With college basketball games beginning on Nov. 13, we're rolling out our preview content daily. Fro the second year in a row, SI's Luke Winn has teamed up with economist Dan Hanner to use an advanced statistical model to project the top performing players, teams and conferences in college basketball. Check back on this page daily as we update it with our latest content.
The most accurate projections in college basketball are here. We ranked every team in college basketball, from No. 351 (Grambling State) to No. 1 (North Carolina).
Four seniors and a star freshman highlight the first team, while the second team features plenty of Player of the Year candidates as well.
"SI forecasts [Gonzaga senior wing Kyle] Wiltjer to lead the nation in scoring and be its top high-usage, high efficiency scorer, while playing for a top-10 team. That's a POY formula." Behind Wiltjer is a freshman, LSU's Ben Simmons, and then three tiers of contenders.
"Evansville's D.J. Balentine (No. 2) on the other hand, might be the best scoring guard you've yet to see on TV: He averaged 27.2 points in Evansville's five CIT games last postseason and has averaged 20-plus points for the past two seasons." Balentine is the No. 2 player on the list behind Gonzaga's Kyle Wiltjer but ahead of a slew of major-conference guards including Ole Miss's Stefan Moody and Oklahoma's Buddy Hield.
"This could be the most international-dominated freshman class in college hoops history. Aussie import Ben Simmons (No. 1) projects as the top scorer, due to his all-around talents as a point forward and LSU's need for a new go-to guy in the wake of Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey leaving for the NBA." Other imports and top projected scorers include Kansas's Cheick Diallo, Oregon's Tyer Dorsey and UCLA's Jonah Bolden.
"Allen struggled to earn playing time on a loaded national championship team. But the former Top 25 recruit is an outstanding shooter, and the flashes of brilliance he showed in the title game were a sign of what's to come." Behind the former national title game hero are a Notre Dame forward and an Arizona point guard.
Eli Carter (No. 1) began his college career at Rutgers, then played his last two seasons at Florida before electing to join Boston College as a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility. Behind Carter but still in the top 10 are two transfers eligible to play immediately for Louisville.
Will SMU be able to remain motivated despite its postseason ban? Can a team like UConn, which missed the NCAA tournament last year, take the title away from the favorites?
Much of the preseason coverage is focused on the renewal of the Tobacco Road Rivalry between Duke and North Carolina, but don't count out Virginia, the defending regular season champ.
by Jeremy Woo
Dan Hurley's Rhode Island Rams have been headed in the right direction for three seasons and now seem poised to capture the conference crown. Having ultra-talented guard E.C. Matthews doesn't hurt either.
. Big East
Georgetown (D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera) and Providence (Kris Dunn) may have player of the year candidates, but this conference still looks like it belongs to Villanova.
. Big Ten
Now in its second season in the Big Ten, Maryland is the conference favorite and could compete for a national title as well. Wisconsin, last year's national runner-up, could be in a rebuilding year.
. Big 12
Oklahoma and Iowa State are the main roadblocks in Kansas's path for 12 straight Big 12 championships.
UNLV seems like the most talented team in the conference again, but can it compete with San Diego State and Boise State to win the league?
Cal brought in the best freshman class in the conference, but it'll have to coalesce quickly to take down conference giant Arizona.
Which team will emerge this season to take on Kentucky? Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and LSU are all on the rise and seemingly read for the challenge.
Which are the best teams and who are the best players outside the big nine conferences?