Who’s Up Next? Predictions for 2020 NCAA season
Updated: Nov 5, 2019
The 2018-19 NCAA Basketball season is long over. Virginia overcame their past and took it all. But what happens next? Virginia lost their 3 best players in De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy, Also, what happens to other teams like Duke and North Carolina that have lost a lot of players to the NBA? Here are my predictions for the 2020 NCAA seasons.
Best odds to win: Michigan St.
Good odds: Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, UNC
Maybe?: Duke, Gonzaga, Maryland, Villanova, Memphis
Dark Horses: Texas Tech, Ohio St., Seton Hall, Virginia, Utah St.
Michigan St. is obviously the favorite. This is a team that went to the Final Four last year, and kept almost everyone, including star player Cassius Winston, who I will talk more about later. Besides them, there are the other usuals. Kentucky, who kept some valuable players and had a good class. Kansas, who kept a lot of talent and gains some good recruits. After those two there is the talented Louisville, who returns Jordan Nwora, and UNC, who had a great recruiting class which includes top 5 recruit Cole Anthony. I don’t really see any other teams besides those 5 winning, but there are teams like Memphis, who have star freshmen James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. There’s also Duke, who is never a bad team, and Maryland, who kept almost everyone from a team that was one shot away from the Sweet 16. Now, onto the awards. While players like Markus Howard and Cole Anthony will be great this season, I truly believe Cassius Winston will be the Wooden award winner this year. He is a great guard and leader, and I think he will win handily over the other candidates. Below are my other award winners:
Bob Cousy Award (Point Guards): Cassius Winston- Michigan St.
Jerry West Award (Shooting Guards): Myles Powell- Seton Hall
Julius Erving Award (Small Forwards): Jordan Nwora- Louisville
Karl Malone Award (Power Forwards): Killian Tillie- Gonzaga
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Centers): Kerry Blackshear Jr.- Florida
This would also be the All-NCAA First Team. But, my 2nd team would include Cole Anthony, Sam Merrill, Scottie Lewis, Jalen Smith, and Udoka Azubuike.
Now onto the Big Dance, March Madness. The place where Cinderella stories are born. The victories here are the sweetest, while the defeats are heartbreaking. Many can try to, but no one can predict what will happen here. I have already stated that Michigan State is my choice to cut down the nets in April, but that's only one of the 64 teams in this chaotic month long tournament. Unfortunately, I will not be picking all 64 teams, but I will reveal my Sweet 16 Predictions.
West: 1. Kansas vs 4. Gonzaga, 2. Maryland vs 6. Utah St.
East: 1. North Carolina vs 5. Virginia, 10. Penn St. vs 3. Seton Hall
South: 8. Davidson vs 4. Texas Tech, 2. Florida vs 3. Louisville
Midwest: 1. Michigan St. vs 5. Arizona, 2. Kentucky vs 3. Memphis
Look, being realistic, some, if not most, of this is wrong. This is the fun of college basketball. If one team plays hard for 40 minutes, then they can beat even the best of teams. For all we know, I could be sitting here in five months and telling you about how Utah St. won the title from the six seed, or I could talk about how Michigan St. cruised through the month of March. But that's the best part, we won't know.