Teams to keep an eye on this season
ESPN.com experts note some of the "It" teams to watch this season.
Forget the Dukes and UConns of the world for a minute. Who are the teams that are bringing the real buzz this season? Each of our experts gives three "It" teams for this season.
3. South Carolina
1. George Washington
Karl Hobbs was grateful that Mike Hall and Pops Mensah-Bonsu withdrew from the NBA draft, but ironically, his best pro prospect is 6-4 scorer J.R. Pinnock. His team has nice inside-out balance and could be a Sweet 16 candidate.
Turnaround Tommy Penders plays a style of basketball that might have been forgotten with the 1990s -- all-out transition! Lanny Smith is a star, and Brian Latham could be this year's Eddie Basden (at least on defense). Add talented yet enigmatic Lamar Roberson and a winner like Corey Bloom to the mix and there is more than just one NCAA tourney team in C-USA after all.
3. San Diego State
The Bobcats have the goods to be one of our "it" teams this season. They have the moxie, the talent and the charisma to be pests for everyone on their schedule. Don't be surprised to see Ohio beat Cincinnati and give Kentucky a run in late December. If the Bobcats get back to the dance again, they might not let a game slip away as they did in the final two minutes against Florida last season.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- SMU's Kennedy cleared, will face Michigan
- E. Kentucky never trails, routs No. 18 Miami
- Vols' McGhee (foot) out at least 6-8 weeks
- No. 3 Arizona gets past upset-minded UTEP