Teams to keep an eye on this season

ESPN.com experts note some of the "It" teams to watch this season.

Updated: November 11, 2005, 8:51 AM ET
By ESPN.com experts

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.

Bilas' three "It" teams
Bilas

1. Charlotte
The 49ers will not be as prolific a 3-point shooting team this year, but there is quality at every position. Curtis Withers is a dominant low-post player who simply outworks people; DeAngelo Alexander is an athletic scorer who also can guard; and Mitchell Baldwin is as fast end-to-end as any guard in America. If Charlotte stays healthy, Bobby Lutz's team will challenge George Washington for the Atlantic 10 title and beyond.

2. Oregon
Tell Ernie Kent that talent means more than experience. He might start to laugh -- or cry. The Ducks experienced major growing pains last year, but with Aaron Brooks, Malik Hairston and Bryce Taylor coming back stronger after taking some lumps as underclassmen, Oregon looks ready to play tougher and more efficient basketball. The key will be interior play and defense.

3. South Carolina
Dave Odom likes his team and gives the Gamecocks a chance, which means they are pretty darn good. South Carolina has size that is skilled and very good guards in Tre Kelley and Tarence Kinsey. Renaldo Balkman will have to carry more of a load, but South Carolina will win with team defense and a no-name approach. Odom might be perceived as coaching a certain way, but few coaches have done as well playing so many different styles over the years.

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