Thursday, November 08, 2007

Preseason Picks III

Champ(s)- 1. Tennessee (East), 1. Arkansas (West)
Bubble- 2. Kentucky, 3. Florida, 4. South Carolina, 5. Georgia, 6. Vandy (East), 2. Alabama, 3. Auburn, 4. Miss St., 5. LSU (West)
The Rest- 6. Ole Miss (West)

Summit League
Champ- IUPUI
Contenders- Oakland, North Dakota St.
The Rest- Southern Utah, Oral Roberts, IPFW, UMKC, South Dakota St., Western Illinois, Centenary

IUPUI returns three of their top four scorers from a young team that finished fourth last year in the old Mid Continental Conference now the Summit League. Oakland finished second in the regular season and made it to the conference championship last year. Returning four out of their top five scorers, gives the Golden Grizzlies a good shot at dancing. North Dakota St. will be good this year and could take the regular season championship but they are in their last year of reclassification from D2 and will be eligible next year.

Champ- Arkansas PB
Contenders- Grambling St., Southern
The Rest- Jackson St., Alabama A&M, Miss Valley St., Alabama St., Texas Southern, Alcorn St., Prairie View A&M

All these teams have major problems and are probably looking at the play-in game. The best of the worst is Arkansas PB who returns a lot for a team that gave defending conference tournament champion Jackson St. a huge run for its money in the conference semifinals. Grambling St. and Southern are the two teams from the rest that have the best chance to challenge APB this year.

Champ- Robert Morris
Contenders- Wagner, St. Francis (PA)
The Rest- St. Francis (NY), Mt. St. Mary’s, Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, Long Island, FDU, Monmouth, CCSU

Robert Morris is an experienced team and easily has the most talent in the league led by Tony Lee and A.J. Jackson. Wagner should also be good but I like RMU more. St. Francis returns pretty much everyone but the team finished last in conference play last season and with several other teams returning a good amount of players, a worst-to-first story shouldn’t be expected.

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

Hampton is the only team that will return all of its starters as well as a few key bench guys. They finished third in the conference last year and should improve on that as the two teams ahead of them were hit by graduation and a coaching change.


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