2014 College Basketball: Overview of the Previews
It’s apparently NEVER too early to talk college basketball. All of the pundits have their early–very early–predictions for 2013-2014 started up. Even though it is not even clear who is staying and who is leaving (players have until April 28, 2013, to declare for the NBA), these projections are being made. So we must analyze.
First, the Confidential is a huge fan of Jay Bilas. Most of his opinions are fair and make a lot of sense. Not all of them. But most of them. Here is the early Bilas index for 2013-2014, truncated to 25, rather than 68:
- Michigan State
Hmmm… four of the best college basketball coaches. Not exactly reaching here.
Any other ACC schools in the mix? Yep: #6 is North Carolina, #11 is Syracuse, #13 is Notre Dame, and #23 is Virginia. Pittsburgh, Florida State, Miami, and North Carolina State did not make the list….but would likely be in his top 68, had he done one.
Second, if the start of the 2013-2014 is far away, how about the 2014 selection Sunday? But that did not stop Bracketologist Joe Lunardi from taking an early look at the field. He has Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and Arizona as the four #1 seeds. For the ACC schools:
- Duke is a #1 seed
- Syracuse and Louisville are seeded at #2
- North Carolina is a #3 seed
- Virginia is a #4 seed
- Notre Dame is a #6 seed
That, all in all, is not TOO different from the Bilas index. And, although Lunardi goes out to 68 teams, no other ACC team cracks a top 68 where 30 teams are given automatic bids. Joe also needs to update things to reflect that Notre Dame, Pitt, and Syracuse are part of the ACC. But we’ll cut him some slack since the change is not implemented yet.
Third, the Big Lead has a top 25. The top 4 teams are–surprise–Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and Ohio State. North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia, and Notre Dame–and no others (except Louisville, obviously)–crack the top 25.
So there you have it. There is a consensus that Kentucky, Duke, and Michigan State are the top 3 teams heading into 2013-2014. For the ACC, five teams (plus Louisville) will be ranked. Hard to disagree with any of those projections.
I’m a fan of Bilas as well. This all seems fair. My two teams to watch next season are Louisville, of course, and Kentucky. UK has an unbelievable recruiting class coming in and U of L will probably return all but 2 starters. I haven’t had a chance to check out Duke for next season but you can never count out coach K!
It’s official! Russ Smith will come back to Louisville for his senior season. This will mean that they will have a loaded backcourt with a nice mix of youth and experience. The only key departures will be Siva and Dieng.