College hoops programs can have their share of highs and lows, with last season leaving some schools finding new answers heading into this year. Let's take a look at some of the more promising college basketball programs in the country.
John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats lead the way in this
department, hoping to go from an NIT dismissal back to winning the “Big Dance.” Which of these teams looks set to storm the season, according to the college basketball odds? It could be a very interesting season for NCAA basketball betting!
Are you prepared for the upcoming NCAA basketball season?
Kentucky may not get four years out of this
year’s recruiting class, but the additions of Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle
headline an “Elite Eight” of freshmen arrivals. Calipari has also has pursued a
promising 2014 lineup, including offers to guards James Blackmon and Devin
Booker. Keep an eye on them for your future sports picks.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State was bounced in its “Big Dance”
opener against the Oregon Ducks, while giving up 73 PPG through its last five
contests. Travis Ford looks to improve defense and add some three-point power
with new guard Stevie Clark, while center Gary Gaskins share the middle with
Memphis won its third straight Conference USA
tournament title, but fared poorly in “March Madness” with a 54-52 squeaker
over Saint Mary’s and a 70-48 loss to Michigan State. The Tigers should return
to glory this year with new standout forwards Austin Nichols and Nick King.
Colorado was bounced in last year’s Pacific-12
quarterfinals, while exiting the NCAA Tournament in its first matchup against
the Illinois Fighting Illini. Tad Boyle’s troops could be a group to watch this
year as Jaron Hopkins, who chose the Buffaloes over an in-state stay with the
Wisconsin finds itself in a loaded Big Ten
Conference, but looks to recover after losing to Ohio State in last year’s
title matchup, 50-43. The Badgers hope to rise back to contention with the
likes of forward Nigel Hayes and guard Bronson Koenig headed to Madison.
Saint Louis Billikens
Saint Louis has reached the “Big Dance” for two
straight years, while also winning 2013’s Atlantic 10 Conference title. Jim
Crews stays on as head coach after replacing the deceased Rick Majerus, with
the program still on the rise.
Connecticut was ineligible for last year’s
postseason but should be a top challenger in the newly-formed American Athletic
Conference. The Huskies have drawn four-star recruit Kentan Facey from New York
at center, while retaining Shabazz Napier (17.1 PPG, 4.6 APG) and DeAndre
Daniels (5.5 RPG, 1.5 BPG).
Creighton finished its stay with the Missouri
Valley Conference, winning a second straight tourney title and now moving to
the Big East. The Bluejays should be able to come out swinging against its new
rivals, with seniors Doug McDermott (23.3 PPG) and Grant Gibbs (5.8 APG)
Virginia Commonwealth held its own during the
team’s first year of Atlantic 10 Conference play, reaching the tourney’s
championship game. Shaka Smart has recruited a slew of three-star recruits from
all over the east coast, while junior Trevon Graham returns after leading in
scoring (15.1 PPG).
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