Ladies and gentlemen, while the NBA, NFL, and college football seasons are already on their way, early November will bring us the beginning of the 2021-22 NCAA basketball season.
Now, before you start looking for the earliest March Madness predictions, why don’t we first settle down for a moment, take a deep breath and maybe even remember what happened last season.
I think we can all agree in the fact that Gonzaga was the best team in college basketball this season, and the fact that they were left one game out of winning the championship, after falling to Baylor in the finals, is still something that’s both hard to understand and even hard to swallow.
A lot of upsets were handed, thrills, actions, and emotions were up the wahoo last season, which initially is helping college ball fans to believe that the 2021-22 season will be as much of a thriller as the last.
With this said, here are our picks for three teams that look like the strongest fits to be early favorites for the upcoming NCAA basketball season.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were the best team in the nation last year and they have all the tools, the talents, and a massive chip on their shoulder to come out as very early favorites to go for the NCAA basketball season title once again this upcoming season.
One of the main factors that many may recall, is that last season’s loss against Baylor in the national championship finals is the second time in five years that Gonzaga ends up as runner-ups for the NCAA basketball crown.
So what makes Gonzaga stand out above their competition? For starters their stacked lineup.
Head coach Mark Few, who will be missing the season opener against Dixie State after a suspension for having a DUI citation in September, has talent upon talent, all over his roster.
Just with the addition of 2021’s No.1 prospect in the US Chet Holmgren and the return of Drew Timme, Gonzaga could be looking at having the best frontcourt pairing in all of the nation.
Add to that, the skills at point guard that Andrew Nembhard brings to the team, even while still being snubbed as one of the best point guards in college basketball, and what Iowa State transfer Rasir Bolton and rookie guard Nolan Hickman will bring to this team and you can see why this team is a clear early favorite to go for the title.
There once was a time, not long ago, where the Kansas Jayhawks were one of the strongest and most feared basketball teams in all of college basketball.
While their last national title conquest dates back all the way to 2008, after their overtime win against Memphis with the much remembered “Mario’s Miracle” shot, a shot taken by NBA star Mario Chalmers to send the game into overtime, the Jayhawks are looking for the 21/22 season to be the one where they climb back to the top of the NCAA basketball hill.
Their keys to what could end up leading them to success this season is how coach Bill Self has managed to have four of last season’s starters back as well as being able to add former Arizona State point guard, and probably the best transfer player out there in college basketball, Remy Martin.
Bringing Martin in automatically improves Kansas’ game in transition and speed, not to mention in scoring. Martin seems like the perfect fit to take over the spot that Marcus Garrett left and with players like Christian Braun, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, and Jalen Wilson all coming back for the season, Kansas will surely be a team nobody will want to face.
Since 2010, there have been a few teams that have put up some very strong seasons in college basketball, but only 3 teams have been able to win the college basketball title twice.
There’s Duke, who are far away from being the dominant force they used to be, Connecticut, and then there’s Villanova.
Jay Wright’s team has consistently managed to stay relevant in all college basketball conversations for years, but it seems like the Wildcats will be gunning for the 2021-22 season to be the one where they make another run for the title, or at least a Final Four appearance.
Just by having Collin Gillespie, who is the best point guard in the country according to most experts and Jermaine Samuels be coming back, using the extra eligibility year as the perfect platform, Wright already has the veteran spunk the team needs to ball out game in and game out.
Now add to that players like Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater, Justin Moore, and Trey Patterson, and just for fun, throw in Eric Dixon and Nnanna Njoku, who will both be splitting their time trying to make up for the loss of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who is now playing for the Thunder in the NBA, this team is stacked to the brim with talent.
If Jay Wright can make this team consistent, especially scoring-wise, then they should not have any real issues making a serious title run once again.