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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Kevin Sweeney

SI’s Preseason Men’s College Basketball Top 25 … and More

The calendar has officially flipped to November, which means we're less than a week away from the start of a new college basketball season. With that comes the return of Sports Illustrated’s annual ranking of all 362 teams in men’s Division I college hoops.

It’s a massive undertaking that each year produces some prescient takes as well as some ugly ones. Take last season’s rankings, which pegged eventual national runner-up San Diego State as having “legitimate Final Four aspirations” but also tabbed fellow Final Four participant Florida Atlantic outside the preseason top 100 and ranked a North Carolina team that missed the Big Dance at No. 1.

Ranking every team in the age of mass roster turnover all offseason (and even some instability still, just days from opening night) is a massive challenge, and there are sure to be plenty of misses along the way. But weighing everything from returning production to high-profile newcomers to coaching moves and using a combination of advanced analytics, the eye test and conversations with countless coaches from around the country, this is the best possible snapshot of preseason expectations across the men's college basketball landscape.

Below are the results, plus insights and information on SI’s preseason top 25 and dozens of other notable teams, all the way down to No. 362.

Top teams in the 2023–24 men’s college basketball season include North Carolina, Purdue, Creighton, Duke, Michigan State and Marquette.

Photo Illustration by Bryce Wood; Grant Halverson/Getty Images (Bacot); Michael Reaves/Getty Images (Edey); Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportwire/Getty Images; Andy Lyons/Getty Images (Proctor); Dylan Buell/Getty Images (Walker); Patrick McDermott/Getty Images (Kolek)

SI's Preseason Men's College Basketball Top 25

1. Kansas (1st in Big 12)

The Jayhawks reeled in the biggest prize of the transfer portal in Hunter Dickinson and return three starters from last season’s Big 12 champs. Bill Self’s offense tends to find a different gear with an elite center to throw the ball to, and he’ll have that this season in Dickinson.   

2. Duke (1st in ACC)

Jon Scheyer gets rare roster continuity at Duke, headlined by the return of sophomores Tyrese Proctor and Kyle Filipowski. Filipowski profiles as among the nation’s most productive players, while Proctor could be in for a huge breakout after a solid freshman campaign.

3. Purdue (1st in Big Ten)

National Player of the Year Zach Edey is back for his senior season with revenge on his mind after Purdue’s shocking NCAA tournament exit against Fairleigh Dickinson last season. To avoid history repeating itself, guards Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer must take a step forward, and freshman wing Myles Colvin needs to contribute right away.

4. Tennessee (1st in SEC)

The Volunteers should be a menace on the defensive end because of their experience, athleticism and positional size. Scoring consistently is the primary question mark, though excitement is high about Northern Colorado transfer sharpshooter Dalton Knecht’s potential impact next to Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Véscovi. 

5. Michigan State (2nd in Big Ten)

Is this Tom Izzo’s best chance at one more national championship? The Spartans are old and talented in the backcourt, headlined by senior PG A.J. Hoggard and fifth-year SG Tyson Walker. Plus, a top-five recruiting class bolsters this group’s athleticism and talent level.

6. UConn (1st in Big East)

It’s a new-look Huskies team after cutting down the nets in April, but the talent is still abundant. Expect a monster season from sophomore big man Donovan Clingan as he steps out of the shadow of Final Four Most Outstanding Player Adama Sanogo. 

7. Marquette (2nd in Big East)

UConn’s title run has made many forget that Marquette won both the Big East regular season and tournament in 2022–23. The team also brings back four of five starters, including star PG Tyler Kolek and elite passing big Oso Ighodaro. This offense’s ball movement makes the Golden Eagles incredibly hard to guard. 

8. Houston (2nd in Big 12)

There might not be five coaches worth trusting more than Kelvin Sampson right now. That’s why losing Marcus Sasser and Jarace Walker doesn’t mean a huge step back, even in Year 1 of Houston's move to the Big 12. PG Jamal Shead is one of the nation’s best. 

9. Arizona (1st in Pac-12)

Tommy Lloyd has stacked wins since taking over at Arizona but is still looking for a March breakthrough. Could this season’s group deliver it? Volatile North Carolina transfer Caleb Love may answer that question. He’s among the nation’s top scorers when at his best. 

10. Kentucky (2nd in SEC):

Can a vaunted recruiting class elevate Kentucky back into the national title picture? The Wildcats’ offense looked improved with more ballhandling and shooting this summer. Winning with a roster this young is challenging in today’s college basketball, but talent won’t be an issue here. 

11. Creighton (3rd in Big East)

The Bluejays lost some key pieces from last season’s Elite Eight run but shouldn’t take too much of a step back. Big man Ryan Kalkbrenner is among the nation’s most impactful players, and the backcourt duo of Trey Alexander and Steven Ashworth will be tough to stop in the Big East. 

12. USC (2nd in Pac-12)

Few teams will be able to match the Trojans’ backcourt duo of Boogie Ellis and elite freshman Isaiah Collier. Add in impressive length up front, and you’ve got a group that profiles as a surefire Pac-12 contender. 

13. Villanova (4th in Big East)

This roster has the makings for a major bounce-back year after the Wildcats missed the NCAA tournament in Kyle Neptune’s first season. A healthy Justin Moore and a stacked transfer class mean expectations should be very high.

14. Gonzaga (1st in WCC)

The Drew Timme era in Spokane is over, but the Bulldogs aren’t going anywhere. Creighton transfer Ryan Nembhard should solidify the point guard spot, and former Wyoming big Graham Ike can be relied upon as a focal point down low for Mark Few. 

15. UCLA (3rd in Pac-12)

Mick Cronin has gone all in on international recruiting, signing several high-profile prospects with NBA upside. It may take time for this group to jell, but the Bruins have immense potential if he can get everyone to buy in. 

16. Texas A&M (3rd in SEC)

The Aggies were outstanding in the second half of last season, running up a 15–3 record in the SEC. Now, Buzz Williams’s team brings back four starters, including star guard Wade Taylor. This group has second-weekend upside. 

17. Florida Atlantic (1st in American)

After a Cinderella run to the Final Four in 2023, the Owls won’t catch anyone by surprise this season. But with all five starters returning, FAU believes it can contend for a national title in its first season in the AAC.

18. Arkansas (4th in SEC)

As per usual, Eric Musselman is bringing in a monster portal class. A guard-heavy incoming group should complement Arkansas’s talented returning forward Trevon Brazile, who was earning looks from NBA scouts before a season-ending injury in November 2022. 

19. Baylor (3rd in Big 12)

This is a new-look group, especially in the backcourt. But a pair of highly touted transfers and elite freshman Ja’Kobe Walter should thrive in Scott Drew’s free-flowing offensive system. Improvement on defense will be critical for the Bears’ league title hopes.

20. Miami (2nd in ACC)

Will the Hurricanes’ recent renaissance continue? Replacing Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller won’t be easy, but Jim Larrañaga’s team is deep in the backcourt and brings back a huge piece up front in Norchad Omier. 

21. North Carolina (3rd in ACC)

A pivotal year looms for Hubert Davis after last season’s debacle. The returns of Armando Bacot and R.J. Davis are a good place to start, but Davis’s bets on the retooled group around them will determine whether the Heels can bounce back in 2023–24. 

22. San Diego State (1st in Mountain West)

Replicating last season’s trip to the national title game would be a lot to ask, but this is one of the nation’s most consistent programs. Plus, the Aztecs get back Final Four hero Lamont Butler Jr., as well as PG Darrion Trammell and big man Jaedon LeDee. 

23. St. John’s (5th in Big East)

Rick Pitino has brought in 12 newcomers in his return to the highest levels of college basketball. Meshing all the pieces together at St. John’s will be a challenge, but there’s a new energy in Queens with one of the greatest coaches in the sport’s history in tow. 

24. Virginia (4th in ACC)

Tony Bennett’s team faded late last season, but Virginia brings back PG Reece Beekman and has upgraded its talent in recent recruiting cycles. Look out for breakout campaigns from Isaac McKneely and Ryan Dunn.

25. Illinois (3rd in Big Ten)

The Illini bring back a potential All-American on the wing in Terrence Shannon Jr. and have, on paper, put better role players around him, like SIU transfer Marcus Domask. Find stability at the point guard spot, and this team will be dangerous.

The Wildcats aren't lacking in talent entering the 2023–24 season, especially with young players like Edwards joining the program.

Jordan Prather/USA TODAY Sports

26. Texas (4th in Big 12)
27. Saint Mary’s (2nd in WCC)
28. Maryland (4th in Big Ten)
29. Memphis (2nd in American)
30. Florida (5th in SEC)
31. Wisconsin (5th in Big Ten)
32. Alabama (6th in SEC)
33. Auburn (7th in SEC)
34. Boise State (2nd in Mountain West)
35. Providence (6th in Big East)
36. Texas Tech (5th in Big 12)
37. Colorado (4th in Pac-12)
38. Ohio State (6th in Big Ten)
39. TCU (6th in Big 12)
40. Mississippi State (8th in SEC)
41. Indiana (7th in Big Ten)
42. Iowa State (7th in Big 12)
43. Ole Miss (9th in SEC)
44. Kansas State (8th in Big 12)
45. Northwestern (8th in Big Ten)
46. Clemson (5th in ACC)
47. Oklahoma (9th in Big 12)
48. Cincinnati (10th in Big 12)
49. New Mexico (3rd in Mountain West)
50. Rutgers (9th in Big Ten)

Texas (No. 26) had a whirlwind offseason after Rodney Terry was hired as full-time coach but stuck the landing thanks to talented transfer adds like Max Abmas (Oral Roberts) and the return of former five-star Dillon Mitchell. Meanwhile, Memphis (No. 29) is still in flux just days before the season as star big Deandre Williams seeks an extra year of eligibility and elite recruit Mikey Williams remains away from the team due to felony gun charges.

Florida (No. 30), Alabama (No. 32) and Auburn (No. 33) are tough to separate in the SEC. All made big offseason adds, with Florida’s Walter Clayton Jr. and Alabama’s Grant Nelson among the mid-major stars who’ll make a big impact on the conference this season. Providence (No. 35) athletic director Steve Napolillo credited an SI article for first introducing him to new coach Kim English, a rising star he hired to replace longtime head coach Ed Cooley. The Friars return a pair of all-league players in Bryce Hopkins and Devin Carter to help smooth over the transition.

It’s a big year for Chris Holtmann at Ohio State (No. 38) after a 19-loss campaign a season ago. Sophomore PG Bruce Thornton gives the Buckeyes a good chance to bounce back in 2023–24. Indiana (No. 41) rebuilt its roster this spring with a pair of NBA prospects in Oregon transfer Kel’el Ware and five-star freshman Mackenzie Mgbako. And one more in the Big Ten to watch is Northwestern (No. 45), which looks for consecutive NCAA tournament bids under coach Chris Collins after a surprising ’22–23 season. Wildcats floor general Boo Buie is among the nation’s best. 

51. Oregon (5th in Pac-12)
52. Oklahoma State (11th in Big 12)
53. Michigan (10th in Big Ten)
54. Missouri (10th in SEC)
55. Syracuse (6th in ACC)
56. Xavier (7th in Big East)
57. Iowa (11th in Big Ten)
58. Dayton (1st in Atlantic 10)
59. Colorado State (4th in Mountain West)
60. Washington (6th in Pac-12)
61. Virginia Tech (7th in ACC)
62. Vanderbilt (11th in SEC)
63. Stanford (7th in Pac-12)
64. St. Bonaventure (2nd in Atlantic 10)
65. Seton Hall (8th in Big East)
66. Yale (1st in Ivy League)
67. UNLV (5th in Mountain West)
68. NC State (8th in ACC)
69. West Virginia (12th in Big 12)
70. VCU (3rd in Atlantic 10)
71. Nevada (6th in Mountain West)
72. LSU (12th in SEC)
73. Wake Forest (9th in ACC)
74. Georgia Tech (10th in ACC)
75. Cal (8th in Pac-12)

Rams guard Stevens is a mid-major star to know entering the season.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

The offseason was bumpy for Michigan (No. 53), losing Hunter Dickinson to the portal; losing Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard to the NBA; and seeing Caleb Love decommit after admissions concerns. A solid core is still intact though, especially after adding Tennessee transfer Olivier Nkamhoua up front.

Two mid-major stars to know: DaRon Holmes at Dayton (No. 58) and Isaiah Stevens at Colorado State (No. 59). Holmes is among the best bigs in the country and a big reason the Flyers are A-10 favorites, while Stevens gives the Rams a fighting chance in the Mountain West with an improved core around him.

A pivotal year looms for Stanford (No. 63), which has given Jerod Haase a long leash despite missing the NCAA tournament in his first seven seasons. Can grad transfer PG Jared Bynum help lead a breakthrough? After a bizarre offseason that included the late dismissal of Bob Huggins, West Virginia (No. 69) has held together a competitive roster led by Syracuse transfer Jesse Edwards. Talented wing transfer RaeQuan Battle’s waiver for immediate eligibility being denied was a huge blow, though. Wake Forest (No. 73) has become a haven for transfer guards. Steve Forbes’s latest reclamation project is Hunter Sallis, a former five-star who started his career at Gonzaga. 

76. Drake (1st in Missouri Valley)
77. Duquesne (4th in Atlantic 10)
78. James Madison (1st in Sun Belt)
79. Utah (9th in Pac-12)
80. Georgia (13th in SEC)
81. Boston College (11th in ACC)
82. Grand Canyon (1st in WAC)
83. UAB (3rd in American)
84. College of Charleston (1st in CAA)
85. Penn State (12th in Big Ten)
86. Pittsburgh (12th in ACC)
87. BYU (13th in Big 12)
88. Washington State (10th in Pac-12)
89. SMU (4th in American)
90. Loyola Marymount (3rd in WCC)
91. Stephen F. Austin (2nd in WAC)
92. Santa Clara (4th in WCC)
93. Furman (1st in Southern)
94. Butler (9th in Big East)
95. Liberty (1st in C-USA)
96. UC Santa Barbara (1st in Big West)
97. UCF (14th in Big 12)
98. Loyola Chicago (5th in Atlantic 10)
99. Utah State (7th in Mountain West)
100. San Francisco (5th in WCC)

Clark is one of two star guards for Duquesne.

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Duquesne (No. 77) hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1997. That streak could end this season if the Dukes can win a wide-open A-10, and star guards Dae Dae Grant and Jimmy Clark III should have them in the mix. Another traditionally moribund program in Boston College (No. 81) also appears to be on somewhat of an upward trajectory. While a trip to the NCAA tournament would be a surprise, Earl Grant’s team could crack .500 for just the second time in the last 12 seasons, thanks to outstanding big man Quentin Post.

Penn State (No. 85) has undergone quite the stylistic shift from Micah Shrewsberry’s free-flowing offense to Mike Rhoades’s physical pressure defense. Point guard Ace Baldwin gives the Nittany Lions a chance to compete in what otherwise looks like a rebuilding season. Pittsburgh (No. 86) just needs stable PG play from a pair of freshmen to complement what should be a strong team around them.

No coach has found more sleepers lately than Herb Sendek at Santa Clara (No. 92), which has produced consecutive top-20 draft picks in Jalen Williams and Brandin Podziemski. A transfer-heavy incoming group could have another diamond in the rough in it. Meanwhile, Furman (No. 93) looks to build on an NCAA tournament win last season but will do so without stars Jalen Slawson and Mike Bothwell, who graduated and turned pro. 

101. North Texas (5th in American)
102. Kent State (1st in MAC)
103. Princeton (2nd in Ivy)
104. Florida State (13th in ACC)
105. Colgate (1st in Patriot)
106. St. Joe’s (6th in Atlantic 10)
107. Arizona State (11th in Pac-12)
108. Akron (2nd in MAC)
109. Tulane (6th in American)
110. Eastern Kentucky (1st in Atlantic Sun)
111. Northern Iowa (2nd in Missouri Valley)
112. Hawai‘i (2nd in Big West)
113. Vermont (1st in America East)
114. Long Beach State (3rd in Big West)
115. Nebraska (13th in Big Ten)
116. Saint Louis (7th in Atlantic 10)
117. South Florida (7th in American)
118. Bradley (3rd in Missouri Valley)
119. UC Irvine (4th in Big West)
120. UNC Wilmington (2nd in CAA)
121. UNC Asheville (1st in Big South)
122. Fordham (8th in Atlantic 10)
123. UNC Greensboro (2nd in Southern)
124. Georgetown (10th in Big East)
125. Toledo (3rd in MAC)

Colgate will continue to be a dangerous mid-major thanks to Langel’s offense.

Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser/USA TODAY Network

Princeton (No. 103) lost its top two scorers from last season’s magical Sweet 16 run. But given the Tigers lost three starters before the 2022–23 season, it’d be foolish to count them out in the Ivy race this season. Another dangerous mid-major is Colgate (No. 105), which has reached four straight NCAA tournaments thanks to one of the nation’s most beautiful offenses, led by coach Matt Langel.

Northern Iowa (No. 111) is coming off its worst season under longtime head coach Ben Jacobson. Star guard Bowen Born’s return should help the Panthers avoid consecutive sub-.500 seasons. Nebraska (No. 115) is looking to build on last season’s strong finish, which saw the Cornhuskers win six of eight to close Big Ten play. And South Florida (No. 117) should be intriguing after hiring away Amir Abdur-Rahim from Kennesaw State, where he pulled off a remarkable rebuilding job. Georgetown (No. 124) will also be worth watching as it restarts after the disastrous Patrick Ewing era with a proven winner in Ed Cooley. Patience will be necessary early, but Illinois transfer Jayden Epps should be in for a big year. 

126. Weber State (1st in Big Sky)
127. South Dakota State (1st in Summit)
128. Indiana State (4th in Missouri Valley)
129. Hofstra (3rd in CAA)
130. Appalachian State (2nd in Sun Belt)
131. Seattle (3rd in WAC)
132. George Mason (9th in Atlantic 10)
133. Ohio (4th in MAC)
134. Wright State (1st in Horizon)
135. Belmont (5th in Missouri Valley)
136. South Alabama (3rd in Sun Belt)
137. Wyoming (8th in Mountain West)
138. Old Dominion (4th in Sun Belt)
139. Louisville (14th in ACC)
140. UMass Lowell (2nd in America East)
141. UC Davis (5th in Big West)
142. Samford (3rd in Southern)
143. Lipscomb (2nd in Atlantic Sun)
144. Minnesota (14th in Big Ten)
145. Louisiana Tech (2nd in C-USA)
146. Portland (6th in WCC)
147. San Jose State (9th in Mountain West)
148. East Carolina (8th in American)
149. Northern Kentucky (2nd in Horizon)
150. Radford (2nd in Big South)

Mayo is worth keeping an eye on for South Dakota State.

Erin Woodiel/Argus Leader/USA TODAY Network

In star forward Dillon Jones, Weber State (No. 126) might have its best all-around player since Damian Lillard. That could be enough to lift the Wildcats to a Big Sky crown. Another mid-major star to know: Zeke Mayo at South Dakota State (No. 127). The junior guard averaged more than 18 points, six rebounds and three assists per game a season ago. Also worth watching in mid-major land is Wright State (No. 134), which adds former WSU star wing Tanner Holden to a strong returning core after he spent the 2022–23 season at Ohio State.

To call it a big year for Kenny Payne at Louisville (No. 139) would be an understatement after last season’s 4–28 debacle. The roster has been improved substantially, but this is a program that likely won’t have the patience to wait long for Payne to build a contender. Another coach under pressure: Ben Johnson at Minnesota (No. 144), thanks to a brutal 6–33 mark in league games. The Gophers have been riddled with injuries the past two seasons, though, so we’ll see what Johnson can do with a healthier group. 

151. Fresno State (10th in Mountain West)
152. Delaware (4th in CAA)
153. UMass (10th in Atlantic 10)
154. Missouri State (6th in Missouri Valley)
155. UTEP (3rd in C-USA)
156. Air Force (11th in Mountain West)
157. Youngstown State (3rd in Horizon)
158. Drexel (5th in CAA)
159. Utah Valley (4th in WAC)
160. Middle Tennessee (4th in C-USA)
161. Kennesaw State (3rd in Atlantic Sun)
162. High Point (3rd in Big South)
163. DePaul (11th in Big East)
164. Milwaukee (4th in Horizon)
165. Western Kentucky (5th in C-USA)
166. Winthrop (4th in Big South)
167. Cornell (3rd in Ivy)
168. Murray State (7th in Missouri Valley)
169. New Mexico State (6th in C-USA)
170. South Carolina (14th in SEC)
171. Longwood (5th in Big South)
172. Cleveland State (5th in Horizon)
173. Troy (5th in Sun Belt)
174. Oregon State (12th in Pac-12)
175. McNeese State (1st in Southland)

Frank Martin’s first season at UMass (No. 153) went off the rails after a promising start. Freshman guard Jaylen Curry could help get the Minutemen going, though, as a highly touted combo guard with all-league potential. Joe Golding has mostly been treading water since leaving Abilene Christian for UTEP (No. 155) but has a potential contender in the reshaped C-USA this season. And one rising star in the coaching profession to watch is Jerrod Calhoun at Youngstown State (No. 157). He set the program’s Division I wins record a season ago, and another good season could earn him consideration for the vacant West Virginia job.

Three first-year coaches to watch: Alan Huss at High Point (No. 162), Steve Lutz at Western Kentucky (No. 165) and Will Wade at McNeese State (No. 175). Wade needs no introduction after his controversial tenure at LSU ended in disgrace, but he’s certainly an accomplished coach who has brought some serious talent in at McNeese. Meanwhile, Lutz and Huss are names to watch long-term: Huss is a longtime Creighton assistant who has been essential in the program’s success getting his first D-I head job at a program with impressive resources, and Lutz is taking over a sleeping mid-major giant after a strong run at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi.

176. Wichita State (9th in American)
177. Eastern Washington (2nd in Big Sky)
178. Southern Miss (6th in Sun Belt)
179. Notre Dame (15th in ACC)
180. Charlotte (10th in American)
181. Towson (6th in CAA)
182. Rider (1st in MAAC)
183. Gardner-Webb (6th in Big South)
184. UC Riverside (6th in Big West)
185. Austin Peay (4th in Atlantic Sun)
186. Sam Houston State (7th in C-USA)
187. George Washington (11th in Atlantic 10)
188. Tarleton State (5th in WAC)
189. Southern Illinois (8th in Missouri Valley)
190. Abilene Christian (6th in WAC)
191. Florida Gulf Coast (5th in Atlantic Sun)
192. Brown (4th in Ivy)
193. Iona (2nd in MAAC)
194. Rice (11th in American)
195. Louisiana (7th in Sun Belt)
196. Harvard (5th in Ivy)
197. North Dakota State (2nd in Summit)
198. Bryant (3rd in America East)
199. Penn (6th in Ivy)
200. Marshall (8th in Sun Belt)

Perhaps no team was a bigger surprise last season than Southern Miss (No. 178), coming out of nowhere to win the Sun Belt regular season and earn Jay Ladner a new contract. Returning star Austin Crowley should keep them in the mix. Notre Dame (No. 179) is our lowest-rated high-major team as Micah Shrewsberry begins a rebuild. While the future looks promising, the Irish don’t have a single player who has averaged more than 5 points per game in college basketball on this season's roster and just one top 150 recruit incoming.

Alum Corey Gipson is taking over at Austin Peay (No. 185) after a great one-year stint at Northwestern State and is bringing plenty of talent with him, namely defending Southland Conference POY Demarcus Sharp. Fellow one-and-done coach Tobin Anderson takes the reins at Iona (No. 193) after a magical season at Fairleigh Dickinson capped by its win over Purdue in the NCAA tournament. With just one scholarship player returning from the Rick Pitino era, it’d be very impressive if Anderson finds a way to win the MAAC in his first season. 

201. Oral Roberts (3rd in Summit)
202. Cal State Fullerton (7th in Big West)
203. Chattanooga (4th in Southern)
204. Tulsa (12th in American)
205. Pepperdine (7th in WCC)
206. Temple (13th in American)
207. California Baptist (7th in WAC)
208. Rhode Island (12th in Atlantic 10)
209. Stetson (6th in Atlantic Sun)
210. FIU (8th in C-USA)
211. Richmond (13th in Atlantic 10)
212. Davidson (14th in Atlantic 10)
213. Howard (1st in MEAC)
214. Morehead State (1st in Ohio Valley)
215. Bowling Green (5th in MAC)
216. St. Thomas (4th in Summit)
217. Pacific (8th in WCC)
218. Illinois State (9th in Missouri Valley)
219. North Alabama (7th in Atlantic Sun)
220. Arkansas State (9th in Sun Belt)
221. SIUE (2nd in Ohio Valley)
222. Jacksonville (8th in Atlantic Sun)
223. La Salle (15th in Atlantic 10)
224. Western Carolina (5th in Southern)
225. Miami-Ohio (6th in MAC)

After an unforgettable three-year stretch, the Max Abmas era at Oral Roberts (No. 201) is over, with the star guard off to Texas to play for Rodney Terry. The Golden Eagles shouldn’t fall off too much in the Summit League race, though. Tulsa (No. 204) looks to transfer guards Cobe Williams and Keaston Willis to turn things around after a miserable 2022–23 that saw the Golden Hurricanes lose 18 times by double digits. Another team in bounce-back mode: Rhode Island (No. 208). Archie Miller did land a member of college hoops’ all-name team to help with the rebuild in junior college guard Always Wright.

MEAC favorite Howard (No. 213) features perhaps the most interesting player in the country in eighth-year forward Seth Towns. His career has been riddled with injuries, since he’s played just 25 games since the end of the 2017–18 season that earned him Ivy League POY honors at Harvard. Another fascinating story: St. Thomas (No. 216), whose best player originally tried out for the intramural team after building a successful social media business and has since become one of the Summit’s best players. 

226. Bellarmine (9th in Atlantic Sun)
227. Texas State (10th in Sun Belt)
228. New Hampshire (4th in America East)
229. UT-Arlington (8th in WAC)
230. Georgia Southern (11th in Sun Belt)
231. Montana (3rd in Big Sky)
232. Southern Utah (9th in WAC)
233. Georgia State (12th in Sun Belt)
234. Queens (10th in Atlantic Sun)
235. Sacramento State (4th in Big Sky)
236. Lehigh (2nd in Patriot)
237. UC San Diego (8th in Big West)
238. Utah Tech (10th in WAC)
239. Wofford (6th in Southern)
240. Siena (3rd in MAAC)
241. Montana State (5th in Big Sky)
242. Jackson State (1st in SWAC)
243. Oakland (6th in Horizon)
244. Alcorn State (2nd in SWAC)
245. Norfolk State (2nd in MEAC)
246. American (3rd in Patriot)
247. San Diego (9th in WCC)
248. Northern Illinois (7th in MAC)
249. Texas Southern (3rd in SWAC)
250. Southeastern Louisiana (2nd in Southland)

After registering top 100 offenses per KenPom in the program’s first two Division I seasons, Scott Davenport’s Bellarmine (No. 226) squad took a step back on that end last season. Talented youngsters like Peter Suder and Ben Johnson could help turn that trend around. New Hampshire (No. 228) kept star forward Clarence Daniels after he tested the transfer portal waters this spring, a huge win for new coach Nathan Davis. Coach David Patrick has momentum at Sacramento State (No. 235) thanks to a global recruiting approach. His roster features players from Bahrain, South Sudan, Finland, England, Canada and four from Australia.

Siena (No. 240) will be one of the youngest teams in the country, with only one scholarship junior or senior. Watch out for a big year from sophomore Michael Eley, though. Montana State (No. 241) became the latest program to hire a non-Division I coach in Matt Logie, who was a ridiculous 82–23 in four seasons at D-II Point Loma Nazarene and also tore up the D-III level at Whitworth. He’ll hope his first season goes better than Steve Lavin’s at San Diego (No. 247) did, when lost 20 games thanks to a ghastly 344th-ranked defense. 

251. Portland State (6th in Big Sky)
252. Niagara (4th in MAAC)
253. Grambling State (4th in SWAC)
254. North Dakota (5th in Summit)
255. New Orleans (3rd in Southland)
256. Tennessee Tech (3rd in Ohio Valley)
257. Southeast Missouri State (4th in Ohio Valley)
258. ETSU (7th in Southern)
259. Northeastern (7th in CAA)
260. UIC (10th in Missouri Valley)
261. USC Upstate (7th in Big South)
262. Little Rock (5th in Ohio Valley)
263. Stony Brook (8th in CAA)
264. Fairfield (5th in MAAC)
265. Ball State (8th in MAC)
266. Mercer (8th in Southern)
267. Cal State Northridge (9th in Big West)
268. Dartmouth (7th in Ivy)
269. Tennessee State (6th in Ohio Valley)
270. Holy Cross (4th in Patriot)
271. Coastal Carolina (13th in Sun Belt)
272. Jacksonville State (9th in C-USA)
273. South Dakota (6th in Summit)
274. Cal State Bakersfield (10th in Big West)
275. Binghamton (5th in America East)

With the recent success of Division II up-transfers, lots of coaching staffs are hunting the next big trend. Niagara (No. 252) went even further outside the box, landing NAIA star Malik Edwards, who led 30–4 William Penn University in scoring a season ago. Defending OVC champion Southeast Missouri State (No. 257) loses star PG Phillip Russell but shouldn’t fall off too much with a roster built to play fast. Coach Luke Yaklich hopes he can turn UIC (No. 260) around in his fourth year on the job thanks to a pair of transfers with NCAA tournament experience in Isaiah Rivera (Colorado State) and Marquise Kennedy (Loyola Chicago).

Fairfield (No. 264) parted ways with coach Jay Young just three weeks before the season, thrusting the team into chaos. Former Niagara head coach Chris Casey will lead the program for the season. Holy Cross (No. 270) made a slam dunk hire this spring in bringing in former Bucknell and George Mason head coach Dave Paulsen. Expect him to turn things around in Worcester quickly. Meanwhile, Syracuse transfer Symir Torrence should lead the way for Binghamton (No. 275). 

276. Northern Colorado (7th in Big Sky)
277. Maine (6th in America East)
278. Quinnipiac (6th in MAAC)
279. UTSA (14th in American)
280. Sacred Heart (1st in NEC)
281. Boston U (5th in Patriot)
282. Denver (7th in Summit)
283. Canisius (7th in MAAC)
284. Albany (7th in America East)
285. Buffalo (9th in MAC)
286. Louisiana-Monroe (14th in Sun Belt)
287. Mount St. Mary's (8th in MAAC)
288. Lafayette (6th in Patriot)
289. Marist (9th in MAAC)
290. Nebraska-Omaha (8th in Summit)
291. William & Mary (9th in CAA)
292. Robert Morris (7th in Horizon)
293. Idaho State (8th in Big Sky)
294. Central Connecticut (2nd in NEC)
295. Navy (7th in Patriot)
296. NC Central (3rd in MEAC)
297. Northern Arizona (9th in Big Sky)
298. Nicholls State (4th in Southland)
299. Columbia (8th in Ivy)
300. Prairie View A&M (5th in SWAC)

Sacred Heart (No. 280) is our lowest-ranked conference favorite. If the Pioneers win the NEC, they’ll look to make it two straight Round of 64 wins for the conference after Fairleigh Dickinson’s upset over Purdue last season. Albany (No. 284) needs a bounce-back year after its worst finish in the KenPom era a season ago, but Dwayne Killings has a star big man in Jonathan Beagle and lots of transfer additions around him. Buffalo (No. 285) had perhaps the most disorganized coaching search of the spring before eventually landing on longtime Villanova assistant George Halcovage as the program looks to regain the dominance it displayed under Nate Oats in the late 2010s.

Reeling in former top-60 recruit Justice Williams was a major win for Robert Morris (No. 292) after a failed stint at LSU. He should get plenty of opportunities on a team that loses three of its top four scorers from last season. Nicholls State (No. 298) went from having one of the five youngest coaches in D-I in 33-year-old Austin Claunch to the nation’s youngest in 28-year-old Tevon Saddler this offseason. To put in context Saddler’s youth, there are still a couple of players from his final season as a player (2017–18) playing college basketball today. 

301. Chicago State (Independent)
302. Texas A&M-CC (5th in Southland)
303. Monmouth (10th in CAA)
304. Western Illinois (7th in Ohio Valley)
305. Bucknell (8th in Patriot)
306. UMBC (8th in America East)
307. Western Michigan (10th in MAC)
308. Fairleigh Dickinson (3rd in NEC)
309. Merrimack (4th in NEC)
310. Saint Peter's (10th in MAAC)
311. Eastern Michigan (11th in MAC)
312. Wagner (5th in NEC)
313. Green Bay (8th in Horizon)
314. Loyola Maryland (9th in Patriot)
315. Detroit Mercy (9th in Horizon)
316. UT Martin (8th in Ohio Valley)
317. Campbell (11th in CAA)
318. Manhattan (11th in MAAC)
319. Army (10th in Patriot)
320. Cal Poly (11th in Big West)
321. NJIT (9th in America East)
322. Central Michigan (12th in MAC)
323. UMKC (9th in Summit)
324. Morgan State (4th in MEAC)
325. Fort Wayne (10th in Horizon)
326. Northwestern State (6th in Southland)
327. Evansville (11th in Missouri Valley)
328. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6th in SWAC)
329. Valparaiso (12th in Missouri Valley)
330. Texas A&M-Commerce (7th in Southland)
331. The Citadel (9th in Southern)

Chicago State (No. 301) is D-I’s only independent. Why should you watch? Former five-stars Ryan and Matt Bewley will suit up for the Cougars this season after two years in the Overtime Elite program. New Bucknell (No. 305) coach John Griffin III has a rebuild on his hands but plenty of background on how to get it right. He was a player when the program beat Kansas in the 2005 NCAA tournament and led the Bison to multiple trips to the Big Dance as an assistant. Recent Cinderellas Fairleigh Dickinson (No. 308) and Saint Peter’s (No. 310) are just two spots apart in these rankings, though FDU profiles as having a better chance to contend in the NEC than the Peacocks will in the MAAC.

Green Bay (No. 313) hired perhaps the most interesting coach of the cycle in former Wyoming assistant Sundance Wicks. His energy is contagious, though some growing pains taking over a program that is 8–54 in the past two seasons should be expected. 

Detroit Mercy (No. 315) seems likely to struggle in the post-Antoine Davis era, which could spell trouble for his father Mike’s job security as the coach. Campbell (No. 317) is the newest member of the CAA. The Camels’ hopes of winning in Year 1 rely heavily on star sophomore Anthony Dell’Orso. And Morgan State (No. 324) could be a MEAC sleeper if East Carolina transfer Wynston Tabbs can stay healthy. 

332. Maryland-Eastern Shore (5th in MEAC)
333. Elon (12th in CAA)
334. Charleston Southern (8th in Big South)
335. Alabama State (7th in SWAC)
336. North Florida (11th in Atlantic Sun)
337. UTRGV (11th in WAC)
338. Incarnate Word (8th in Southland)
339. Southern Indiana (9th in Ohio Valley)
340. Central Arkansas (12th in Atlantic Sun)
341. Delaware State (6th in MEAC)
342. Alabama A&M (8th in SWAC)
343. Eastern Illinois (10th in Ohio Valley)
344. Presbyterian (9th in Big South)
345. Bethune-Cookman (9th in SWAC)
346. Lindenwood (11th in Ohio Valley)
347. Hampton (13th in CAA)
348. IUPUI (11th in Horizon)
349. South Carolina State (7th in MEAC)
350. Stonehill (6th in NEC)
351. Southern U (10th in SWAC)
352. St. Francis PA (7th in NEC)
353. Idaho (10th in Big Sky)
354. NC A&T (14th in CAA)
355. Le Moyne (8th in NEC)
356. Lamar (9th in Southland)
357. Mississippi Valley State (11th in SWAC)
358. LIU (9th in NEC)
359. Florida A&M (12th in SWAC)
360. Coppin State (8th in MEAC)
361. Houston Christian (10th in Southland)
362. VMI (10th in Southern)

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