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2012-2013 College Basketball Preview Part I
By: Jeff Meadows
The 2012-13 College Basketball season is set to begin and the question in most fans minds probably is "If Kentucky's revolving door of prized freshman recruits can repeats as champions"? Other questions will be which teams are on the rise or fall and which players will establish themselves as next level performers. The recent parity of programs makes it interesting to determine which players and conferences will dominate and what team will win it all.
Now we're going to take a look at HoopsReport's top 10 college basketball conferences in America.
TOP 10 COLLEGE BASKETBALL CONFERENCES IN AMERICA
1. BIG 10
With such POWER TEAMS/PROGRAMS as Michigan St., Indiana, Michigan, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin etc. the BIG 10 is our unanimous choice as the top college basketball conference in America and don't be surprised if there are at least two (2) teams playing the final weekend of March Madness.
BIG 10's TOP 5 TEAMS
BIG 10 PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Tom Crane (INDIANA)
BIG 10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cody Zeller (INDIANA)
2. BIG EAST
Even though it's a very large conference the most noticeable thing about the BIG EAST is the number of HIGH-LEVEL teams it has. Look for the usuals (Syracuse, Louisville, Georgetown, Cincinnati) to make noise and be right in the thick of things come tournament time.
BIG EAST TOP 5 TEAMS
BIG EAST PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Rick Pittino (LOUISVILLE)
BIG EAST PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Payton Siva (LOUISVILLE)
3. ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
Ever since I can remember the ACC has been among the top 1-3 conferences in America and this year is no different as National Powers such as UNC, Duke, Florida St., NC ST., Wake Forest and Virginia have all stocked up with "ELITE LEVEL RECRUITS" which is one of the main reasons why the ACC maintains its reputation as one of the premier college basketball conferences in America.
ACC's TOP 5 TEAMS
ACC PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Mark Gottfried (NC ST.)
ACC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: CJ Leslie (NC ST.)
4. BIG 12
The "MEAT and POTATOES" of this conference is and has always been strong and don't look for things to change much as Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. re load and conference new comers coach Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers add even more fire power which once again makes the BIG 12 one of the strongest conferences in America.
BIG 12's TOP 5 TEAMS
BIG 12 PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Bill Self (KANSAS)
BIG 12 PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Pierre Jackson (BAYLOR)
5. SOUTH EAST CONFERENCE
I'm sure that all college basketball fans and even the mild college basketball fan is familiar with the SEC do largely in part by the DOMINANCE of conference "Gate Keepers" and National Champs Kentucky Wildcats and with the edition of Missouri the SEC from top to bottom is just as good as any conference. Look for the SEC to send multiple teams to the big dance.
SEC's TOP 5 TEAMS
SEC PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: John Calipari (KENTUCKY)
SEC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nerlens Noel (KENTUCKY)
6. PAC 12
After having a very dismal season as a conference the PAC 12 is definitely headed in the right direction as "POWER PROGRAMS" such as UCLA load up with "FAB FROSH" Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Tony Parker and Arizona with a core of "FAB FROSH" of their own in Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jarret Gabe York and Brandon Ashley which will have a huge impact on the PAC 12's success as a conference.
PAC 12's TOP 5 TEAMS
PAC 12 PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Sean Miller (ARIZONA)
PAC 12 PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA)
7. CONFERENCE USA
There are several teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the Conference USA title but as we all know for quite some time now that the road to the championship for this conference goes through Memphis as they have loaded up once again with top recruits along with getting back one of the countries most electrifying players in Adonis Thomas after suffering a major season ending injury last season.
CONFERENCE USA's TOP 5 TEAMS
CONFERENCE USA PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Josh Pastner (MEMPHIS)
CONFERENCE USA PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Adonis Thomas (MEMPHIS)
8. ATLANTIC 10
For the past few seasons the Atlantic 10 have been well represented in the NCAA tournament with the emergence of VCU and Butler but it doesn't stop there as "BLAST FROM THE PAST" like St. Joseph's (who buy the way is loaded) St. Bonaventure and UMass reemerge and will also have a say in things once tournament time comes but let's not forget about the "MAGNIFICANT" guard Kevin Dillard and the Dayton Flyers who finished with a 20 plus win season and an NIT appearance last season.
ATLANTIC 10 TOP 5 TEAMS
ATLANTIC 10 PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Archie Miller (DAYTON)
ATLANTIC 10 PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kevin Dillard (DAYTON)
9. MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE
While much improved, primed and ready Wichita St., Indiana St. and Southern Illinois have their eyes set on the MVC championship, "SUPER SOPH" Doug McDermott and the Crieghton Bluejays just may have what it takes to bring home the MVC championship.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE TOP 5 TEAMS
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Greg McDermott (CRIEGHTON)
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Doug McDermott (CRIEGHTON)
10. MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Coming in at 10 is the MWC but please don't let that fact that this conference comes in at #10 fool you as legitimate "ELITE LEVEL TEAMS" such as New Mexico and UNLV both will represent the conference well but it's San Diego St. who has been the corner stone for the MWC for the past seven season as coach Steve Fisher has the Aztecs on track to repeat their fortunes of the 2010-2011 season when the Aztecs went 34-3 reaching the "Sweet 16" where they lost to eventual "National Champs" Connecticut Huskies.
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE TOP 5 TEAMS
San Diego St.
New Mexico Lobos
Fresno State Bulldogs
Nevada Wolf Pack
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE PRESEASON COACH OF THE YEAR: Steve Fisher (SAN DIEGO ST.)
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jamaal Franklin (SAN DIEGO ST.)
PART II OF HOOPSREPORT'S PRESEASON COLLEGE PREVIEW
Tomorrow we will be posting our second part of our Preseason College Preview so be sure to stay logged on to HoopsReport your largest free source of High School College and NBA news.
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