#61 South Florida Bulls: College Basketball 111 in 111

usf cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The South Florida Bulls one-upped their conference mates, Notre Dame in becoming the most boring team in college basketball last season.  Rarely would they top the 60-point plateau but they used their stifling defense to epitomize the phrase, “Winning Ugly”and nearly advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.  Can lightning strike for a second straight year at USF?

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#68 Villanova Wildcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

villanova basketball

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Last season, the Villanova Wildcats finished with their worst record during Jay Wright’s 11-year tenure as head coach, also missing out on the NIT or NCAA Tournament for the first time in his regime.  Nova loses their top two scorers from last year but it could be a case of addition by subtraction as I expect the Wildcats to be a middle of the pack Big East squad.

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#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights: College Basketball 111 in 111

rutgers dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Will the Rutgers Scarlet Knight ever turn the corner as a basketball program?  We’re still waiting for that day as it has now been 11 years since Rutgers has finished with a winning record in the Big East Conference.  Mike Rice has quality talent on his roster but the maturation of his young guards and arrival of one key transfer will be the difference between another below five hundred finish or an opportunity to take a step forward.

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#76 UConn Huskies: College Basketball 111 in 111

jim calhoun retires

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With Jim Calhoun’s retirement announcement, the UConn Huskies will enter a new era as they will have a different head coach for the first time in a quarter of a century.  Former Husky Kevin Ollie inherits a team that loses several key players from last year’s squad which vastly underachieved and will ineligible for post-season play in 2013.

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#83 Providence Friars: College Basketball 111 in 111

Providence Friars mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

I was planning on the Providence Friars being one of my sleeper teams this season but with the recent ruling that freshman Ricardo Ledo will be ineligible for this season and the injury to fellow newcomer Kris Dunn, Ed Cooley’s team drops several spots.

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#98 Seton Hall Pirates: College Basketball 111 in 111

seton hall basketball

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

When Seton Hall started last season 15-2, NCAA Tournament thoughts were dancing through their heads.  The Pirates couldn’t finish the season as they started though and missed out on the tourney.  This year, Kevin Willard faces the tall task of replacing seniors Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope who were the leaders both on and off the court last season.

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#100 DePaul Blue Demons: College Basketball 111 in 111

depaul blue demon

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Another college hoops season, another year where the DePaul Blue Demons are picked to finish in the cellar of the Big East.  Oliver Purnell was hoping the resurrection of the program would have been accelerated from where it now is entering year three.  Instead, DePaul has still yet to show any true growth from a team that has won just five conference games in the past four years.

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UConn’s Nightmare Year Continues; Huskies ineligible for 2013 NCAA Tournament

Just one year ago, the UConn men’s basketball team was celebrating a national championship, the ultimate culmination for a team that underwent a huge transformation at the end of the regular season, going from mediocre to interesting to, “wow, is Kemba Walker really good enough to singlehandedly lead this team to a national championship?” The Huskies answered that question with an emphatic yes, but the celebratory days of Kemba-madness appear long-gone now.

The  NCAA informed the Huskies Thursday night that it had turned down their latest appeal to be eligible for the 2013 postseason. UConn was ruled ineligible because of several years of sub-standard  Academic Progress Rate scores. Its waiver request was based upon the claim that its academic scores have improved over the last two seasons. Although its appeal was denied, the school will still try to become eligible by forcing a rule change whereby the recently improved test scores would be accepted. Such efforts are unlikely to be successful.

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Big East basketball: NCAA Tournament bubble breakdown

jae crowder marquette

Friday is usually when I do my updated Big East Basketball Power Rankings.  Since nobody cares about the DePaul’s, Providence’s, and Rutgers’ of the world this late in the season, this week’s Big East Power Rankings will an analysis of the teams in the conference who have solidified their status in the NCAA Tournament or are firmly on the bubble and still have work to do.  Let’s break down some resumes… (Click here to check out my latest bracketology.)

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/17/12)

wvu cheerleaders

The biggest news involving Big East basketball this past week; Buh-bye West Virginia.  This will in fact be the Mountaineers final year as a member of the conference as they head to the Big 12.  Meanwhile, several teams have their NCAA Tournament hopes on life support and need to finish the season strong to ensure a spot in the dance.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/10/12)

notre dame cheerleaders

The biggest news involving Big East basketball this past week was the announcement that Memphis will be joining the conference beginning in the 2013-2014 season.  Meanwhile, teams are beginning to separate themselves from the pact and state their claim for the NCAA Tournament.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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Notre Dame, once written off, look like NCAA Tournament lock now

eric-atkins

When best player Tim Abromaitis went down for the season, Notre Dame was totally written off for the entire college basketball season. Instead, they’ve had a true Ewing Theory going on, just like they did in 2010 when star forward Luke Harangody got injured and missed a lot of games down the stretch.

The Fighting Irish were written off by everyone after some bad losses in November and December. Yet here they are today, among the best teams in the Big East, and a team that beat four ranked opponents in January alone.

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