College basketball is back, and it’s time for The Circuit to make some predictions about the upcoming season! From Player of the Year to Final Four, we predict everything about the 21-22 college basketball season!
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College basketball is back! And yes, technically teams are roughly five games into the season so these predictions are a little late. BUT, for me personally, college basketball doesn’t start until Thanksgiving weekend so here we are! Let’s kick things off with my top 25 rankings:
Top 25 Rankings
1- Gonzaga Bulldogs
2- Duke Blue Devils
3- Kansas Jayhawks
4- UCLA Bruins
5- Michigan Wolverines
6- Texas Longhorns
7- Villanova Wildcats
8- Alabama Crimson Tide
9- Baylor Bears
10- Illinois Fighting Illini
11- Purdue Boilermakers
12- Kentucky Wildcats
13- Memphis Tigers
14- Houston Cougars
15- Auburn Tigers
16- Tennessee Volunteers
17- Arkansas Razorbacks
18- Oregon Ducks
19- Ohio State Buckeyes
20- North Carolina Tar Heels
21- St. Bonaventure Bonnies
22- Connecticut Huskies
23- Virginia Cavaliers
24- Michigan State Spartans
25- Louisville Cardinals
To me, Gonzaga is #1 with a bullet. I think UCLA is getting far too much love because they made a miracle run in the tournament last year. Kansas is always a great regular season team, but can’t get it done in March. With the Blue Devils, I can’t seem to quit them, and coach K will have this team humming in his final season. But let’s not forget, unlike college football rankings in college basketball mean next to nothing.
Player of the Year Predictions:
1- Drew Timme (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
2- Hunter Dickinson (Michigan Wolverines)
3- Paolo Banchero (Duke Blue Devils)
4- Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
5- Kofi Cockburn (Illinois Fighting Illini)
Much like with his team, Timme is the consensus favorite to win Player of the Year. I think his biggest challenge could come from teammate Holmgren, who could be the #1 pick in the draft. But look for Hunter Dickinson at Michigan as a sleeper; the Wolverines will be really good this year, and he will put up big numbers.
G- Collin Gillespie (Villanova Wildcats)
G- Johnny Juzang (UCLA Bruins)
F- Paolo Banchero (Duke Blue Devils)
F- Drew Timme (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
C- Hunter Dickinson (Michigan Wolverines)
G- Max Abmas (Oral Roberts Golden Eagles)
G- Buddy Boeheim (Syracuse Orange)
F- EJ Liddell (Ohio State Buckeyes)
F- Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
C- Kofi Cockburn (Illinois Fighting Illini)
G- Marcus Sasser (Houston Cougars)
G- Kellen Grady (Kentucky Wildcats)
F- Trevion Williams (Purdue Boilermakers)
F- Emoji Bates (Memphis Tigers)
C- Isaiah Mobley (USC Trojans)
Final Four Predictions:
It is nearly impossible to truly predict a Final Four without seeing brackets, never mind at the beginning of the season. So these are the four teams I think will make deep runs in March, and if the stars align and they are all in different regions, this is what the Final Four will look like.
Gonzaga Bulldogs def Memphis Tigers
Gonzaga has the most talent top to bottom, and I think they are going to rip through teams after the embarrassing loss they suffered to Baylor in the title game last year. As for Memphis, they are my sleeper team to make a deep run led by Emoni Bates and Penny Hardaway.
Duke Blue Devils def Michigan Wolverines
Outside of Gonzaga, these are the two most talented teams in the country (yes, more so than Kansas and UCLA). I trust these two teams to navigate March Madness, and the Blue Devils will prevail in a thriller.
Duke Blue Devils def Gonzaga Bulldogs
Third time is not the charm for Mark Few and the Bulldogs, as coach K gets the fairytale sendoff and wins his final game. I pick Duke almost every single year to win it all, but with Banchero leading the charge I will finally be right this season!
There you have it! Now that you know exactly how the season will play out, you can go to Vegas and place your bets. Make sure to check out all our other great content here at The Circuit, and come back towards the end of December for our college basketball 1st quarter polls!