Thursday, October 19, 2006

Preseason Picks II

Ivy
The Champ: Penn

The Rest: Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Yale

Quick Take: As usual it will come down to Penn and Princeton. Penn loses a coach and 2 starters but returns Ibrahim Jaaber, the best player in the Ivy, and that will be the difference.


MAAC
The Champ: Marist

The Rest: Niagara, St. Peter’s, Rider, Manhattan, Siena, Loyola MD, Iona, Canisius, Fairfield.

Quick Take: Marist is easily the odds on favorite as they return nearly everyone from last year’s team that went 19-10. Niagara also has some experience and talent but went 11-19 last year. Nearly every other team is in rebuilding and learning mode and it may take a while for them to compete by then Marist should be long gone.


MAC
The Champ: Akron

The Rest: Toledo, Ohio, Western Michigan, Miami OH, Ball St., Kent St., Bowling Green, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan

Quick Take: Akron has LeBron’s high school teammates and enough talent and experience to take the league’s automatic bid in what should be a down year for the conference. The league has a slim shot at more than one bid as one of the more competitive leagues in college hoops is in for a rebuilding year. Toledo and Ohio have enough players returning that a NIT bid is a realistic goal.


MCC
The Champ: UMKC

The Rest: IUPUI, Oral Roberts, Oakland, Western Illinois, Centenary, Southern Utah, Valparaiso

Quick Take: The Kangaroos bring back their 3 leading scorers from a team that finished 3rd in conference last season. The top 5 teams all bring back significant pieces of their teams which should make for a fun conference season and the right to be a 15 seed in March.


MEAC
The Champ: Delaware St.

The Rest: Coppin St., South Carolina St., Howard, Norfolk St., NC A&T, MD Eastern Shore, Florida A&M, Morgan St., Bethune-Cookman, Hampton

Quick Take: Coppin, SC St., Howard, Norfolk, and NC A&T all have experience but Delaware St. is the only team with a legitimate NBA prospect.


MVC
The Champ: Creighton

The Rest: Southern Illinois, Wichita St., Missouri St., Drake, Northern Iowa, Evansville, Bradley, Indiana St., Illinois St.

Quick Take: Creighton gets back point guard Nate Funk, a MVC first-teamer in 2005, from injury. The Jays lack of a point guard caused their end of year stumble last season and their omission from the Field of 65. Southern Illinois brings back a lot of experience and talent as well as a head coach. The Salukis should be another team dancing in March. Wichita St. and Missouri St. are in much the same boat as Southern Illinois in terms of returning players. Drake and Evansville have enough experience and Northern Iowa returns enough talent to be factors for the NIT. The MVC should be getting 4 bids again this year.


Mt. West
The Champ: Air Force

The Rest: BYU, San Diego St., Utah, Colorado St., Wyoming, UNLV, New Mexico, TCU

Quick Take: 3 bids aren’t out of the question. Air Force returns 5/6 of their rotation while BYU brings back everyone except their number 2 scorer from last year and SDSU returns 3 of its top 4 scorers. Utah, Colorado St., and Wyoming could all impress and get NIT bids.

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