Though the college basketball season is still very young (at the time of this writing, conference play had yet to even begin), it has hardly been boring. It has been defined by several upstart teams that look poised to make a run, marquee early season events, and one superstar freshman. Let’s take a look at the NCAA basketball season so far:
We can’t get too much into standings just yet without conference play having even started, but we can hit on a few of the marquee early-season events and tournaments that have taken place. Let’s start with the Champions Classic, which has annually featured Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan State. It’s a marquee event that pits some of the top programs against each other every year, and it was just extended through 2022. All four teams looked good this year, though Duke is seemingly standing in a class of its own thanks to one superstar freshman, who we’ll get to in the next section.
On the other end of the spectrum, defending national champion Villanova looks like it will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament this year. After starting the season 2-0, the Wildcats were blasted at home by Michigan in a rematch of last year’s national title game, then followed that up with a loss to Furman.
Top Headlines and Stories
Let’s start with the freshman superstar we mentioned above, Zion Williamson of Duke. Already hyped before he even set foot on campus thanks to thundering slam dunks that have gone viral from his high school days, Williamson is an absolute beast. Some say he’s a once in a generation player, comparable to the likes of LeBron James. We think there’s going to be a lot of NBA teams playing for more ping pong balls to have a chance at drafting him near the end of this season. Other headlines and stories of note:
- Did you catch the November 19thgame between Eastern Michigan and Rutgers? This is a game that wouldn’t have drawn much attention, aside from EMU only scoring an NCAA-record four points in the first half.
- How good is the Big Ten? With six teams in the AP Top-25 poll at the time of this writing, the conference looks like it may be the best in the nation after only sending four teams (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue) to the NCAA Tournament last season.
Final Four Favorites
It’s so hard to pick a Final Four so early in the season, as it’s a marathon – not a sprint – and so many teams go through ebbs and flows along the way. Largely, a Final Four berth comes down to tournament matchups and who’s playing hot at the right time. That said, we like a lot of teams. Duke is a matchup nightmare for just about any team and we also like Kansas. We think Michigan may be a better team this year than they were en route to the national title game last year, and don’t sleep on Gonzaga or UNC.
Ultimately, however, our pick to win it all is Duke. They have a starting lineup made up of 4 Freshmen including R.J Barret (the potential number 1 pick in the NBA Draft) and Zion Williamson who is a matchup nightmare and who might just be the best player in college basketball. If you’re interested in learning more about our basketball sports picks and making smart investments, look no further than purchasing our basketball picks package today! We hope you enjoy the college basketball season!
Image Source: ESPN