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College basketball season tips off for 2021

SUN. | 12-26-21 | SPORTS

     The beginning of November means the start of a very important season for many college basketball players and fans as it is the kickoff of the season. Talent is shown throughout the conferences,

College Predictions Graphic.png

Graphic by Emmy Ingalls

making what will be an interesting 2021-22 season. 

     Starting off with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the star team of this season should be Duke University. With the number one recruit of the 2021 class, Paolo Banchero, and head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last season, the team is already fighting hard as their season opener was a victory against number ten seed, Kentucky. On the other hand, a team that is usually at the top of the conference has not fulfilled this role this year. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) lost their head coach Roy Williams to retirement and can’t seem to find the momentum they usually have. The team has had a bit of a tricky schedule this season, facing number six-ranked Purdue and number 17-ranked Tennessee, both of which they lost. 

     The Southeastern Conference is well known for their talented football teams, but some of these schools prove to be good at both football and basketball. The leader of the conference in basketball is usually Kentucky, but this year after losing their first game to Duke, they will have to work to keep this title. We may be surprised by the Alabama Crimson Tide this basketball season as they are ranked 16 in the top 25 and beat number three Gonzaga who was previously the top team in the nation at the start of the season. 

     The Big 10 conference is home to many strong basketball teams this season. Michigan, number four in the country, has started with a few pretty easy games, but fell to Seton Hall. To keep this number four spot, the team will have to play hard and win their games against almost all of their future competitors.

     Another shining team in this conference who has a great chance to win the conference championship is number six seed, Purdue. The team has not lost a game yet and has faced two top 25 teams: former number 18 UNC and number five Villanova. 

     Among the Big 12, the Kansas Jayhawks will prove their success again this year with the Baylor Bears not far behind. Kansas is always a strong basketball team and if their legacy continues, their chances of winning the conference are very high. Baylor is a basketball team who has proven to play hard in order to be recognized, so Kansas will have to stay on their P’s and Q’s. 

     The basketball powerhouse of the Pac-12 conference is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins. The team is currently ranked as the second seed in the nation, as deserved. The Bruins took care of number four seed Villanova and also has won their other games by at least 21 points. In contrast, the team was defeated by 20 points as number one Gonzaga showed their dominance. 

     The season will come with much more success from these strong teams, and most likely a few upsets. We will just have to wait and see who will end up being the best of the best come March, but my money is on Gonzaga, Duke, Villanova and Alabama in the Final Four.

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