February 23, 2024

The 2020-21 academic year’s collegiate basketball season has officially begun. The previous season was cut short by the COV19 pandemic, which occurred just before the March Madness event. Let’s take a look at where some of the finest teams are now, half a year later.

The beginning of the basketball season has finally arrived. It’s been 45 days since the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, but the NCAA season will begin with a full slate of games on Wednesday, November 25. The second half of the collegiate basketball season begins today. Given that the previous season was cut short before the playoff event, let’s take a look at the top ten teams from the end-of-the-year rankings and see how they did one year later. Click here if you’re interested in betting on NBA games.

Kansas Jayhawks (#6 in the 2020 AP preseason poll)

The departure of star center Udoka Azubuike to the NBA draft will have the most influence on the Kansas Jayhawks’ lineup for the following season. At various points throughout the season, Azubuike was one of the finest and most dominant players in the country, and he carried the team at times. This is a major loss, but one that a club with Kansas’ depth can afford. Because they only added one player ranked in the top 100 by ESPN, SG Bryce Thompson (#29), all indicators point to Head Coach Bill Self relying heavily on his veteran players for the upcoming season. Despite losing their indisputably best player, the Jayhawks are still placed sixth in the AP preseason poll. This is a good sign for any college team, and it’s one of the reasons the Jayhawks have only fallen a few spots in the poll.

Gonzaga University Bulldogs (2020-1)

Gonzaga University’s Bulldogs appear to be just as good as they were a year before, if not better, when they finished the season as the second-best team in the country. Despite losing two starting spots, the Bulldogs were able to retool their squad by recruiting three new players, including the class of 2020’s #2 point guard (Jalen Suggs), as well as the #59 and #62 recruits. This bunch has a lot of promise, and Suggs could end up being rated one of the best in the country. This year’s Bulldogs team is expected to achieve great things.

Dayton Flyers, rated third (2020- UR)

Unfortunately, the main reason this team was ranked so high was because they had the best player in college basketball on their roster. The loss of that player (Obi Toppin) to the NBA draft lottery has reduced Dayton’s prospects of winning the championship this season (or anything close to it). You shouldn’t anticipate this team to entirely crumble because a few important players are returning, but their 2019-20 magic has worn off.

Florida State Seminoles (#4) (2020-#21)

The unfortunate reality is that the Florida State Seminoles are in a similar situation to Kansas and Dayton. Because two of their finest players are departing for the NBA, they will need to retool their club. They signed Scottie Barnes, who was ranked fifth on ESPN’s list of the top 100 recruits, but will that be enough? Expect Florida State to fall out of the top 10 and lose their ACC title hopes this season owing to a lack of top 100 recruits on their roster and, to be honest, a lack of anything else going on in the team overall.

Baylor Bears (#5) (#2 in 2020)

This team has the potential to be frightening this season. Baylor loses no notable players while getting two recruits listed among the Top 100. Jared Butler, the point guard who concluded the previous season as one of the top scorers in the country, has high expectations for his performance in the following one. When March comes around, don’t be surprised if this team has only lost seven or eight games and has earned the No. 1 seed.

San Diego State Aztecs (#6) (2020- UR)

Malachi Flynn, a standout point guard for the San Diego State Aztecs last season, has decided to leave the team. They did not bring in any top-one hundred prospects, and aside from Flynn, it did not look that they had a lot of skill on their roster last year. This team still has high expectations of winning the Mountain West conference, but they won’t get too carried away with their quest for greatness after that.

Creighton Bluejays (2020-#11) are presently ranked seventh.

Although the Creighton University Bluejays of Omaha did not recruit any Top 100 prospects, they are returning a strong group of guards who were responsible for their top four scoring averages the previous season. Creighton has stressed skill maturity and progress over newcomers since this technique often produces favorable results in college basketball. You should expect another excellent season and a run at the Big East title.

University of Kentucky Wildcats (8th in 2020)

Another outstanding recruiting class coached by John Calipari has six prospects ranked in the Top 100, including BJ Boston (ranked sixth) and Terrence Clarke (ranked tenth). Add that to a team that, for the first time in Coach Cal’s career, returns everyone save exceptional guard Tyrese Maxey. To summarize, this appears to be a really strong and talented bunch of individuals. With Coach Cal’s experience and leadership, it’s tough to imagine this club not having a deep run in the tournament this year.

In 2020, the Michigan State Spartans will be ranked 13th.

For the upcoming season, the Michigan State Spartans, like the Kentucky Wildcats, will be without their finest guard. This crew has relied largely on Cassius Winston’s leadership for the previous four years; nevertheless, they will soon be forced to learn how to survive in a world without him. They signed the #40 and #64 recruits in the 2020 class, so it’s too early to tell what Coach Tom Izzo can get out of this group.

Villanova Wildcats (#10) (2020- #3)

The Villanova University Wildcats will only be missing F Saddiq Bey this season, and while this is a huge loss for the squad, they have plenty of other competent players to compensate. All of the Wildcats’ other significant players are returning, including highly rated guard Bryan Antoine, who missed most of the previous season due to injury. You can count on Villanova to be an extremely relevant team every season, as they have been for the past decade and a half, and that trend will continue this season as well. Expect a deep run in the NCAA tournament as well as a trip to the Big East title game.