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The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

A start to history

Preview for the 2023-24 college basketball season
Fox Sports
Purdue, UConn and Duke all look like they can control the college basketball world and make a final four run and hopefully bring home some hardware​​ to their respective schools.

The 2022-2023 college basketball season brought some of the best sports moments of the year and sports history, with the Cinderella story of Florida Atlantic and UConn winning the national championship. The new season is now upon us and many teams are looking like they have a chance at the national title.

Starting off with the Big Ten conference, Purdue looks like the team to beat by being ranked #3 in the AP poll this year, but not too far behind Purdue lurks the Spartans of Michigan State. Last season Michigan State made it National Tournament and played teams like #10 USC, and #2 Marquette, but then their season ended with a loss to #3 Kansas State. Another team that looks like they can make a deep run is Illinois. Currently, they are ranked #25 in the AP poll and looks like they can be a team to be a dark horse in the Big Ten tournament as well as the national tournament.

Arguably the best conference for college basketball is the ACC. The ACC has a deep history of basketball culture with teams like Duke, North Carolina, Louisville and Miami almost always making the National Tournament and producing. This season Duke looks like they can win another ACC championship and make an elite eight or final four run because of the new talented Freshman Jared McCain and Caleb Foster. North Carolina also looks like they could make the national tournament, but if they play like they did last year they will once again find a spot in the NIT tournament.

Next, is the Big 12 conference, historically the Big 12 conference hasn’t been very good besides the Kansas Jayhawks. In recent years though, the Big 12 conference has been one of the best conferences for basketball with teams like Iowa State, University of Houston, Texas and Baylor. The Big 12 has also been very good for recruiting players to their schools for basketball. Iowa State landed five-star McDonald’s All-American Omaha Biliew’ and Baylor landed five-star Jakob Walter.

Another conference that is a basketball powerhouse is the Big East conference. The Big East in recent years has been dominated by teams such as Villanova, Uconn, Marquette and Creighton. Last season the Big East tournament was won by Marquette but Uconn won the National Tournament. This season the favorites to win the conference are Marquette, Uconn and Creighton.

Arguably the worst Power Six basketball conference is the Pac-12. Historically the Pac-12 has had some very dominant teams like UCLA and Arizona. Last season UCLA ended the season ranked #8 and Arizona ranked #8. All of the other Pac-12 teams were just in the middle of the table. This season once again UCLA and Arizona look like they are going to be the two teams who dominate the conference. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if USC makes a run late in the season

Last but not least we have the SEC conference. The SEC is known as a football conference throughout the college sports world, but in recent years they have had an impact on the college basketball world. Teams like Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky made deep runs in the national tournament last season. This season though teams like Arkansas and Texas AM are both ranked in the Top 25 and have some young talent which can hopefully lead them to a conference championship and a good seating in the national tournament.

After previewing what all of the conferences will shape out to be and what teams will emerge as the heavyweights, we will look into what the elite eight will host. For this elite eight, I will be choosing one team for each power six conference and then two teams for a lower conference. Big 10, I got Purdue, ACC I got Duke, Big 12 I got Houston, Big East I got Creighton, Pac-12 I got Arizona, SEC I got Kentucky. For my two lower conference teams I got Gonzaga from the WCC and Florida Atlantic from the American Conference. In the Final Four, I have Kentucky, Creighton, Gonzaga and Duke. Out of these four teams I have Kentucky winning the National Championship.

Currently in the season many power 6 schools are playing lower conference schools just to get started off the regular season. Some of the tipoff tournaments such as the Empire classic and the Battle for Atlantis tournament will be happening around the week of Thanksgiving and the week after. Teams will start playing conference games after Christmas break. That is my preview for the 2023-24 college basketball season.

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About the Contributor
Wyatt Carmichael
Wyatt Carmichael, Staff Reporter
Wyatt is a junior at Millard West and beginning his first year on the CATalyst staff. In his free time Carmichael likes to create sports videography and photography and spend time outdoors with family and friends by fishing, hiking, riding bikes and waterfowl hunting. Wyatt loves spending time watching high school, college and professional sports. Whenever Wyatt is watching sports he enjoys cheering on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Kansas City Chiefs.

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