Expert predictions for the new season

Updated: November 14, 2010, 6:06 PM ET
ESPN.com

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Ten ESPN experts agreed to make their predictions concerning the 2010-11 season. They kindly ask that you do not reference this page in March (unless they're right, of course).

ESPN.com's Expert Picks
Jay Bilas
ESPN analyst
Eamonn Brennan
ESPN.com blogger
Pat Forde
ESPN.com writer
Fran Fraschilla
ESPN analyst
Doug Gottlieb
ESPN analyst
ACC champ Duke Duke Duke Duke Duke
A-10 champ Xavier Temple Temple Temple Richmond
Big 12 champ Kansas Kansas State Kansas State Missouri Kansas
Big East champ Syracuse Syracuse Pittsburgh Syracuse Pittsburgh
Big Ten champ Michigan St. Michigan St. Michigan St. Michigan St. Illinois
C-USA champ Memphis Memphis Memphis UTEP UTEP
MVC champ Wichita State Wichita State Wichita State Wichita State Wichita State
MWC champ San Diego St. BYU UNLV BYU San Diego St.
Pac-10 champ Washington Arizona UCLA Washington Washington
SEC champ Florida Kentucky Florida Tennessee Florida
National POY Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke
Sleeper team San Diego St. Murray State Butler Missouri Georgia
Final Four Duke, Michigan St., Syracuse, Kansas Duke, Michigan St., Ohio State, Kansas St. Duke, Michigan St., Pittsburgh, Kansas St. Duke, Ohio St., Pittsburgh, Kansas Duke, Illinois, Gonzaga, Kansas St.
National title game Michigan St. over Duke Duke over
Ohio State
Duke over Michigan St. Duke over Pittsburgh Duke over Illinois

ESPN.com's Expert Picks
Andy Katz
ESPN.com writer
Diamond Leung
ESPN.com blogger
Joe Lunardi
ESPN.com Bracketologist
Dana O'Neil
ESPN.com writer
Dick Vitale
ESPN analyst
ACC champ Duke Duke Duke Duke Duke
A-10 champ Temple Temple Temple Richmond Temple
Big 12 champ Kansas State Kansas State Kansas Kansas State Kansas State
Big East champ Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Syracuse Villanova
Big Ten champ Michigan St. Ohio State Michigan St. Michigan St. Michigan St.
C-USA champ Memphis Memphis Memphis Memphis Memphis
MVC champ Wichita State Wichita State Wichita State Wichita State Wichita State
MWC champ San Diego St. San Diego St. San Diego St. San Diego St. San Diego St.
Pac-10 champ Washington Washington Washington Washington Washington
SEC
champ
Florida Florida Florida Florida Florida
National POY Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke Kyle Singler, Duke
Sleeper team Minnesota BYU Wichita State Wichita State San Diego St.
Final Four Duke, Michigan St., Pittsburgh, Kansas St. Duke, Michigan St., Pittsburgh, Florida Ohio State, Michigan St., Gonzaga, Florida Duke, Michigan St., Syracuse, Kansas St. Duke, Michigan St., Ohio State, Villanova
National title game Michigan St. over Duke Duke over Michigan St. Gonzaga over Michigan St. Duke over Syracuse Duke over Michigan St.

Bold Predictions

Jay Bilas: Syracuse will win the Big East, even though the Orange lost Andy Rautins, Wesley Johnson and Arinze Onuaku. Jim Boeheim will not have the experience and savvy of those veterans, but he will have more talent. Fab Melo will dominate the interior of the zone, Dion Waiters has the ability to lead the team in scoring, Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche form a terrific point guard tandem and Kris Joseph can blossom into a star. If Boeheim can get players to accept roles and play together, Syracuse has the chops to get to Houston.

Eamonn Brennan: This isn't the boldest of predictions, but I still think some people are underrating Ohio State. The Buckeyes deserve to be behind Michigan State and Duke to start the season, but by March, they could emerge as one of the two best teams in the country. Most importantly, they'll be a team better suited to the NCAA tournament. Thad Matta will be able to play three or four guards based on the matchup, his lineup will be deeper at every position and teams won't be able to effectively double-team freshman Jared Sullinger. Scary.

Shelvin Mack
Bob Donnan/US PresswireIn this space last year, Pat Forde predicted Butler's Final Four trip. Now he thinks Butler's league will get as many bids as the Pac-10.

Pat Forde: You folks on the Left Coast won't like this, but I say the Horizon League gets as many NCAA tournament bids as the Pac-10 this season. Two each.

Doug Gottlieb: I have a team that missed the NCAA tournament last season (Illinois) playing in the national championship game. Is that bold enough?

Andy Katz: Murray State will be this season's Kent State or Davidson. The Racers, who return their top eight scorers, will be the thrill of March and the talk of the NCAA tournament. Murray won't reach the Final Four, but will be a second-weekend team, knocking off some blueblood program before falling just short of Houston. But coach Billy Kennedy will be this March's next "it" coach. And players like Isaiah Canaan and B.J. Jenkins will place themselves in NCAA lore with other one-hit wonders.

Diamond Leung: No Mountain West Conference team has ever reached the Elite Eight, but this will be the season. BYU's Jimmer Fredette and San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard give their teams that chance. Fredette can simply will the Cougars to wins with his scoring, and he got a taste of NCAA tournament stardom by scoring 37 points in a win against Florida last season. Leonard also got his feet wet, coming through with a double-double in a near-upset of Tennessee. One year older and wiser, these two can lead their teams to deep runs in the tournament.

Joe Lunardi: More double-digit seeds will win early in the NCAA tournament than ever before and more will advance to the Sweet 16 than ever before. This is a by-product of tournament expansion, not parity. The three new at-large entries in the 68-team field will all be double-digit seeds, and all figure to be playing well heading into the tournament. The trickle-down effect of expansion will also make for stronger teams on the 13-, 14- and 15-seed lines. Taking it one step further, I predict we'll see a No. 16 beat a No. 1 seed for the first time in history.

Dana O'Neil: I experienced a strange occurrence at Big East media day this year -- a happy Jim Boeheim. He likes his team and that speaks volumes to me. He said the same thing last year and no one believed him. That wound up being a big mistake and I'm not about to repeat it. Not with a team that has Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson back, plus fabulously talented freshman Fab Melo to replace Arinze Onuaku. Nope, I'm going to listen to the Hall of Famer this time and predict that a talented team still smarting from missing the Final Four last season will right that wrong and be on the court in Houston this year.

Dick Vitale: Northwestern will make it to the Big Dance for the first time in school history. That is a bold prediction when you look at how good the Big Ten is -- it's the best conference in America. But Bill Carmody has John Shurna, Michael Thompson and the confidence to compete with the creme de la creme of the league, and I think they will do just enough to get in. At long last, the Wildcats will experience the magic of March Madness!

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