College Basketball Futures 2023: Best NCAAB Values Right Now

These college basketball teams are high value picks with the current odds to win a national championship.

BY MATTY D.

This has been a volatile year for college basketball’s top 25. After the long-standing favorite of Houston, numbers 2 through 10 have been a game of musical chairs. The Houston Cougars currently sit at 6-1 odds to win it all.

Click here to see the volatile fluctuations of team stocks over this season.

This article outlines my favorite value picks for current odds to win it all.

#5 Florida Atlantic 200-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

The Owls have come out of nowhere, so if you’re scratching your head, welcome to my list. The Owls haunted the Florida Gators and their high hopes for a tournament caliber year by dominating them in Gainesville. Florida Atlantic continued their momentum into conference play where they’ve beaten tournament-relevant programs like UAB, North Texas and Western Kentucky. They are now unbelievably ranked 21st overall in the nation and somehow still 200-1 to win it all. The Owls can knock down the three. FAU’s bench can score — its two top scorers come off the bench. They rank among the top 10 teams in the nation in scoring and have a perimeter surrounded with combo guards who can create their own shots. Take your shot by considering this heavy underdog for at least a Final Four ticket. The Conference USA teams are always dangerous in March Madness (think Middle Tennessee and North Texas).

Photo courtesy fausports.com

#4 Arkansas Razorbacks 50-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

This will be the first of two SEC teams on the list. If you are a futures shopper you should consider investing in the conference itself to win it all. You might even find a 4-1 or 5-1 steal and suddenly be invested in all the high level teams — Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, the list goes on.

As for Arkansas, the roster has turned over completely, but the identity remains the same. The Hogs defend hard, play fast, and challenge at the rim on both ends. This is a better team on the defensive end, ranking in kenpom’s top 20. The Mitchell brothers offer some size and athleticism down low. Jordan Walsh is really fun to watch with his Dennis Rodman-like tenacity. The team is loaded with McDonald’s All-Americans (three current, one more committed). If you are reading mock NBA draft boards and like this team because of prospect Nick Smith Jr., don’t. Smith has not been a consistent piece of this lineup. That said, if he emerges into the rotation during the start of the tournament itself, it might be time to jump on the bandwagon. That might be a guy, and this might be a team, looking to improve its stock greatly on the national stage.

Photo courtesy Razorbacks Men’s Basketball on Twitter

#3 College of Charleston 300-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

This one honestly made me do a double-take. I can’t believe College of Charleston is being disrespected in this way. If 300-1 is too rich for your blood (or too thrifty in this case), then you should at least consider CoC at 60-1 or 70-1 to make a magical run to a Final Four. This is a tournament team. The Cougars have cracked the AP Top 25 a few weeks ago and have stuck there in the 18-25 range. Even thought they play in a mid-major conference, they may not need to win their conference tournament championship. C of C has been totally running their league opponents out of the gym. They are consistently winning by 15, 20, 25 points or more. The are undefeated in the Colonial Athletic Conference and only have one loss to their name at 21-1. It has wins over Kent State, Virginia Tech, Davidson and Colorado State. Its only loss is to UNC. Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has them slotted as a 10 seed. Even if they lose one or two games in their conference, you could easily see this squad as a play-in-game 11 or 12 seed. Head coach Pat Kelsey has come over from Winthrop where he has brought his renowned conditioning and winning ways. The Cougars are deep, tall, can shoot, sprint to the ball, and play a ton of guys. A recent box score showed Kelsey playing 13 people. I didn’t even know that was possible. In that game, 10 players scored and 10 players played 9 minutes or more. Kelsey gives his guys no excuses not to run to a loose ball, hustle to a rebound, and get out in transition. The makeup of this team is perfectly suited for a tournament situation. If a 6 or 7 seed overlooks them, they’ll at least get the attention of the 2 or 3 seed in the next matchup.

Photo courtesy CofCSports.com

#2: Creighton Bluejays 65-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

Creighton’s futures tickets have been selling at a discount since a stretch when they lost 5 of 6 to start December. But when you look closer at the details, you see that this is still a Final Four caliber team. Creighton started the season ranked in the Top 10 of the AP Top 25. The Big 12 and SEC get a lot of hype as the best conferences in basketball. Well, Creighton beat Texas Tech (Big 12) and Arkansas (SEC) right before that losing streak started. And, the losing streak could certainly be attributed to losing their starting center, Ryan Kalkbrenner, to injury. Once Kalkbrenner returned, Creighton went 4-2 immediately. The loses they suffered during that rocky stretch included respectable losses to probably tournament teams. They lost to Arizona, BYU, Texas and Marquette in that stretch. This gives you an idea of how aggressively this team was scheduling. They had high hopes since challenging eventual champion Kansas in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Creighton was 65-1 to win it all on the FanDuel Sportsbook app on January 25, 2023.

Creighton’s athletic wings Arthur Kaluma and Trey Alexander set the tone for a stellar defensive squad. South Dakota State transfer Baylor Scheierman is a strong guard who can score at all three levels. He was arguably the most sought after transfer in America this offseason. And sophomore point guard Ryan Nembhard is a poised point guard who can control and take over games. Despite the turbulence, Creighton is still projected as we publish this as a tournament team. You can buy them at half off their 30-1 starting price when the season started.

Fun fact: Creighton has one of several sons of NBA stars playing college hoops right now.
Click here for our full list of sons of NBA players playing college basketball in the NCAA 2022-2023 season.

#1: Auburn Tigers 80-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Tournament

One team has quietly been lying in the tall grass ready to pounce. The Auburn Tigers are sitting at 100-1 to win it all in late January. This team has consistently been in the middle of the AP Top 25. Currently, they are ranked 16th in the nation. To put that into mathematical perspective, here are two teams in the same neighborhood in the futures marketplace. The Memphis Tigers are currently also 100-1 on the FanDuel Sportsbook app. However, those Tigers haven’t even received one vote in this week’ AP Top 25. The Ohio State Buckeyes are given more respect in the futures market. They are listed at 80-1. However, those Buckeyes only received three AP votes for the Top 25 this week.

Auburn was 80-1 to win it all on the FanDuel app on January 25, 2023 and 60-1 on DraftKings.

From a basketball perspective, Auburn is fun to watch as an aggressive defensive bunch. They just went into LSU and kicked their ass. The Tigers register on most of the defensive metrics. They have two veteran guards in K.D. Johnson and Wendell Green who value the ball and make winning plays. Senior forward Jaylin Williams has elevated his game and is contributing 11 points and 5 rebounds per game. Morehead State transfer Johni Broome is a wildly talented power forward who very well could pop on the national scene during the tournament. He has sticky grip hands and showcases great footwork in the post. Broome actually reminds you of a young Chris Bosh when you watch him. (That’s the Toronto Raptors version of Bosh, before he migrated to three point territory). Coach Bruce Pearl has this team in great condition and can play in waves that tire you out. Pearl took a similarly undervalued Auburn squad to the Final Four in 2019. That team was roughly 60-1 or 70-1 as the tournament began, depending on which marketplace you bought from. If you are going with this pick this year, also consider a ticket to make the Final Four at somewhere in the 20-1 territory.

Winning players from college basketball who kept winning in the NBA

BY MATTY D.

Winning is contagious. And if you watch the NBA, you notice that losing is also contagious. There are many franchises that continue to trust the process about drafting gaudy measurable individual skills and attributes. They lose because they don’t take for account the winning pedigree. The players on this list are the total opposite.

This list is being published at a time when Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts just led his team to the #1 overall seed in the NFC and a first round bye. Sports fans who watch college games weren’t surprised by this. Hursts is a winner. He won at Alabama and at Oklahoma. Yet, he lost his college job to Tua Tagovailoa. Tua is a flashy arm talent but cannot stay on the field. Hurst just continues winning with every opportunity he gets. This is the basketball list filled with those guys.

9 non-lottery picks who won in college, continued winning in the NBA

These are players who proved that they were winners in NCAA basketball, but somehow find themselves again needing to prove their value in the NBA. And they delivered. Here are nine non-lottery picks who carried their winning ways from the NCAA to the NBA.

9.  Javale McGee, Nevada: 18th overall pick in 2008

Save your jokes.  Javale McGee has only one less NBA Championship than Shaquille O’Neal. 

Who’s Shaqtin’ a Fool, now?  

McGee was the butt of many jokes by Shaq and the NBA on TNT team, but the former Nevada Wolfpacks career has seen mostly winning.  

Nevada doesn’t make it to the NCAA Tournament on very often.  Between 1985 and the present, the Wolf Pack have only made it to eight tournaments.  McGee saw himself at the center of one of those appearances in 2007.

Later, he would win two NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors and one with the bubble victor LA Lakers.  

The University of Nevada will also be quick to remind you that he became the first Nevada Wolf Pack alum to ever win an Olympic Gold Medal.

8. Alex Caruso, Texas A&M: Undrafted in 2016

Since reaching the Elite 8 in 1969, Texas A&M basketball has only made it to the Sweet 16 four times. Senior Alex Caruso ran point guard for the Aggies in 2016 during one of those magical seasons. The former homegrown College Station ball boy not only saw success in Aggieville, but would also win a championship with the Lakers in bubbleville (during COVID-19). Caruso was a 1,000 point scorer in college and averaged 5 assists per game. He is a big game performer, scoring 8 points in the opening 7 minutes in his NCAA Tournament debut. He has an all-around game where he also registered 276 steals in his NCAA career.

It’s important to note that Texas A&M team had other NBA talent. Caruso played with Robert Williams and DJ House.

Despite not being drafted, Caruso saw success in the rotation with the Lakers and later bagged a nice free agency deal with the Chicago Bulls.

Alex Caruso bursted on the national scene in the first minutes of his tourney debut.

7. Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech: undrafted in 2021

Despite his tenacious defensive attitude and winning ways at Georgia Tech, Jose Alvarado slipped off the radar and wasn’t drafted in 2021. However, like his patented defensive move where he pretends he’s not on the court and then steals an inbounds pass, Alvardo snuck back into basketball’s limelight. Now he is a mainstay in a playoff-good New Orleans Pelicans team. When college basketball returned from its COVID-19 year off, Jose Alvarado and his Yellow Jackets stole an ACC Championship and NCAA tournament bid.

Now sporting the nickname Jose “Grand Theft” Alvarado, his NBA highlight reel shines in an unconventional way. His steals epitomize how hustle plays can win basketball games.

6. Grant Williams, Tennessee: 22nd overall pick in 2019

Forward Grant Williams might have slipped out of the NBA lottery because he is a hair shorter than his peers at the position. However, his stock as an NBA contributor has grown ever since. Having starred at Tennessee with back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths, Williams brings a football-like tenacity to the NBA. His nose for the ball and great hands pair perfectly on the court with another NFL safety lookalike, teammate Marcus Smart. The young Boston Celtics made it to the NBA Finals in 2021 thanks in large part to role players who had a large sample size of success on the NCAA stage (see Payton Pritchard, Robert Williams, etc). According to Volswire.com, Grant Williams was the first player to win the SEC Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons since 1995.

5. Georges Niang, Iowa State: 50th overall pick in 2016

Georges Niang has made the playoffs all six of his NBA seasons. This year his Philadelphia 76ers will ultimately make it for his seventh consecutive year. Niang also led his Iowa State Cyclones to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Photo Courtesy: Cyclones.com

The stocky small forward might have one of the shortest vertical leaps in the Easter Conference. However, his body positioning, court-awareness, and ability to knock down an open shot has remained consistent since college. At Iowa State he become on of the Cyclone’s first-ever players to receive votes for individual player of the year honors, such as being a Karl Malone nominee. Like Malone, he can slowly and methodically power defenders down low with post moves that can embarrass an undisciplined defender. Unlike Malone, he can knock down the three pointer more consistently with a 40.7% career 3 point percentage. His Iowa State Cyclones lost in the elite 8 in 2016 to #1 seed Virginia. We saw a coming attraction in that game and throughout his collegiate career to what he’d bring to NBA clubs for years to come.

4. Jalen Brunson, Villlanova: 33rd overall pick in 2018

It’s no coincidence that the New York Knicks would return to the NBA playoffs if the NBA season ended today. Jalen Brunson is a winner. He won two national titles at Villanova, was the starting point guard as the Dallas Mavericks made a surprise “Final 4” run, and is now leading a resurgent Knicks team. Brunson is leading with his offensive efficiency and his vocal approach. Teammates like Julius Randle and RJ Barrett are clearly better with a proven point guard at the helm. The Knicks might have the best starting point guard since another veteran departed Dallas for MSG. Can you name him?

It’s hard to believe that Brunson wasn’t even a first round pick in the NBA draft. He was the NCAA Player of the Year in 2018 before leaving college after his junior year. However, he went 33 overall in the NBA draft. Bruson is the best example on this list that winning isn’t valued enough by NBA executives.

Jalen Brunson won two national titles and earned player of the year, but was picked 33 overall.

Jalen Bruson also joins a long line of players to follow in their NBA dad’s footsteps.

Click here for our updated list of sons of NBA players currently playing NCAA hoops.

3.  Fred VanVleet, Wichita State: Undrafted in 2016

Fred Van Fleet came out of high school barely ranked in the top 100 as number 87 on ESPN’s list, finished his college career in the final four, and has one NBA Championship ring (2019 Toronto Raptors).

How is that for a career trajectory?

Fred VanVleet helped lead the Shockers to three MVC titles, three Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles, and nine NCAA Tournament wins in four trips.

When the Wichita State Shockers made a shocking run to the Final Four in 2014, you probably couldn’t guess who from that roster would excel in the NBA. They had three players from that team play some time in the league. However, Fred VanVleet is far-and-away the best current player in the NBA from Wichita State. In fact, he might even be a player sought after during this season’s trade deadline.

2. Draymond Green, Michigan State: 35th overall pick in 2012

Draymond Green epitomizes the Tom Izzo era in East Lansing. To call Green the “ultimate glue guy” probably undervalues his skill. Green was a Final 4 player with the 2010 Michigan State Spartans.

He is now a four time NBA Champion. Green was appropriately inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame in 2022. He is probably just 5 short years after his NBA career away from a Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Before his fourth NBA Finals tipped off, Michigan’s “The State News” took a look back at his Michigan State career.

If you want to check out another great related article, click here to see the Sporting News top 10 2nd round picks in the NBA.

1.  Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State: 15th overall pick in 2011.

Just on the outside cusp of being considered a lottery pick, needless to say NBA GM’s weren’t watching enough San Diego State basketball in 2011. Kawhi Leonard left the Aztecs after his sophomore season.

San Diego State was disrespected as an 11 seed in 2010 during Leonard’s freshman year.
In 2011, San Diego State was more appropriately ranked as a 2 seed.
Later that year, Leonard dropped to the 15th overall pick.
In 2014, Leonard became the NBA Finals MVP defeating LeBron James and the Heat.
In 2019, Leonard won another NBA Finals in a surprising single year with the Toronto Raptors.

Today, the NBA has finally got the memo that Kawhi Leonard is great. He continues to be one of the NBA’s most sought after free agents after reaching a max deal with the LA Clippers.

Did we miss anyone? Tweet us at CBBEyeTest and join the debate!


NCAAB Handicappers Free Picks for Saturdays, Season Record

BY MATTY D.

Find free picks against the spread every Saturday for college basketball here on collegebasketballeytest.com. The theme of this article is to find incorrect odds, otherwise known as “suspect spreads.” Picks are tweeted before Saturday’s tip.

Because Saturdays are really the most exciting national showcase of college basketball action, we focus on this day to have some fun.

This website and its author Matty D. took a 56% winning percentage from the 2021-2022 season into the 2022-2023 campaign. Click here to see a breakdown of last year’s picks. An archive of every pick from the 2022-2023 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Season is recorded below.

Please bet responsibility, seek help if you need it, and find resources throughout this blog about betting college basketball on a budget.

If sports betting isn’t your thing, the odds are still a great measuring tool to debate the best teams. Join the college hoops conversation by following us here on Twitter.

NCAAB Record Against the Odds for 2022-2023 by College Basketball Eye Test

The year 2023 started with a bang and a large sample size. These picks fell flat. The record stood at 9-17 overall to start the season. Followers may have started picking the reverse of CBBEyeTest picks to cash tickets!

The one saving grace being that 5 of 6 favorites taken to cover at least hit ML. Kansas State the call of the day yet another +6 dog to win outright. Picking +6 underdogs to win outright has randomly been a strength of this website.

The year 2022 ended on a sour note with picks going 3-5. That brought the season record to a 5-7 start.

Join the college hoops conversation by following us here on Twitter.

College Basketball Odds: Big Movers in NCAAB Futures 2022-2023

These college basketball futures odds are the most active, according to DraftKings.

BY MATTY D.

The college basketball season is a volatile environment and these fluctuating odds, to win the 2022-2023 Men’s National College Basketball Championship, reflect that. Here are some notable teams on the move since the start of the college basketball season in early November.

College Basketball Futures Odds where team stock is improving

If you bought stock in UCONN basketball at the start of the season, your investment is up 700% to 800% depending on which marketplace you reference. On the DraftKings Sportsbook app, the UCONN Huskies started the season as 80-1 underdogs to win a national title. Today, they are almost the betting favorite at 12-1. Houston is the only team ahead of UCONN at 7-1.

Junior forward Adama Sanogo is leading the way for the Huskies by averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds this season.

Another team that is becoming more expensive to invest in is Alabama. The Roll Tide is quietly moving into more expensive waters. Alabama started the season at 50-1. Today, they are 25-1 to win a title. That number is likely to continue trending upwards with the outstanding play of their super freshman, Brandon Miller. Bleacher Report has him listed at the top 8 overall pick is this upcoming NBA Draft.

Ironically, Alabama and UCONN played each other earlier this season. The Huskies won in convincing fashion. If each team wins its own conference, the tournament committee might be convinced to make each squad a 1 or 2 seed in the tournament.

The Virginia Cavaliers have moved up from 40-1 to 22-1.

If you like huge underdogs on the move, there are many still left to choose from. Teams like Toledo, who weren’t even listed early in the season, have made their way onto the radar and into betting marketplaces. Mid-major darling Drake has moved from 250-1 to 200-1 after its win against Mississippi State.

College Basketball Teams whose stock is dropping

Michigan has dropped from 35-1 to 75-1, according to DraftKings.

UNC was once the preseason number 1 overall ranked team. The Tar Heels stock has dropped from a 9-1 favorite to a more modest 25-1.

Dayton plummets from 80-1 to 300-1 on DraftKings (started the season at 48-1 on FanDuel in preseason) 

There are a lot of other teams that have dropped around 50 points on the “to one” scale. USC drops 150 points from 100-1 to 250-1 and Wisconsin drops 50 points 

Another team that has disappeared from many top 40 boards is Oregon. The Ducks started the season at 60-1 to win a national championship.

Other notable movements in the NCAAB futures markets

Blue bloods like Indiana, UCLA, and Duke remain consistent in the 14-1 to 30-1 range throughout the season so far. This is more or less a second tier of values after the heavy favorites.

Illinois up from 40-1 to 28-1 despite getting clobbered by Mizzou  

Did we miss any? Join the conversation by following us on Twitter.

Christmas Gift of College Hoops Saturday Teaches Us Who’s Naughty, Who’s Nice

One Saturday in December features multiple fantastic matchups

BY MATT DE SARLE

Monday’s AP Top 25 in college basketball is going to look much different after this Saturday’s action. The latter half of the top ten is going to leap-frog much of the top 5. Teams like Purdue and UCONN got relatively little challenge against conference foes, while Virginia, Alabama, and Tennessee tested themselves against non-conference powers and lost in close matchups. Here’s a brief summary of what we observed.

UCLA and Kentucky struggle to score down the stretch

This one was tough to watch down the stretch. Collectively in the final six minutes of this game, these teams went 5-of-19 from the floor while missing a handful of free throws. It was droughts in the UCLA offense that ended its season at the hands of upstart UNC in the 2022 tournament. And we all know about how Kentucky came up short on the big stage against St. Peter’s. It was a big stage for this one, in the CBS Sports Classic in primetime and at Madison Square Garden, but the stars did not light up the score board. It was weird to see last season’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award winner for center of the year, Oscar Tswiebwe, only get a few touches down the stretch. The big man missed his final three shots in the last ten minutes —a missed dunk, missed layup, and missed jumper.

UNC turns contest with Ohio State into a track meet to muster overtime win

As referenced above, the Tar Heels have a flair for the dramatics. In the 2021-2022 campaign, they started their season lousy on defense yet exciting in the open court. They played up to the competition. That volatility hit the plus side of the ledger when they ran through March Madness as the runner-up to a championship. Saturday’s game with them pitted against Ohio State at MSG felt like that moment. The Tar Heels were dominated throughout the meat of the game. However, through furious pressure defense, fast break points, and a high volume of free throws and three point attempts, the Tar Heels forced overtime. UNC trailed by as many as 14 points in the game and only made a pitiful 11 percent from three point territory. Yet, a likely X factor for their full season (Pete Nance) hit a game tying last possession shot to force overtime in dramatic fashion. Nance, the son of longtime NBA star Peter Nance, has polished a well-rounded game under the radar during his time at Northwestern. Now his ability to score at all three levels was the difference for UNC to finish off this epic comeback.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE SONS OF NBA STARS IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Northwestern transfer Pete Nance proves he can be an X factor for UNC

Brandon Miller officially arrives on national stage despite Alabama’s loss to Gonzaga

There are two takeaways from Alabama’s game against Gonzaga. For one, Gonzaga doesn’t need to regret scheduling so aggressively. After so many non-conference bumps in the road, Drew Timme and Bulldogs are back to their winning ways. More importantly, Brandon Miller is a star and won’t be playing college basketball next season.

Drawing comparisons to Kevin Durant during the telecast, Brandon Miller lit up the game with 36 points. That includes a simmering stretch where he essentially scored 17 points in the equivalent of the 3rd quarter. Although the freshman was a known star, Alabama had never fed him in this obnoxious of a fashion. Miller made good on his 22 attempts by making 12 of them.

See the highlights here, courtesy of CBS Sports (and pirated by Frankie Vision for YouTube)

You can only watch Brandon Miller to believe he plays in a league other than the NBA

Arizona asserts itself in another mega-matchup nightcap

Us college basketball fans were treated to not only an amazing game of action, but a perfect nightcap to finish the day. Arizona proved that it can continue rising to the moment. After beating Indiana in a nationally televised primetime game on a big stage in Las Vegas, the Wildcats headed back to the crib for this one. The 9th ranked Wildcats knocked off the 6th ranked Tennessee Volunteers. And it got testy early and late. The game started with a technical foul for chest-bumping and stare downs under the rim. After the game, there were flexing and more stare downs in the handshake line. Still, what these teams showed between the lines was impressive. Zagai Ziegler continues his super efficient play at point guard for the Vols. He scored 21 points on 73% shooting (but only dished one assist). Tennessee guards are ready for primetime. Arizona’s bigs can be a separator. And both of these squads looked polished and ready for another high level competition like this one. This didn’t look like a Final 4 matchup. It looked like the national championship. Arizona has now beat top 25 teams Creighton, San Diego State, Indiana, and Tennessee in the early going of this season.

Shake-up atop College Basketball’s Top 25 Sets Table for December

Major movements mark uncertainty at the top of college basketball

BY MATT DE SARLE

It happens every Thanksgiving. Great games go on, but between the post meal nap and the NFL football, it’s hard to keep up. Even the most hardcore college basketball fans did a double-take at the post-holiday top 25 to decipher exactly what happened. Here’s a recap of the major movers and shakers over feast week. This sets the table for not only a turbulent December of non-conference play, but some important resume bullets for when the committee sifts through what happened in November.

Big East Behaves Like a “Power 5” Conference in Basketball

Speaking of double-takes, you might have looked side-eyed at the preseason top 25 when you saw Creighton crack the top 10.

Read what I wrote about Creighton on November 7th here.

Not only have the Bluejays stuck the landing in the first month of play, they’ve been joined in the top 10 by fellow Big East power UCONN. Yes, the Huskies have returned to the Big East after a hiatus in the American Conference. Danny Hurley has this club clicking with great ball movement and some immoveable objects down low.

Arizona Wildcats can’t miss opportunity to dominate the Pac-12

The Arizona Wildcats were steam-rolling through to the top 5 with a ranking of number 4 overall in the nation. That’s when they took a head-scratching loss to Utah to open up conference. Arizona has lost Ben Mathurin to the NBA Lottery where he is currently playing for the Indiana Pacers. But the Wildcats have added another dynamic combo guard in Texas transfer Courtney Ramey. Ramey won’t bring the prime Russell Westbrook-like attack to the court, but you could do a lot worse in replacing an exiting NBA player. Azuolas Tubeless, a 6-11 forward who can run the floor with ease, needs to take the next step to stardom for this team to crack the Final Four. Another big man in Gonzaga transfer in 7 footer Oumar Ballo is also adding a lot more offensive production than he did while in Spokane.

With UCLA slipping out of the top 10, USC’s former front court playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the likes of Arizona State and Stanford sputtering, this is Arizona’s conference to seize.

Purdue Boilermaker bully-ball their way into the top 10

Purdue went from unranked in the AP Preseason Top 25 to surging into the top 5. Purdue dominated Duke in the Phil Knight Legacy Championship game. Make what you will of this result, but Duke is not yet close to a finished product. Purdue’s center, 7 foot 2 Zach Edey jumps off the page and off the TV screen. However, past results have proven that Purdue, regardless of how many trees it has inside, is hard-pressed to crack the Final Four. A close game against Florida State (a struggling 1-7 record at the time although they always have size and length) in the ACC Big 10 Challenge took the shine off their early season domination.

Purdue catapults into the top 10 by dominating Duke

Early Observations from College Basketball’s Week 1

During the first week of college basketball’s regular season, there were a number of newsworthy outcomes to consider come March.

BY MATT DE SARLE

Conventional wisdom would tell you that a resume can be refined over time so that a candidate can mature into the opportunity when the time is right. Well, conventional wisdom doesn’t exist in college basketball.

A resume can gain that decisive bullet point three or fourth months before the opportunity becomes available. Conversely, teams that want to enter March Madness can have a deal-breaking loss in November. (In the job recruitment analogy, this would be the drunken Facebook post from years ago that will keep you from your dream job).

November 2022 is having an impact on the March Madness 2023 selection committee.

Close Upsets in the first week of College Basketball’s Regular Season

The number 14 ranked TCU Horned Frogs were trailing throughout its first game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Golden Lions were ranked to finish 11th best in its own conference, according to preseason SWAC rankings (voted on by coaches and sports information directors). TCU followed that flat performance by only beating Lamar by 12 points (only outscoring them by 2 points in the second half).

Graduate student guard Shaun Doss Jr. is someone no high major team wants to see in a 1 vs. 16 matchup. He is averaging 20 points per game in this early season.

Upset Losses in November that could cost College Basketball Teams Tournament

Oregon was ranked 21st overall headed into the season, before the Ducks were stunned in its second game against UC Irvine. The Anteaters were projected to finish fourth overall in its Big West Conference.

Temple Owl fans were so impressed with their upset victory over Number 16th ranked Villanova, they actually stormed the court twice.

Things could get rocky in the Mountain West come selection Sunday for at-large hopefuls, thanks to this early season loss submitted by the Summit League. The Jackrabbits sprung an upset win on the Boise State Broncos. Both programs have been relevant with success in recent years. However, this season could have been predicted to be a regression for the Jackrabbits. They lost the number fourth overall transfer in the offseason, when Baylor Scheierman took his talents to Omaha to join the Creighton Bluejays. South Dakota should it still has postseason aspirations by beating the defending Mountain West club.

Watch highlights here courtesy of GoJacks.com.

College Basketball Thoroughbreds Galloping Out to a Lead

The Number 3 ranked Houston Cougars have rewarded AP voters for the vote of confidence by crushing the competition in the early going. They beat Northern Colorado and Saint Joseph’s by 47 and 36 points, respectively. Although these teams are borderline Kenpomery top 200 teams, there are plenty of power 5 schools taking on worse competition.

Sons of NBA Players in College Basketball 2022-2023

Here’s list of sons of NBA dads we’ve spotted in college basketball for the 2022-23 season.

If we have missed any, please tweet us at CBBEyeTest.

CLICK BELOW FOR PAST YEAR’S ROSTERS OF SONS OF NBA PLAYERS:
2020-2021
2021-2022

Mike Miller had serious game over his 17 year NBA career including 41% from 3pt. His son Mason Miller is a freshman at Creighton and could be a dangerous sharpshooter off the bench.

Photo courtesy Creighton Athletics

Sons of former Chicago Bulls Ron Harper and Scottie Pippen have graduated from the college basketball landscape, but there are still some Windy City remnants.

DJ Rodman is a junior with Washington State.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim is the son of former lottery pick and Grizzlies great, Shareef Adbur-Rahim.

Penny Hardaway is actually coaching his son with the Memphis Tigers. Jayden Hardaway has earned his minutes over the years and is now a regular rotation player with the Tigers.

Juwan Howard has two of his kids on the Michigan Wolverines squad.

Junior Jace Howard rocks number 25, a number his father sported in the NBA.

Juwan Howard’s younger son, freshman Jett Howard lit it up in his NCAA debut.

The 1990s Eastern Conference is well represented in this list. Dikembe Mutombo’s son Ryan Mutombo continues a big man family legacy at Georgetown.

Former Indiana Pacers guard Harold Workman’s son Bryce plays D1 ball.

Jameer Nelson Jr. is a junior guard and plays guard for Delaware.

Photo courtesy bluehens.com/sports/mens-basketball/roster

Jamal Mashburn’s son is following in his footsteps, in more ways than one. Jamal Mashburn Jr. has also followed a Pitino coach.

In fact, Mashburn Jr. played for Rick Pitino’s son Richard at both Minnesota and now with New Mexico.

New Mexico basketball has two sons of NBA players in the rotation. Eddie House’s son Jaelen House is another scoring guard on the team.

Here’s another random, 1990s sir name, nostalgic, NBA nugget: Marčiulionis.

Do you remember that name?

Photo courtesy smcgaels.com/sports

The second generation NBA talent discussion has an international flair as the son of Sarunas Marciulionis has been imported from Lithuania to St. Mary’s basketball. Augustus Marciulionis is a 6-4 freshman with the Gaels.

Pete Nance has transferred to UNC to join head coach, and former NBA player, Hubert Davis.

According to IUHoosiers.com, Trayce Jackson-Davis is the “son of for Indiana Pacers standout Dale Davis and Ray and Karla Jackson.”

Photo courtesy iuhoosiers.com

https://iuhoosiers.com/sports/mens-basketball/roster/trayce-jackson-davis/15620

The Fab 5 even makes a cameo on this list. Juwan Howard is another former NBA player who is coaching his son currently.

Jace Howard is a sophomore at Michigan University. Photo courtesy: mgoblue.com

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Eye Test Breakdown of AP Top 25 Preseason Basketball Rakings

BY MATT DE SARLE

The AP Top 25 ranking is king in college basketball and dictates whose resume is worthy of the tournament, so its preseason ranking is also very important to dissect as the 2022-2023 campaign begins.

Here are some initial considerations about the AP Preseason Top 25 and specifically its top 10.

10. Arkansas Men’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

The Razorbacks deserve to be here if you take into consideration especially its tournament success over the last two years. However, they have lost a lot of talent to graduation and the NBA draft in those two years. Head coach Eric Musselman is becoming the Pete Carrol of college basketball. The years go by but his energy appears ageless and he brings back a secondary of wings who can defend the full playing surface. The Razorbacks lose their first, second and fourth overall scorer from last season including JT Notae’s average of 18.3 points.

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9. Creighton Men’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

This may sound like a surprise but the Creighton Bluejays might actually be underrated at this spot. This is a good looking team with a coach’s dream for a starting five. Point guard Ryan Nembhard is the straw that stirs the drink. You haven’t heard much buzz about the Bluejays because Nembhard missed a majority of last season with injury. However, he plays with the steady confidence and control of his older brother (Andrew Nembhard) who now cracks the rotation as a point guard for the Indiana Pacers.

“I’m just excited to be back. It’s been a long journey, but I’m ready to go,” Nembhard said in a post-practice media availability recently posted by the Creighton YouTube channel.

Creighton touts a 7’1″ center in Ryan Kalkbrenner who has great hands and score in multiple levels. Kalkbrenner can run the floor, shoot the three, and post you up. Sophomores Trey Alexander and Arthur Kaluma contributed to a solid season for Creighton last season and return as dual threats. Head coach Greg McDermott has an opportunity to win the Big East this season with an eye to a 2 or 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a preseason ranking that actually makes sense.

Ryan Kalkbrenner and Ryan Nembhard headline a sneaky good Creighton team.

8. UCLA Bruins Men’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

If you believe Tyger Campbell is one of the nation’s best point guards, you have reason to believe in this team. However, the Bruins lose a collective 32 points per game in scoring from guards Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard alone This will be a great opportunity for the next swingman waiting in the wings, Jaylen Clark. Clark was a regular rotation player last season and shined with a 25 point year high. Head coach Mike Cronin enters his fourth season as the Bruins head man, so the hard-nosed wrinkle to the UCLA tradition should be firmly in place. One of the newcomers for UCLA this season has matured overseas. Italian Abramo Canka has international experience playing in several leagues. Of course, it wouldn’t be UCLA without a little Hollywood factor to the script. McDonald’s All-American Amari Bailey brings a resume of being a top 5 recruit according to ESPN, but also some TMZ articles about he and his mother’s popularity.

Jaylen Clark has a huge opportunity this year at UCLA.

7. Duke Blue Devil’s College Basketball Preview 2022-2023

Duke didn’t just commit to the youth movement in college basketball with one-and-dones, but it doubled down. This went from a program that rarely acquired freshman phenoms for one season to now leading the nation in that category. Duke has 3 of the top 10 ESPN top 100 recruits. That includes number one overall ranked Derek Lively and number two overall recruit Dariq Whitehead. Couple that youthful energy with the dawn of Jon Scheyer’s first year as Duke head coach replacing the legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke couples to the two highest ranked freshmen for the 2022-2023 season.

Baylor and Kansas dead-heat for fifth best team in preseason rankings

AP voters totally took the easy way out here and punted on who is better, Baylor or Kansas. Of course, these programs enter the season as the last two national champions. They have battled for the Big 12 crown in heated competition more recently (after KU’s long-standing dominance of the conference). Kansas coach Bill Self will miss the first four games because of a self-imposed suspension by the school, because of NCAA infractions. After this total sharade, the poor guy will have to make his return to the sidelines to coach the Jayhawks in the Bahamas. Both the Jayhawks and the Bears have each lost a professional lineup of stars from their national championship seasons. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Flo Thamba, LJ Cryer, and Adam Flagler remain from the 2021 Bears national championship team. Ironically, that will probably be more incumbent playing minutes for this 2023 postseason than the 2022 championship Jayhawks will return. The 2022-2023 Kansas Jayhawks most important returning players are likely Dajuan Harris Jr. and Jalen Wilson. Drake transfer Joseph Yesufu is also probably likely to see more minutes in his second season with the Jayhawks. The Baylor Bears win the recruiting race based on rankings. Shooting guard Keyonte George ranks sixth overall in the nation while the Jayhawks highest recruit is fourteenth overall in forward Gradey Dick. Baylor loses Matthew Mayer to the transfer portal but probably gets a more physical replacement at forward in BYU’s Caleb Lohner. KU’s transfer news is headlined by the addition of Kevin McCullar Jr. from within the conference. He averaged 10 points and 4.6 rebounds last season for Texas Tech.

4. Kentucky Wildcats enter season ranked top 5 despite 2022 upset

Saint Peter’s magical run as a 15 seed started with a defeat at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats. Yet, Rick Pitino and the Kentucky Wildcats still enter the 2022-2023 season as a top 5 ranked team. West Virginia transfer Oscar Tschiebwe headlines a talented roster. Tschiebwe was a runner up last year for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award (to Keegan Murray). However, he probably should have won it based on his gaudy numbers and striking similarities to Malone’s game. Pitino is known to moan on Selection Sunday after the SEC hosts its championship game late in the day and his team is punished for a 5 or below seeding in the field. This time, his program is given the benefit of the doubt entering the season with a top 5 ranking. It’s hard to imagine that Pitino would have to prove himself, but this season feels like a “show me” year with it being nine years since Kentucky has made a Final Four.

3. Houston Cougars 2022-2023 College Basketball Preview

True college basketball fans everyone should celebrate the Cougars top 5 ranking. It was earned through hustle, defense, and overcoming adversity. Houston was the walking wounded last year but still managed to put a scare in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Guards Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark were two of the Cougars who missed most of last season. However, their return brings a scoring punch to a program that’s already proven it knows how to defend and earn hustle baskets. Speaking of which, Reggie Chaney returns for a fifth year as a graduate student. The Houston Cougars should have one last swan song in capturing the American Conference crown before leaving for the Big 12 next season. Sasser and Jamal Shead headline the conference’s preseason all-conference first team.

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs Reload in Transfer Portal to Prepare for 2022-2023 Season

Drew Timme is back. That continues a legacy of long-tenured Gonzaga stars who commit to Spokane and make a run at a Final Four. And when you think of the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball history, you don’t often think of transfers coming in and having a major impact. But that tide has changed. Gonzaga is now not only a desirable location for star freshmen like the former Bulldog Jalen Suggs. The university is also now a coveted program to pull into major conferences (as re-alignment goes wild). It’s also a destination for transfers. Chattanooga transfer point guard Malachi Smith will fill the void left by Andrew Nembhard leaving. And LSU big man Efton Reid is going to bring some size at 7 feet to help bolster an otherwise lacking interior. There are nine sophomores on this current Gonzaga Bulldog roster, so it’s hard to predict whether Mark Few’s club can be expected to mature into a #1 seed in this year’s tourney (as has been the standard).

1. UNC Tar Heels enter season ranked #1 overall

The band is back together. North Carolina and coach Hubert Davis made a surprising run in last year’s NCAA Tournament, finishing as the runner-up. Starting guards RJ Davis and Caleb Love return to run-it-back. Even Leaky Black sneaks back into a group that includes Puff Johnson, Armando Bacot, and a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the returning talent. They also add forward Pete Nance, whose game has blossomed at Northwestern despite getting crushed by Big 10 competition in recent years. However, North Carolina’s 2022 regular season featured some head-scratching moments with an absolute lack of defense. Hopefully, this team doesn’t have a hiccup with the momentum they’ve gathered and regress to their mean where they had nine (some very bad) losses in the regular season. UNC barely has a top 50 recruit with 6-1 guard Seth Trimble scratching the list at #46.

NBA Rankings: Top 5 Value Picks of the 2022 NBA Draft

BY MATTY D.

NCAA Observer Weighs in on NBA Draft Night Steals

If you watch college basketball religiously, you saw a lot of sleeper picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. Here are 5 players to keep an eye on during their NBA career.

5. Blake Wesley, #25 Overall Pick for the San Antonio Spurs

If you’re an NBA fan, you might be curious why San Antonio is shedding so much young talent. They traded Derrick White mid-season. He proved to be a pivotal piece for the Eastern Conference Champion Celtics. Then, the Spurs traded Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks. Murray had become a prime example of how the San Antonio organization continues to draft and develop young talent to reach their potential. They were patient with the thin, raw Murray early in his career and it paid off. Now, the national consensus might be how the Spurs are throwing in the towel. One SB Nation article says the Spurs are setting their “relevancy back years.”

However, if you look at the three first round picks in 2022, you’ll realize that the silver spurs are just re-loading their firearms down in the Alamo.

Blake Wesley is a supremely athletic wing who can contribute minutes immediately to an NBA club. He led Notre Dame to an NCAA Tournament berth last season, taking possessions coast to coast and leading the Fighting Irish to a first round victory over Rutgers. He is listed at 6-4, but easily slices down to lane getting to where he wants. He should develop his three-point-jumper, as every NBA ball player needs to. However, he is a great value as the #25 overall pick.

In fact, the Spurs can benefit from some in-house competition at the swingman position right away. At the 20th pick, the Spurs picked up 6-5 shooting guard Malaki Branham from Ohio State. He showed great flashes of scoring ability late in his short tenure with the Buckeyes. In the top 10, San Antonio also looked to re-kindle the spirit of their former funky Spur, Dennis Rodman, by picking Baylor’s slippery defender/rebounder Jeremy Sochan. NCAA obversers have to give the Spurs draft an A+.

4. Kennedy Chandler, #38 Overall Pick for the Memphis Grizzlies

Ironically, this pick was made by the San Antonio Spurs as well…

Kennedy Chandler was regarded as one of the best incoming freshman for last year’s college basketball season, but he got off to a slow start in SEC conference play. The SEC is tough. And he had a few 5 and 6 turnover games. His backcourt mate Zakai Zeigler out-shined him at teams in the rotation. Still, the point guard progressed to finish by averaging nearly 14 points and 4.7 assists per game in his freshman campaign. Now the Grizzlies get a potential perfect counterpart to Ja Morant in the backcourt. Mike Conley spent years swirling around defenses with his dizzying speed in Memphis. Chandler’s low-to-the ground, solid handle can have the same type of impact. He is not a high-flyer like Morant is (nobody is), but his speed and handles could balance out the offense.

The Memphis Grizzlies also nabbed another high quality value pick late in the second half of the draft. They added VCU’s Vince Williams Jr. Injuries nagged his last season as a Ram, but Williams Jr. is an all-around mature player. He is a 6-7 forward who can handle, assist, and defend.

3. EJ Liddell, #41 Overall Pick for the New Orleans Pelicans

This could actually be the steal of the draft. If the Pelicans actually see Zion Williamson play in the 2022-2023 campaign, New Orleans could have the all-linebacker squad for the NBA. There’d be some serious muscle inside. Liddell is built similarly to Williamson, listed at 6-7 and 243 lbs. However Liddell is probably actually a more skilled basketball player at this juncture. He can operate in the post and around the perimeter. His strong base gives him great positioning around taller players in the post. He has been an impact player for Ohio State since he stepped on campus. The Pelicans keep piecing together a winning roster with winning players. Liddell fits the mold of someone who could thrive in the Bayou.

2. Isaiah Mobley, #49 Overall Pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers

This was a no-brainer for the Cavs, re-uniting Isaiah with his younger brother Evan Mobley in Cleveland. The two played together for a year at USC when they lead the Trojans to the Elite 8. There could be a Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol type of tandem here. Isaiah Mobley would be the more burley of the two. Evan Mobley nearly won the NBA Rookie of the Year with his great touch around the rim and quick spring to the glass. Isaiah Mobley is a super skilled big man. Both brothers have exceptional hands. At 6-10, Isaiah Mobley is one of the best perimeter shooters for his size in the draft. After Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith Jr.’s three point efficiency of 39 and 42 percent respectively, Mobley registered a 36% 3PT percentage in his USC days. Oddly enough, he shot 44% from 3PT during his second year at USC.

This billboard in downtown Cleveland needs a 6 foot 10 addition. Photo Courtesy ABC News 5

The Mobley brothers could be a handful as a high-low option with the Cavs. I am surprised every other NBA franchise let this happen. It’s like when your buddy has a second tier running back that you know he loves in fantasy football. He’s firmly on the record loving that RB. But you let him pick that dude up in your snake draft on his quick second turnaround pick in the 7th round. This could be both marketing and basketball gold for the Cavaliers.

1. Ben Mathurin, #6 Overall Pick for the Indiana Pacers

This honor comes straight out of the college basketball eye test playbook. Bennedict Mathurin was a man amongst boys in so many of the clutch games that Arizona played last year. He chewed up the talented Illinois backcourt for 30 points in a high profile, early season non-conference showdown. In March Madness, he served up a serious facial against TCU to rescue his Wildcats from a hard-fought upset loss. He dropped 30 again in this thrilling overtime win. Mathurin has a little Russell Westbrook in his game. He is simply relentless. However, he has a smooth stroke around the perimeter. Watch the dunk below and pay close attention to the killer instinct demeanor. Mathurin is of Haitian decent and grew up in Montreal. He attended the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City, Mexico. His diverse skills and killer instinct will win him international appeal.

Honorable Mention: Trevor Keels, #42 Overall Pick for the New York Knicks

Keels seeks out contact as he rushes to the rim. He doesn’t have the same ups that Derrick Rose had at his age, but it could be interesting to watch these guys play together. They both have the running back mentality. They share the mentality launching over the goal-line in order to score. Keels got lost at times at Duke with what his role is, whether a facilitator, off-ball shooter, or Alpha male scorer. The Knicks would be wise to assign Keels a role and see it blossom.

Trevor Keels enters an NBA Summer League game for the NY Knicks. Photo: Courtesy ESPN

Agree or disagree with my list? Join the debate and follow me on Twitter. Thanks for reading!