Friday marks the beginning of a journey for every powerhouse and Cinderella-hopeful alike. North Carolina begins as the team with a target on their back, coming off big championship win in 2017. The scales of college basketball are at a much more even keel than their pigskin counterpart. Each year, 68 teams make the NCAA tournament. A team does not even have to find particular success in the regular season in order to make it. They just have to get hot at the right time, and win the right games down the stretch. In 2016, a 14-19 Holy Cross team was able to win the Patriot League conference tournament, punching their ticket to the big dance. Granted, they did not make much noise in the tournament itself, it is still unique in college basketball that a 19-loss team would still have a shot come season’s end, and that’s what makes it so great.
2017-18 is already shaping up to be another fantastic season, and here we will break down how the preseason top 25 look, a few teams that look to make some noise outside of the ranked teams, and award predictions as well. Let’s get to it.