#45 Kansas State Wildcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

kansas state dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Ranked third in the 2010-2011 preseason polls, the Kansas State Wildcats failed to live up to the lofty expectations last year.  They lost four of their first five Big 12 games but were able to pull it together at the end of the season before bowing out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  This year, Kansas State goes back to being an under the radar team.

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#46 West Virginia Mountaineers: College Basketball 111 in 111

west virginia cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With only three players back from last season and seven newcomers joining the fray, Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers will experience their share of growing pains this season. As is the case with any Huggins’ coached team, WVU will be competitive due to their hard nosed style of play.  However, I am not sure it will be enough to get the Mountaineers back to the NCAA Tournament.

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#47 Virginia Cavaliers: College Basketball 111 in 111

uva dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Returning six of their top seven scorers, the Virginia Cavaliers could be a sleeper team in the ACC.  In his third season as head coach, Tony Bennett has UVA heading in the right direction, but is it too early to be thinking NCAA Tournament?

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#48 George Mason Patriots: College Basketball 111 in 111

george mason cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

I didn’t intentionally put three Colonial Athletic Association teams back-to-back-to-back in my  rankings.  George Mason was just knocked down several spots due to the suspension of senior point guard Andre Cornelius.  Now, the CAA figures to be a tightly contested conference with George Mason, Old Dominion, and VCU all in play to win the league title with Drexel as a potential sleeper.

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#49 Old Dominion Monarchs: College Basketball 111 in 111

old dominion mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Blaine Taylor has built the Old Dominion Monarchs into highly competitive mid-major program.  ODU has made the NCAA Tournament four of the past seven seasons and have a .750 winning percentage in the Colonial Athletic Association during that span.  The Monarchs do lose four starters from last year but should still be a threat to win the CAA and head back to the Big Dance.

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#50 VCU Rams: College Basketball 111 in 111

vcu

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

After their Cinderella run to the Final Four last season, part of me has a really hard time ranking the VCU Rams this low.  They seem ready to emerge as a yearly, dangerous mid-major team as long as Shaka Smart is running the show.  However, with four starters gone from last year, VCU has to replace a lot of experience.

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#52 Arkansas Razorbacks: College Basketball 111 in 111

razorbacks cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Having missed out on the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons, John Pelphrey was let go as Arkansas Razorbacks head coach this summer.  Mike Anderson left Missouri to return to Arkansas where he spent 17 years as an assistant under Nolan Richardson.  With a stacked recruiting class (which strangely enough Pelphrey landed), expectations will be raised for Anderson and the Hogs this season.

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#54 Northwestern Wildcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

northwestern mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Northwestern Wildcats have the dancing ability of Elaine from Seinfeld.  The main difference between the two; at least Elaine has actually danced before.  Northwestern has still never played in the NCAA Tournament although they have flirted with being a bubble team the past three seasons.  That should once again be the case in 2011-2012.

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#55 Georgetown Hoyas: College Basketball 111 in 111

georgetown china brawl

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Georgetown Hoyas nearly caused an international incident when they got into a brawl with a Chinese team on their summer trip.  Talk about an auspicious start to a season in which the Hoyas have to replace three starters and will likely finish in the lower half of the Big East.

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#56 Miami Hurricanes: College Basketball 111 in 111

miami hurricanes logo

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Poor Jim Larranaga.  He left a stable George Mason (no, not the former director of CTU) program to walk into a potential mess with the Miami Hurricanes.  Meanwhile, Frank Haith bolted The U at the perfect time, right before the storm hit and scandal rocked the University’s athletic department.  Add in serious injuries to a pair of big men and Larranaga will have his hands full this season with the ‘Canes.

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#57 Nevada Wolfpack: College Basketball 111 in 111

nevada cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With all five starters back from last season, the Nevada Wolfpack are in a position to capitalize on a likely down year from Utah State and win the WAC.  That would certainly be considered “going out with a bang” as it is their final year as part of the conference before moving to the Mountain West.

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