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FILLING THE BRACKETS

Nov. 22, 2010
Nov. 22, 2010

Table of Contents
Nov. 22, 2010

LEADING OFF
Editor-in-Chief's Letter
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW 2010 -- 11
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Point After
Departments

FILLING THE BRACKETS

In addition to the top 20, SI predicts which teams will round out the field for the NCAA tournament, which now has four play-in games

This is an article from the Nov. 22, 2010 issue

TEAM / CONFERENCE / RETURNING STARTERS

21 GEORGETOWN / BIG EAST / 4 / The Baller-in-Chief would be well-served to catch the Hoyas' premium backcourt of Austin Freeman (16.5 ppg) and Chris Wright (15.2).

22 VIRGINIA TECH / ACC / 5 / Point guard Malcolm Delaney, an ACC player of the year candidate, heads a group that's hungry after three straight NCAA snubs.

23 TENNESSEE / SEC / 2 / If their season isn't derailed by the NCAA investigation, the Vols can win the SEC behind 6'7" Scotty Hopson and 6'8" freshman Tobias Harris.

24 WISCONSIN / BIG TEN / 3 / With a feared home court (136--11 since 2001--02) and big men Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil, the Badgers are a conference title threat.

25 TEXAS / BIG 12 / 1 / Last year's underachievers need better team chemistry. Adding McDonald's All-Americans Cory Joseph and forward Tristan Thompson will help.

26 N.C. STATE / ACC / 2 / A renowned recruiting class led by 6'8" C.J. Leslie is enough to get the 'Pack to the NCAAs for the first time in coach Sidney Lowe's five years.

27 SAN DIEGO STATE / MWC / 5 / Double-double threat Kawhi Leonard gives this Mountain West contender a chance to win the school's first NCAA tournament game.

28 OLD DOMINION / CAA / 4 / Rebounding (tied for third nationally) and D (57.5 ppg) will continue to define a team that has averaged 24 wins the last six years.

29 MEMPHIS / C-USA / 2 / Wunderkind coach Josh Pastner has remade the roster with a top recruiting class, but the dismissal of Jelan Kendrick hurts their chances.

30 WICHITA STATE / MVC / 4 / The Shockers have 7-footers Ehimen Orukpe and Garrett Stutz, as well as juco All-America Joe Ragland and defensive ace Toure' Murry.

31 FLORIDA STATE / ACC / 3 / Former Air Force staff sergeant Bernard James, 25, a 6'10" juco transfer, joins a tenacious defensive squad led by forward Chris Singleton.

32 MISSISSIPPI STATE / SEC / 2 / The Bulldogs will be tough once big man Renardo Sidney (nine-game suspension) and point guard Dee Bost (out 14 games) hit the court.

33 RICHMOND / A-10 / 3 / Kevin Anderson (17.8 ppg) and Justin Harper (10.6 ppg) anchor a squad going for back-to-back NCAA bids for the first time since 1990 and '91.

34 VANDERBILT / SEC / 3 / Rising 6'7" star Jeffery Taylor and deadeye John Jenkins (48.3% on three-pointers) give the 'Dores enough firepower to navigate a brutal SEC East.

35 MINNESOTA / BIG TEN / 4 / The Gophers have a nice blend of size (6'11" Ralph Sampson III, 6'10" Colton Iverson) and shooting (Blake Hoffarber, 46.7% on threes).

36 NEW MEXICO / MWC / 3 / Frontcourt transfers Drew Gordon (UCLA) and Emmanuel Negedu (Tennessee) team with guard Dairese Gary to make the Pit even tougher.

37 WEST VIRGINIA / BIG EAST / 2 / 6'8" Kevin Jones (13.5 ppg) and 6'2" Darryl Bryant (9.3 ppg) will try to bring coach Bob Huggins his 18th NCAA bid in 19 seasons.

38 GEORGIA / SEC / 4 / The end of the Dawgs' three-year run in the SEC East basement is near thanks to future NBA forward Trey Thompkins and superdunker Travis Leslie.

39 UNLV / MWC / 5 / Six of the Rebels' top seven scorers return, including 6'4" guard Tre'Von Willis (17.2 ppg), and they add Kansas transfer Quintrell Thomas up front.

40 MARQUETTE / BIG EAST / 2 / The undersized Golden Eagles are counting on 6'4" freshman Vander Blue and juco D-I POY Jae Crowder to extend their NCAA streak to six.

41 ARIZONA / PAC-10 / 4 / It's Year 2 for coach Sean Miller, and last season's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Derrick Williams (15.7 ppg) should have the Cats dancing again.

42 MARYLAND / ACC / 2 / Junior Sean Mosley and some freshmen will have to fill the backcourt void left by Greivis Vasquez, but coach Gary Williams always finds a way.

43 XAVIER / A-10 / 3 / One of only two teams to make three straight Sweet 16s, the X-men will rebuild with guards Tu Holloway and Dante Jackson and 6'8" Jamel McLean.

44 DAYTON / A-10 / 2 / Forwards Chris Wright (13.7 ppg) and Chris Johnson (11.9 ppg) return for the NIT champs, and 6-foot frosh Juwan Staten will be a star.

45 ARIZONA STATE / PAC-10 / 3 / Last year's Pac-10 runner-up will rely on three seniors and newcomers Keala King and Carrick Felix, a 6'6" juco who first committed to Duke.

46 MURRAY STATE / OVC / 3 / Eight players who averaged at least 10 minutes return to a team that tore through the Ohio Valley (17--1) and beat Vanderbilt in the NCAAs.

47 SETON HALL / BIG EAST / 4 / Herb Pope, who averaged a double double, and Jeremy Hazell (20.4 ppg) give first-year coach Ralph Willard a chance for early success.

48 NOTRE DAME / BIG EAST / 3 / The Irish start four seniors, including the emerging forward Tim Abromaitis, and add standout freshman playmaker Eric Atkins.

49 UCLA / PAC-10 / 3 / The climb back begins with guard Malcolm Lee, forward Tyler Honeycutt and a pair of freshmen, center Joshua Smith and guard Tyler Lamb.

50 UTAH STATE / WAC / 4 / The Aggies are favored to win the WAC again, but a soft schedule will keep them on the bubble if they don't win the conference tournament.

51 CREIGHTON / MVC / 4 / Ex--Iowa State coach Greg McDermott returns to the Valley with an experienced team that brings in 6'9" Rutgers transfer Gregory Echenique.

52 NORTHWESTERN / BIG TEN / 4 / With Michael Thompson (14.2 ppg), John Shurna (18.2) and Drew Crawford (10.0), the Wildcats should end their 71-year NCAA drought.

53 OHIO / MAC / 3 / With the 5'11" D.J. Cooper running the show and 6'5" Tommy Freeman burying threes, the Bobcats won't be the Mid-American's No. 9 seed again.

54 UCSB / BIG WEST / 4 / The Gauchos bring back conference POY Orlando Johnson (18.0 ppg) and forward James Nunnally (nine 20-point games last season).

55 WEBER STATE / BIG SKY / 2 / Guard Damian Lillard, the nation's top scorer among juniors (19.9 ppg), has led the Wildcats to two straight regular-season conference titles.

56 FAIRFIELD / MAAC / 4 / Coach Ed Cooley has upped the Stags' win total in each of his four seasons. This year he's aiming for the school's first NCAA berth since 1997.

57 WOFFORD / SOUTHERN / 4 / The reigning conference champs have five seniors, including 6'6" Noah Dahlman, who has scored in double figures in 48 straight games.

58 OAKLAND / SUMMIT / 3 / Senior big man Keith Benson (17.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg) is on NBA radars after he led the Golden Grizzlies to a 17--1 conference record.

59 NORTH TEXAS / SUN BELT / 4 / Double-double forward George Odufuwa gets help with the return of Dominique Johnson, a guard who lost last year to a broken ankle.

60 LIPSCOMB / ATLANTIC SUN / 5 / Adnan Hodzic, the nation's top returning scorer (22.7 ppg), can take the Bisons to their first NCAA appearance; they left the NAIA in '01.

61 HARVARD / IVY / 3 / Coach Tommy Amaker has the Crimson poised for its first tournament bid thanks to the potent frontcourt of Kyle Casey and Keith Wright.

62 MORGAN STATE / MEAC / 2 / The Bears have reached the last two NCAAs under coach Todd Bozeman. A third is possible behind bruising forward Kevin Thompson.

63 QUINNIPIAC / NORTHEAST / 3 / The Bobcats can look inside (6'7" Justin Rutty) or outside (point guard James Johnson) while pursuing the school's first NCAA berth.

64 TEXAS STATE / SOUTHLAND / 4 / Kentucky transfer A.J. Stewart adds athleticism to an up-tempo team led by Cameron Johnson (14.6 ppg) and Ryan White (10.6 ppg).

65 AMERICAN / PATRIOT / 5 / An experienced roster coming off a strong second half in 2009--10 welcomes transfers Troy Brewer (Georgia) and Charles Hinkle (Vanderbilt).

66 JACKSON STATE / SWAC / 4 / The Tigers have four starters 6'7" and over, including juco transfer Jenirro Bush, a 6'8", 190-pound guard who could be their best player.

67 MAINE / AMERICA EAST / 4 / A hockey school looking to make its NCAA hoops tourney debut, the defensive-minded Black Bears have nine of their top 10 scorers back.

68 COASTAL CAROLINA / BIG SOUTH / 2 / South Carolina transfers Mike Holmes and Chad Gray will help coach Cliff Ellis direct his fourth school to the tournament.

PHOTOLOU CAPOZZOLAWRIGHT OF WAY The playmaking half of a topflight senior backcourt will direct Georgetown to its fifth NCAA appearance in the last six seasons.