College Basketball

Ranking the top teams in college basketball: 351-1

Ranking the top teams in college basketball: 351-1 Photo:

We simulated the season 10,000 times so we could tell you the most likely national champion -- and how the other 350 teams fall in line after that. The answer to "Who's No. 1?" will be revealed Tuesday on SI.com and in Sports Illustrated's College Basketball Preview Issue, but we're unveiling the rankings in stages: 351-151 on Oct. 30, 150-51 on Oct. 31, 50-26 on Nov. 3, and 25-1 on Nov. 4. (SI.com's player and conference statistical projections can be found here.)

SI's 2014-15 rankings are according to a statistical projection system developed by the economist Dan Hanner with assistance from SI's Luke Winn. It's a bottom-up model that on offense, projects every Division I player's efficiency and shot volume using past college statistics (and stats of similar players over more than a decade), recruiting ratings (which have some predictive value over immediate performance and development curves), and the quality of their head coach and teammates. These stats are then placed within the context of each team's rotation, and used to make a team offensive efficiency projection.

The simulation is run 10,000 times -- and teams are ranked by their median outcome -- to account for significant variance in player performance. While past stats and recruiting rankings have some predictive value, college players are at such a developmental stage in their careers that their performance can vary far more year-to-year than their counterparts in the NBA. In the model's simulations, if a player performs well below expectations, his playing time will diminish to make room for rising teammates. Injuries and depth also come into play: A team such as Louisville, which has 11 projected quality ACC players on its roster, including two returning point guards, is projected to fare well in a vast majority of simulations. A team such as Syracuse, on the other hand, which has just one true point guard on its roster -- and an untested freshman at that -- is at more risk of negative outcomes.

The model's defensive efficiency ratings are projected based on individual tempo-free defensive stats (rebound, steal and block percentages), plus a few key adjustments that try to account for team-wide aspects of defensive performance. The first is based on roster turnover: If the roster is largely the same, a team's defensive performance from 2013-14 is given a lot of weight; if turnover is significant, the coach's historical defensive performance is given more weight. Experience also matters: Teams with lots of freshmen tend to make more mistakes on defense than do upperclass-laden squads. And height is a critical factor, particularly at center: Taller teams tend to be stingier on D. (The model also prevents the defensive factors most affected by luck -- opponents' free-throw percentage and three-point percentage -- from carrying over year-to-year. Therefore North Carolina, which had a solid defense in '13-14 based largely on those "luck" factors, isn't expected to make a big improvement on D.)

*Table Key: Proj. Off. Eff. = Median projected offensive efficiency from 10,000 simulations; Proj. Def. Eff. = Median projected defensive efficiency from 10,000 simulations; Ret. Min% = percentage of overall minutes the roster returns; Top 100 = Number of players who ranked in RSCI top 100 out of high school; JUCO Top 100 = Number of players who ranked in aggregate junior college top 100; Avg. Star Rating = Rating of the rest of the roster, not including Top 100 or Juco Top 100.

1-25
 
rank team proj.
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proj. def.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
1st Kentucky 123.5 94.2 1st in SEC 65% 10 0 3.0
2nd Arizona 119.4 91.2 1st in P12 64% 7 2 3.3
3rd Wisconsin 124.1 95.1 1st in B10 82% 2 0 2.8
4th Duke 123.9 95.6 1st in ACC 47% 10 0  
5th Kansas 121.4 93.7 1st in B12 51% 10 0 3.2
6th Florida 119.5 94.3 2nd in SEC 41% 7 0 2.6
7th Louisville 117.4 92.8 2nd in ACC 56% 9 1 2.9
8th Villanova 117.7 94.5 1st in BE 78% 7 0 2.6
9th Virginia 114.4 91.8 3rd in ACC 69% 5 0 3.0
10th Gonzaga 117.1 95.5 1st in WCC 58% 4 0 2.6
11st North Carolina 116.5 95.4 4th in ACC 70% 10 0 2.7
12nd Texas 115.9 95.0 2nd in B12 94% 7 0 3.0
13rd Ohio St. 112.2 92.5 2nd in B10 48% 8 0 2.9
14th San Diego St. 112.4 92.8 1st in MWC 67% 7 0 2.6
15th Iowa St. 116.7 96.4 3rd in B12 66% 3 2 2.7
16th Wichita St. 116.2 96.4 1st in MVC 61% 0 3 2.5
17th SMU 113.1 94.3 1st in Amer 72% 2 1 2.9
18th VCU 113.3 94.6 1st in A10 69% 2 0 2.9
19th Connecticut 112.5 94.8 2nd in Amer 41% 5 1 2.8
20th Iowa 119.4 101.5 3rd in B10 66% 2 1 2.8
21st Michigan St. 113.8 97.1 4th in B10 49% 4 0 3.0
22nd Kansas St. 110.5 94.3 4th in B12 58% 0 1 2.8
23rd Syracuse 112.3 95.9 5th in ACC 41% 7 0 3.3
24th Michigan 118.1 100.9 5th in B10 46% 3 0 2.9
25th Utah 112.8 96.5 2nd in P12 79% 2 2 2.2

Top-ranked Kentucky isn't the only elite team with depth. Were you aware that Duke (4th), Kansas (5th) and North Carolina (11th) all have the same amount of top-100 recruits (according to the RSCI) as the Wildcats? Meanwhile, the top-10 team with the least top-100 recruits, Wisconsin, is projected to have the nation's best offense, powered by Wooden Award candidate Frank Kaminsky, who was largely regarded as a three-star prospect out of high school.

26-50
 
rank team proj.
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proj. def.
EFF.
conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
26th Stanford 114.1 97.6 3rd in P12 51% 8 0 3.0
27th Oklahoma 115.1 98.6 5th in B12 70% 0 2 2.9
28th Arkansas 114.8 98.4 3rd in SEC 64% 3 1 2.9
29th Pittsburgh 113.7 97.4 6th in ACC 69% 3 1 2.8
30th Harvard 111.2 95.3 1st in Ivy 62% 1 0 2.5
31st Georgetown 115.2 98.7 2nd in BE 60% 7 0 2.9
32nd Memphis 112.2 96.7 3rd in Amer 34% 8 3 2.2
33rd Maryland 109.9 94.8 6th in B10 51% 7 0 2.7
34th Notre Dame 118.1 102.9 7th in ACC 62% 2 0 3.1
35th UCLA 114.0 99.5 4th in P12 34% 5 0 3.0
36th Nebraska 109.5 96.2 7th in B10 70% 0 0 2.8
37th Illinois 108.4 95.4 8th in B10 59% 4 0 3.0
38th Dayton 113.5 99.9 2nd in A10 54% 1 1 2.8
39th Miami FL 112.3 98.8 8th in ACC 34% 2 1 3.1
40th Minnesota 112.7 99.2 9th in B10 63% 0 2 2.9
41st Colorado 108.8 95.8 5th in P12 91% 3 0 2.8
42nd Xavier 112.7 99.3 3rd in BE 54% 3 0 3.2
43rd BYU 115.0 101.4 2nd in WCC 74% 0 1 2.5
44th LSU 109.5 96.9 4th in SEC 37% 4 1 2.5
45th Cincinnati 108.5 96.5 4th in Amer 46% 1 3 3.1
46th Indiana 112.2 100.0 10th in B10 45% 6 0 2.5
47th Oklahoma St. 110.2 98.4 6th in B12 39% 3 2 2.6
48th Florida St. 109.3 97.6 9th in ACC 65% 3 2 2.7
49th Wyoming 108.9 97.6 2nd in MWC 70% 0 0 2.3
50th California 112.0 100.4 6th in P12 57% 2 0 2.6

Is the expanded ACC really the nation's deepest conference? Our projections have 10 Big Ten teams in the top 50 (including Indiana at 46), compared to nine for the ACC, and six each for the Big 12 and Pac-12. A sign the Mountain West is due for a down year: Its second-highest ranked team, Wyoming, checks in at No. 49.

51-75
 
rank team proj.
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proj. def.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
51st Mississippi 112.9 101.3 5th in SEC 69% 0 1 2.8
52nd Tulsa 107.3 96.3 5th in Amer 72% 0 1 2.4
53rd Colorado St. 114.5 102.8 3rd in MWC 59% 1 4 2.5
54th Alabama 105.4 94.9 6th in SEC 62% 5 0 2.7
55th NC State 110.9 99.9 10th in ACC 63% 8 1 3.0
56th Baylor 113.7 102.6 7th in B12 47% 3 3 2.5
57th Georgia St. 114.4 103.4 1st in SB 57% 2 0 2.2
58th St. John's 107.2 96.9 4th in BE 66% 5 1 2.3
59th Massachusetts 108.6 98.2 3rd in A10 56% 2 0 2.6
60th Louisiana Tech 109.5 99.1 1st in CUSA 47% 0 1 2.2
61st Providence 109.8 99.4 5th in BE 44% 4 0 3.0
62nd George Washington 108.7 98.5 4th in A10 57% 0 0 2.4
63rd Oregon 113.9 103.2 7th in P12 25% 2 3 3.4
64th Georgia 110.0 99.7 7th in SEC 72% 0 1 2.7
65th UC Irvine 104.7 95.0 1st in BW 83% 1 0 2.1
66th UNLV 107.4 97.5 4th in MWC 23% 5 0 2.7
67th Marquette 107.7 98.1 6th in BE 39% 7 0 3.1
68th Saint Mary's 112.4 102.5 3rd in WCC 35% 0 1 2.7
69th Washington 110.6 101.0 8th in P12 62% 2 1 2.7
70th Northern Iowa 114.2 104.4 2nd in MVC 88% 0 0 2.2
71st West Virginia 112.4 102.7 8th in B12 62% 3 4 3.1
72nd South Carolina 111.3 101.9 8th in SEC 76% 2 0 2.7
73rd Penn St. 108.6 99.4 11th in B10 72% 0 1 2.6
74th Richmond 108.0 99.1 5th in A10 73% 0 0 2.1
75th Texas A&M 105.8 97.1 9th in SEC 64% 3 0 2.7

Georgia State (57th) should be one scary mid-major: The R.J. Hunter- and Ryan Harrow-led Panthers are projected to run away with the Sun Belt -- and be a higher-quality team than major-conference neighbors Georgia (64th) or Georgia Tech (139th). Louisiana Tech looks like Conference USA's best team for the second straight year; the Bulldogs tied for the league's regular-season title in '13-14 but Tulsa earned its automatic bid to the NCAAs.

76-100
 
rank team proj.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
76th Auburn 112.2 102.9 10th in SEC 47% 2 1 2.5
77th Tennessee 109.1 100.2 11th in SEC 28% 3 2 2.4
78th Rhode Island 107.6 98.9 6th in A10 79% 1 1 2.6
79th Seton Hall 107.6 99.3 7th in BE 47% 2 1 2.7
80th Green Bay 108.6 100.2 1st in Horz 74% 0 0 2.0
81st Boise St. 112.4 103.8 5th in MWC 61% 0 2 2.4
82nd Creighton 111.5 103.1 8th in BE 44% 1 2 2.6
83rd Fresno St. 111.7 103.3 6th in MWC 69% 2 2 2.7
84th Clemson 105.7 97.9 11th in ACC 71% 1 0 2.9
85th Purdue 108.7 100.7 12th in B10 48% 4 0 2.9
86th Illinois St. 106.4 98.6 3rd in MVC 65% 0 3 2.4
87th Northwestern 101.1 94.0 13th in B10 69% 1 0 2.8
88th Manhattan 103.8 96.8 1st in MAAC 61% 1 0 2.2
89th Siena 104.8 98.0 2nd in MAAC 99% 0 0 2.0
90th Arizona St. 111.8 104.7 9th in P12 41% 1 4 2.6
91st Iona 114.7 107.3 3rd in MAAC 49% 0 1 2.1
92nd Old Dominion 105.9 99.2 2nd in CUSA 84% 0 1 2.1
93rd Temple 111.7 104.6 6th in Amer 67% 0 0 2.8
94th New Mexico 104.4 97.9 7th in MWC 38% 0 3 2.6
95th Missouri 107.4 100.7 12th in SEC 37% 6 1 2.9
96th New Mexico St. 110.2 103.4 1st in WAC 54% 0 0 2.3
97th Houston 110.2 103.5 7th in Amer 43% 4 3 2.4
98th La Salle 106.7 100.2 7th in A10 50% 1 0 2.2
99th UC Santa Barbara 111.4 104.7 2nd in BW 68% 0 0 2.1
100th Murray St. 110.0 103.4 1st in OVC 80% 0 3 2.4

The MAAC projects to be one of the nation's most tightly contested leagues, as its three title contenders -- Manhattan (88th), Siena (89th) and Iona (91st) -- are separated by just four spots in the rankings. Former mid-major Creighton (82nd) could be in for a difficult second season in the Big East after going 14-4 in Year 1. The model projects the Bluejays to finish eighth, between Seton Hall (79th) and Butler (102nd).

101-125
 
rank team proj.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
101st Stephen F. Austin 107.5 101.1 1st in Slnd 60% 0 1 2.0
102nd Butler 106.0 99.7 9th in BE 62% 1 0 2.7
103rd Cleveland St. 109.0 102.6 2nd in Horz 53% 0 0 2.3
104th Princeton 105.8 99.6 2nd in Ivy 60% 0 0 2.1
105th Toledo 115.3 108.7 1st in MAC 79% 0 0 2.2
106th San Francisco 110.2 103.9 4th in WCC 67% 0 3 2.3
107th UTEP 106.1 100.4 3rd in CUSA 75% 0 1 2.4
108th Texas Tech 107.4 101.8 9th in B12 41% 0 2 2.5
109th Yale 105.5 100.2 3rd in Ivy 78% 0 0 2.1
110th St. Bonaventure 108.8 103.3 8th in A10 55% 0 2 2.1
111th Columbia 108.5 103.0 4th in Ivy 86% 0 0 2.0
112th Belmont 111.2 105.8 2nd in OVC 59% 0 0 2.2
113th Western Kentucky 106.3 101.2 4th in CUSA 60% 0 2 2.3
114th NC Central 108.9 103.7 1st in MEAC 38% 0 0 2.1
115th Long Beach St. 108.1 103.0 3rd in BW 61% 1 0 2.4
116th Boston College 112.5 107.3 12th in ACC 67% 0 0 2.5
117th Vanderbilt 104.8 100.1 13th in SEC 42% 2 0 2.9
118th Portland 109.4 104.6 5th in WCC 78% 0 0 2.1
119th American 102.5 98.4 1st in Pat 81% 0 0 2.1
120th George Mason 105.3 101.2 9th in A10 57% 2 1 2.5
121st USC 107.5 103.4 10th in P12 37% 4 0 2.7
122nd Ohio 107.0 102.9 2nd in MAC 46% 1 1 2.1
123rd Wofford 105.6 101.8 1st in SC 89% 0 0 2.0
124th Evansville 107.7 103.9 4th in MVC 96% 0 2 2.1
125th TCU 103.4 99.9 10th in B12 82% 2 0 2.5

Projected Ivy League second, third- and fourth-place finishers Princeton (104th), Yale (109th) and Columbia (111th) are more than 70 spots behind likely champ Harvard in our rankings. The OVC title race should be more interesting, with Belmont (112th) within shouting distance of perennial contender Murray State (100th), which brings back 80 percent of its minutes from last season.

126-150
 
rank team proj.
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proj. def.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
126th Virginia Tech 103.5 99.9 13th in ACC 48% 2 1 2.3
127th Florida Gulf Coast 103.0 99.4 1st in ASun 52% 1 0 2.3
128th Akron 105.8 102.3 3rd in MAC 76% 0 0 2.2
129th Saint Louis 98.9 95.7 10th in A10 29% 0 0 2.7
130th Washington St. 106.8 103.4 11th in P12 66% 0 1 2.5
131st Morehead St. 106.6 103.2 3rd in OVC 64% 0 2 2.2
132nd Wake Forest 105.4 102.3 14th in ACC 52% 1 0 2.6
133rd Davidson 110.1 107.0 11th in A10 58% 0 0 2.2
134th San Diego 106.1 103.2 6th in WCC 86% 0 0 2.0
135th Western Michigan 106.5 103.6 4th in MAC 84% 0 0 2.1
136th Indiana St. 103.1 100.4 5th in MVC 45% 0 1 2.3
137th Mississippi St. 104.8 102.1 14th in SEC 74% 0 2 2.9
138th Duquesne 110.0 107.2 12th in A10 66% 0 1 2.2
139th Georgia Tech 101.8 99.4 15th in ACC 41% 3 0 2.6
140th Southern Illinois 105.0 102.5 6th in MVC 60% 0 1 2.3
141st Missouri St. 108.1 105.7 7th in MVC 63% 0 1 2.3
142nd Cal Poly 106.4 104.1 4th in BW 62% 0 0 2.0
143rd Kent St. 105.7 103.5 5th in MAC 68% 0 1 2.1
144th Denver 110.3 108.1 1st in Sum 76% 0 0 2.0
145th Stony Brook 105.9 104.0 1st in AE 41% 0 0 2.1
146th Hofstra 107.6 105.7 1st in CAA 43% 0 0 2.2
147th Coastal Carolina 103.7 102.0 1st in BSth 83% 0 0 2.0
148th Brown 101.6 100.0 5th in Ivy 76% 0 0 2.0
149th Holy Cross 103.9 102.4 2nd in Pat 84% 0 0 2.0
150th Boston University 104.8 103.3 3rd in Pat 37% 0 0 2.3

Dunk City (127th) is forecasted to return to the NCAA tournament after missing out in '13-14. With Mercer having moved to the Southern Conference, Florida Gulf Coast is a strong favorite in the Atlantic Sun title race; the league's second-best team, Lipscomb, doesn't appear until 219th in our rankings.

151-175
 
rank team proj.
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EFF.
proj. def.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
151st Army 108.6 107.1 4th in Pat 80% 0 0 2.1
152nd Valparaiso 104.3 102.9 3rd in Horz 42% 0 0 2.2
153rd Louisiana Lafayette 107.1 105.7 2nd in SB 50% 0 1 2.1
154th Santa Clara 106.7 105.5 7th in WCC 63% 0 0 2.1
155th Eastern Kentucky 109.6 108.3 4th in OVC 40% 0 1 2.0
156th Middle Tennessee 102.1 100.9 5th in CUSA 37% 0 2 2.2
157th High Point 111.3 110.1 2nd in BSth 77% 0 0 2.1
158th Quinnipiac 109.1 108.0 4th in MAAC 58% 0 1 2.1
159th Rutgers 105.8 104.7 14th in B10 52% 2 1 2.9
160th Buffalo 108.3 107.2 6th in MAC 51% 0 1 2.2
161st Charlotte 102.9 102.0 6th in CUSA 59% 2 0 2.4
162nd Vermont 105.2 104.3 2nd in AE 26% 0 0 2.1
163rd Rider 103.9 103.1 5th in MAAC 59% 0 0 2.1
164th Eastern Michigan 100.1 99.3 7th in MAC 43% 0 2 2.2
165th Sam Houston St. 105.6 104.9 2nd in Slnd 65% 0 0 2.0
166th Nevada 104.8 104.1 8th in MWC 46% 0 1 2.3
167th Milwaukee 104.8 104.3 4th in Horz 58% 0 0 2.0
168th UCF 108.8 108.3 8th in Amer 49% 0 1 2.5
169th Dartmouth 105.5 105.1 6th in Ivy 85% 0 0 2.0
170th East Carolina 110.7 110.3 9th in Amer 70% 0 1 2.3
171st Hawaii 108.3 107.9 5th in BW 49% 0 2 2.3
172nd Northeastern 104.0 103.8 2nd in CAA 71% 0 0 2.0
173rd Saint Joseph's 103.5 103.4 13th in A10 40% 0 0 2.7
174th Bucknell 101.2 101.1 5th in Pat 55% 0 0 2.1
175th Oral Roberts 108.4 108.4 2nd in Sum 63% 0 0 2.1

Our projections suggest that Louisiana Lafayette shouldn't be ignored in its first year after losing do-it-all guard Elfrid Payton to the NBA draft lottery. The Ragin' Cajuns (153rd) bring back a talented enough cast, led by forward Shawn Long, to remain near the top of the Sun Belt -- but there's a large gap between them and likely champion Georgia State.

176-200
 
rank team proj.
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proj. def.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
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rating
176th South Dakota St. 105.0 104.9 3rd in Sum 42% 1 0 2.1
177th Miami OH 102.2 102.2 8th in MAC 59% 0 1 2.1
178th Southern Miss 103.0 103.2 7th in CUSA 26% 0 1 2.0
179th Detroit 105.3 105.5 5th in Horz 69% 1 0 2.3
180th IPFW 107.8 108.2 4th in Sum 59% 0 1 2.0
181st Lehigh 102.7 103.2 6th in Pat 75% 0 0 2.0
182nd DePaul 107.9 108.5 10th in BE 50% 1 4 2.8
183rd Northern Arizona 103.4 104.0 1st in BSky 84% 0 1 2.1
184th North Dakota St. 102.8 103.4 5th in Sum 42% 0 0 2.0
185th Bowling Green 97.3 97.9 9th in MAC 81% 0 1 2.0
186th Cal St. Northridge 107.8 108.4 6th in BW 68% 0 0 2.3
187th Drexel 101.9 102.6 3rd in CAA 41% 0 0 2.1
188th Cal St. Fullerton 104.8 105.5 7th in BW 54% 0 0 2.1
189th William & Mary 110.0 110.7 4th in CAA 56% 0 0 2.1
190th Lafayette 111.5 112.5 7th in Pat 99% 0 0 2.0
191st Mercer 104.4 105.5 2nd in SC 29% 0 1 2.0
192nd Charleston Southern 107.0 108.2 3rd in BSth 52% 0 0 2.0
193rd College of Charleston 99.9 101.2 5th in CAA 56% 1 0 2.2
194th Northwestern St. 106.3 107.9 3rd in Slnd 54% 0 0 2.0
195th Arkansas Little Rock 103.6 105.3 3rd in SB 76% 0 0 2.0
196th Nebraska Omaha 104.3 106.0 6th in Sum 47% 0 0 2.0
197th Wright St. 98.0 99.6 6th in Horz 41% 0 1 2.1
198th Hartford 104.0 106.0 3rd in AE 80% 0 0 2.0
199th Pepperdine 105.5 107.5 8th in WCC 55% 0 0 2.1
200th Radford 108.4 110.6 4th in BSth 95% 0 0 2.0

The outlook for DePaul (182nd) hasn't improved after finishing 3-15 in the Big East in '13-14. The Blue Demons are forecasted to finish 10th in the league once again, which would make coach Oliver Purnell 5-for-5 in last-place finishes over the past five years.

201-225
 
rank team proj.
off.
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proj. def.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
201st Oakland 109.1 111.3 7th in Horz 55% 0 0 2.2
202nd Albany 104.3 106.5 4th in AE 40% 0 1 2.1
203rd Seattle 101.5 103.7 2nd in WAC 74% 0 0 2.2
204th Robert Morris 101.3 103.5 1st in NEC 57% 0 0 2.1
205th Northern Illinois 97.0 99.1 10th in MAC 74% 0 0 2.2
206th Gardner Webb 102.2 104.5 5th in BSth 48% 0 0 2.0
207th Fairfield 99.1 101.3 6th in MAAC 77% 1 0 2.0
208th Loyola Marymount 103.2 105.7 9th in WCC 32% 0 0 2.2
209th Drake 104.5 107.0 8th in MVC 57% 0 0 2.2
210th Air Force 101.6 104.1 9th in MWC 73% 0 0 2.1
211th East Tennessee St. 105.2 107.9 3rd in SC 67% 0 0 2.1
212th South Dakota 104.3 107.0 7th in Sum 72% 0 1 2.0
213th Winthrop 105.2 108.1 6th in BSth 55% 0 0 2.0
214th Bradley 102.4 105.3 9th in MVC 49% 1 1 2.4
215th Monmouth 100.9 103.8 7th in MAAC 82% 0 0 2.2
216th Cal St. Bakersfield 102.3 105.4 3rd in WAC 38% 0 0 2.1
217th Weber St. 103.1 106.2 2nd in BSky 50% 0 0 2.2
218th Eastern Washington 106.7 110.0 3rd in BSky 84% 0 0 2.0
219th Lipscomb 104.7 107.9 2nd in ASun 81% 0 0 2.0
220th Loyola Chicago 104.3 107.6 10th in MVC 75% 0 0 2.0
221st Youngstown St. 105.5 108.9 8th in Horz 46% 0 0 2.2
222nd St. Francis NY 99.7 103.1 2nd in NEC 51% 0 0 2.0
223rd Portland St. 107.5 111.2 4th in BSky 50% 0 1 2.1
224th Central Michigan 111.4 115.2 11th in MAC 93% 0 0 2.0
225th Saint Peter's 99.4 102.9 8th in MAAC 82% 0 1 2.0

Just how weak is the WAC projected to be this season? The gap between the likely champ, New Mexico State, and our projected second- and third-place finishers, Seattle (203rd) and Cal-State Bakersfield (216th), is more than 100 spots in the rankings.

226-250
 
rank team proj.
off.
EFF.
proj. def.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
226th USC Upstate 101.6 105.3 3rd in ASun 54% 0 0 2.0
227th UC Davis 107.0 110.9 8th in BW 68% 0 0 2.3
228th Alabama St. 102.8 106.6 1st in SWAC 98% 0 0 2.0
229th Utah St. 103.0 106.9 10th in MWC 13% 0 0 2.0
230th SE Missouri St. 106.9 111.0 5th in OVC 65% 0 2 2.2
231st Incarnate Word 103.6 107.5 4th in Slnd 68% 0 0 2.0
232nd UAB 100.6 104.5 8th in CUSA 28% 1 1 2.3
233rd Tulane 104.8 108.9 10th in Amer 86% 0 0 2.1
234th Marshall 102.0 106.0 9th in CUSA 63% 0 2 2.2
235th Mount St. Mary's 104.5 108.7 3rd in NEC 49% 0 0 2.1
236th Pacific 101.6 105.8 10th in WCC 16% 0 0 2.1
237th UT Arlington 102.7 106.9 4th in SB 44% 0 0 2.2
238th Towson 105.3 109.8 6th in CAA 35% 0 0 2.2
239th Colgate 105.4 110.0 8th in Pat 71% 0 0 2.0
240th Penn 100.4 104.8 7th in Ivy 38% 0 0 2.2
241st Idaho 106.8 111.6 5th in BSky 61% 0 0 2.0
242nd Florida Atlantic 101.4 106.1 10th in CUSA 77% 0 0 2.2
243rd UNC Wilmington 100.5 105.3 7th in CAA 52% 0 1 2.1
244th Hampton 96.7 101.5 2nd in MEAC 76% 0 0 2.0
245th Grand Canyon 104.5 109.7 4th in WAC 37% 0 1 2.3
246th Sacramento St. 105.9 111.2 6th in BSky 86% 0 0 2.1
247th Navy 99.5 104.5 9th in Pat 90% 0 0 2.0
248th San Jose St. 98.5 103.5 11th in MWC 73% 0 0 2.2
249th South Florida 100.8 105.9 11th in Amer 29% 0 2 2.6
250th Central Connecticut 103.6 108.9 4th in NEC 87% 0 0 2.0

The SWAC's Alabama State (228th) is the lowest-ranked of our projected conference champions. The Hornets bring back 98 percent of their minutes from a 19-13 team last season, and are well-positioned to make their third NCAA tournament trip under coach Lewis Jackson.

251-275
 
rank team proj.
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conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
251st Montana 105.7 111.1 7th in BSky 59% 0 0 2.1
252nd Austin Peay 103.4 108.7 6th in OVC 56% 0 0 2.0
253rd Fordham 103.8 109.2 14th in A10 62% 0 0 2.2
254th James Madison 100.4 105.8 8th in CAA 57% 0 0 2.0
255th Elon 104.3 110.1 9th in CAA 44% 0 0 2.1
256th Arkansas St. 99.6 105.1 5th in SB 18% 0 1 2.1
257th Oregon St. 102.0 107.9 12th in P12 31% 0 1 2.6
258th NJIT 101.5 107.5 Ind. 88% 0 0 2.0
259th UNC Asheville 104.3 110.5 7th in BSth 70% 0 0 2.0
260th Eastern Illinois 102.6 108.9 7th in OVC 66% 0 0 2.1
261st Northern Colorado 105.7 112.3 8th in BSky 60% 0 1 2.1
262nd Georgia Southern 100.5 106.8 6th in SB 49% 0 0 2.1
263rd Delaware 102.8 109.3 10th in CAA 39% 0 0 2.0
264th Bryant 102.8 109.3 5th in NEC 60% 0 0 2.0
265th Texas A&M CC 103.6 110.2 5th in Slnd 56% 0 0 2.0
266th North Florida 104.0 110.7 4th in ASun 73% 0 0 2.1
267th Utah Valley 102.3 108.9 5th in WAC 51% 0 0 2.1
268th Jacksonville St. 101.6 108.6 8th in OVC 63% 0 0 2.0
269th UTSA 103.7 110.9 11th in CUSA 41% 0 0 2.1
270th Western Illinois 95.7 102.3 8th in Sum 62% 0 1 2.0
271st Canisius 101.8 108.9 9th in MAAC 32% 0 0 2.0
272nd Tennessee Tech 101.8 109.0 9th in OVC 52% 0 2 2.2
273rd Texas St. 97.3 104.2 7th in SB 41% 0 0 2.0
274th Northern Kentucky 105.7 113.3 5th in ASun 93% 0 0 2.0
275th St. Francis PA 98.7 105.9 6th in NEC 97% 0 0 2.0

Oregon State (257th) projects to be the worst major-conference team in the country. The Beavers, which will be playing under first-year coach Wayne Tinkle, only bring back 31 percent of their minutes from last season, and lack a single player who ranked in the top 100 of the RSCI out of high school.

276-300
 
rank team proj.
off.
EFF.
proj. def.
EFF.
conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
276th Southern 97.2 104.4 2nd in SWAC 40% 0 0 2.0
277th Montana St. 99.2 106.6 9th in BSky 53% 0 0 2.0
278th UC Riverside 96.1 103.5 9th in BW 63% 0 1 2.0
279th Illinois Chicago 99.1 106.9 9th in Horz 47% 0 0 2.1
280th Chattanooga 101.5 109.5 4th in SC 67% 0 0 2.0
281st North Dakota 100.4 108.4 10th in BSky 42% 0 1 2.1
282nd UNC Greensboro 100.1 108.2 5th in SC 60% 0 0 2.0
283rd Texas Southern 103.2 111.8 3rd in SWAC 31% 0 1 2.1
284th Delaware St. 103.1 111.8 3rd in MEAC 63% 0 0 2.0
285th North Texas 96.5 104.7 12th in CUSA 48% 1 1 2.1
286th Rice 97.7 106.0 13th in CUSA 53% 0 0 2.1
287th SIU Edwardsville 101.8 110.5 10th in OVC 68% 0 0 2.0
288th FIU 99.2 107.9 14th in CUSA 46% 0 0 2.2
289th Tennessee Martin 106.4 115.9 11th in OVC 48% 1 1 2.2
290th Troy 99.7 108.5 8th in SB 20% 0 2 2.0
291st Wagner 95.9 104.5 7th in NEC 25% 0 0 2.2
292nd Coppin St. 101.6 110.8 4th in MEAC 69% 0 0 2.0
293rd VMI 103.8 113.5 6th in SC 65% 0 0 2.0
294th Texas Pan American 95.4 104.4 6th in WAC 32% 0 0 2.1
295th South Alabama 99.6 109.1 9th in SB 42% 0 0 2.0
296th UMKC 97.4 106.8 7th in WAC 36% 0 0 2.0
297th Western Carolina 99.0 108.6 7th in SC 45% 0 0 2.0
298th Marist 96.6 106.0 10th in MAAC 63% 0 0 2.0
299th SE Louisiana 100.4 110.2 6th in Slnd 50% 0 0 2.0
300th Binghamton 97.8 107.9 5th in AE 75% 0 0 2.1

FIU (288th), which had its beach-themed court damaged by a CrossFit-like competition during the offseason, could have a bummer of a '14-15 as well: It's projected to finish dead last in Conference USA, although North Texas (285th) and Rice (286th) should make it a decent competition for the cellar.

301-325
 
rank team proj.
off.
EFF.
proj. def.
EFF.
conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
301st Cornell 103.2 114.1 8th in Ivy 56% 0 0 2.0
302nd Kennesaw St. 98.3 108.8 6th in ASun 80% 0 1 2.3
303rd Louisiana Monroe 98.5 109.4 10th in SB 57% 0 1 2.0
304th New Hampshire 95.0 105.6 6th in AE 59% 0 0 2.0
305th Appalachian St. 97.1 108.2 11th in SB 67% 0 0 2.1
306th Howard 92.9 103.5 5th in MEAC 99% 0 0 2.0
307th Sacred Heart 97.4 108.8 8th in NEC 66% 0 0 2.0
308th McNeese St. 99.0 110.6 7th in Slnd 65% 0 0 2.0
309th Nicholls St. 98.2 109.8 8th in Slnd 59% 0 0 2.0
310th Liberty 99.0 110.9 8th in BSth 38% 1 0 2.1
311th Loyola MD 95.7 107.3 10th in Pat 73% 0 0 2.0
312th Idaho St. 98.9 110.9 11th in BSky 47% 0 0 2.0
313th Ball St. 97.1 109.2 12th in MAC 33% 0 0 2.2
314th Bethune Cookman 99.8 113.1 6th in MEAC 73% 0 0 2.0
315th Arkansas Pine Bluff 92.9 105.3 4th in SWAC 71% 0 0 2.0
316th Niagara 96.0 109.1 11th in MAAC 40% 0 0 2.0
317th Savannah St. 88.2 100.8 7th in MEAC 43% 0 0 2.0
318th Alcorn St. 93.9 108.1 5th in SWAC 48% 0 0 2.1
319th IUPUI 97.5 112.3 9th in Sum 47% 0 0 2.0
320th Abilene Christian 100.4 115.7 9th in Slnd 70% 0 0 2.0
321st Maine 99.4 114.6 7th in AE 72% 0 0 2.0
322nd UMass Lowell 94.8 109.4 8th in AE 66% 0 0 2.1
323rd South Carolina St. 96.3 111.2 8th in MEAC 53% 0 0 2.0
324th Presbyterian 100.0 115.5 9th in BSth 89% 0 0 2.0
325th Jackson St. 92.5 107.2 6th in SWAC 59% 0 0 2.1

Cornell (301st) has had a rough four seasons since making the Sweet 16 under Steve Donahue in 2010. The coach who followed him, Bill Courtney, has yet to crack .500, and his team projects to finish in the Ivy League basement for the second straight year.

326-351
 
rank team proj.
off.
EFF.
proj. def.
EFF.
conf. rank ret. min% top 100 juco top 100 avg.
star
rating
326th Longwood 97.6 113.2 10th in BSth 36% 0 0 2.1
327th Campbell 100.2 116.2 11th in BSth 63% 0 0 2.2
328th Fairleigh Dickinson 97.0 112.6 9th in NEC 48% 0 0 2.0
329th Lamar 95.5 110.8 10th in Slnd 41% 0 0 2.0
330th LIU Brooklyn 99.6 115.7 10th in NEC 45% 0 0 2.0
331st Chicago St. 95.4 111.1 8th in WAC 33% 0 0 2.0
332nd Furman 97.8 113.9 8th in SC 71% 0 0 2.0
333rd The Citadel 101.2 118.0 9th in SC 76% 0 0 2.0
334th Houston Baptist 95.2 111.3 11th in Slnd 58% 0 0 2.1
335th Prairie View A&M 93.5 109.7 7th in SWAC 55% 0 1 2.0
336th Jacksonville 99.8 117.4 7th in ASun 21% 0 0 2.1
337th Southern Utah 94.2 111.0 12th in BSky 75% 0 0 2.0
338th North Carolina A&T 92.2 109.2 9th in MEAC 45% 0 0 2.0
339th Norfolk St. 92.9 110.3 10th in MEAC 22% 0 0 2.0
340th Morgan St. 92.1 109.4 11th in MEAC 43% 0 0 2.0
341st Samford 97.3 115.8 10th in SC 25% 0 0 2.1
342nd New Orleans 93.6 111.5 12th in Slnd 42% 0 0 2.0
343rd UMBC 93.1 111.1 9th in AE 57% 0 0 2.0
344th Mississippi Valley St. 96.4 115.4 8th in SWAC 43% 0 0 2.0
345th Alabama A&M 91.2 109.7 9th in SWAC 31% 0 0 2.0
346th Tennessee St. 94.0 113.1 12th in OVC 11% 0 0 2.0
347th Stetson 92.4 111.8 8th in ASun 44% 0 0 2.0
348th MD Eastern Shore 95.0 118.9 12th in MEAC 36% 0 0 2.0
349th Florida A&M 89.6 112.3 13th in MEAC 0% 0 0 2.0
350th Central Arkansas 91.5 115.3 13th in Slnd 8% 0 0 2.0
351st Grambling St. 94.3 119.7 10th in SWAC 59% 0 0 2.0

Grambling State finished last in the nation in margin of victory in '11-12 and '12-13, and second-to-last in '13-14. The Tigers had the nation's least efficient defense last season, and their best offensive player transferred away. The model, not surprisingly, projects them to be the worst team in Division I.

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