Five non-NCAA Tournament teams likely to dance next year

kentucky-wildcats

Typical NCAA Tournament teams like Kentucky, Purdue, and Texas should have bounce back seasons next year and vie for a spot in the Big Dance.  Here are five teams that missed out on the NCAA Tournament but should make a splash next season.

Here are five NCAA Tournament teams likely to regress next season.

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Big East/SEC Challenge Preview and Predictions

big_east_logo

With the exodus of Big East teams leaving for the ACC, this is going to be the final year that the Big East/SEC Challenge will have such star power.  The three day event tips off tonight and here is a preview including my brilliant, insightful predictions.

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#90 Vanderbilt Commodores: College Basketball 111 in 111

vanderbilt 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.

With all five starters and their top reserve gone, the Vanderbilt Commodores will exemplify the phrase “rebuilding year” this season as their roster only boasts two upperclassmen.

Click here for The Sports Bank’s Vanderbilt football preview
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5 NCAA Tournament teams likely to take a step back next season

vanderbilt basketball

With graduation, players leaving early for the NBA Draft, and transfers galore; college basketball teams are experiencing more year-by-year turnover than ever before.  Here are five teams who made the 2012 NCAA Tournament this season but will likely take a step back next year and have their work cut out for them if they want to return to the Big Dance.

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College Basketball: The Week That Was (12/5/11)

vander blue marquette

College Hoops 101 is undergoing a facelift.  My weekly breakdown of the past week in college basketball and look ahead will now be split into two parts.  Here is a glance at the week that was including my thoughts on the Kentucky/North Carolina and Marquette/Wisconsin games, and my Dunk of the Week.

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Big East/SEC Challenge Preview and Predictions

kentucky cheerleaders

Unlike the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, The Big East/SEC Challenge is still in its infant stages.  There is a new format this season as the battle of power conferences increases to a twelve-game schedule with teams playing host for each game rather than meeting at a neutral site which has been the case the past four years.  Since the SEC is a 12-team conference, four Big East teams (Marquette, Notre Dame, Villanova, and South Florida) are not partaking in the event.  Here are my predictions and things to watch out for as the three-day event tips off this evening.

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#9 Vanderbilt Commodores: College Basketball 111 in 111

vandy 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 John Jenkins, Jeffery Taylor, and Festus Ezeli all electing to return to school rather than bolt for the NBA Draft, the Vanderbilt Commodores became a top ten team in the country since they return all five starters and eight of their top nine players.  Vandy will have to live without Ezeli for the non-conference slate but could be a Final Four contender once they are at full strength.

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Puerto Rico Tip-Off Preview

Puerto Rico Tip-off logo

The pre-season college basketball tournament season is upon us and The Sports Bank is your home for in-depth previews to get your Feast Week watching ready.  The Puerto Rico Tip-Off begins Thursday and features an eight-team field including North Carolina, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, and Minnesota.  Here are my predictions and what to look for during the four day tourney.

By: David Kay
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99 in 99: #35 Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt basketball

I have Vanderbilt ranked fifth out of the six SEC East teams.  That is not as much a slight to Vandy as it is a testament to how tough that division will be this season.

The Sports Bank’s 99 team college basketball preview in 99 days ranks the 72 power conference teams and top 27 mid-major programs.  Click here if you missed teams #36-#99.

By: David Kay
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Title Games Produce Different Fates for Mississippi State, Minnesota

By Mike Gallagher

Don’t get me wrong, winning the Big Ten Tournament would’ve been nice on a number of levels for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Not only would it have kept their ridiculous amount of late season momentum going right into the tournament with the auto bid they would’ve received, but in the big picture it also would be a great title and trophy to hold along with an unbelievable comeback story for the school that could be passed over for decades to come.  When it seemed they were done, the 2010 Gophers made a memorable charge through the entire Big Ten to win the league and go to the NCAAs.  You know, all that sentimental crap.

But let’s be completely serious, when it came down to the Gophers getting into this year’s tournament, Sunday’s game had nothing to do with it.

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Gophers Upset Michigan State, Set Up Key Clash With Purdue

By Mike Gallagher

Minnesota looked like they were ready to punch their ticket to the Big Ten Semifinals Friday with a 55-48 lead with 3:27 left to play.

But you had to know it wasn’t over. [Read more…]