ohio State
Lisk – Kansas, Louisville, Kentucky, Arizona
Final 4 longshot (only teams currently not in the preseason Top 25):
McIntyre – Harvard. If pressed for a backup … Boise State.
Lisk – I’ll go larger programs. Georgetown has lost in the tourney early and under the radar. Adding Josh Smith is an X-Factor. I don’t think they are a top 4 seed, but could have a team that could put it together. Also, Iowa.
National Championship game:
McIntyre- Kentucky 80, Oklahoma State 73
Lisk – Kansas 72, Louisville 64