After one of the wildest NCAA tournaments in recent history — a tournament that included a 16-over-1 upset, zero top-three seeds in the Final Four, a buzzer-beater in one national semifinal and a 5-seed vs. a 4-seed in the title game — what does the 2023-24 men’s college basketball season have in store for us?

Will there be widespread parity across the sport again? Will the blue bloods return to the top of the sport? Will any dominant teams emerge?

As you recover from Monday night’s title game, let’s look ahead.

First, some guidelines:

  • Any player currently ranked in the top 60 of ESPN’s 2023 NBA draft rankings is considered a departure for now. If that player opts to return to school, we will adjust in the future. Players not projected to be picked are considered to be returning — unless there has been an announcement saying otherwise. Notable players impacted by this include Zach Edey, who is ranked No. 53, and Adama Sanogo, who isn’t ranked in the top 100.

  • We’re still in the midst of the extra year of eligibility due to COVID, so it’s difficult to predict what seniors will decide to do with their final season. For now, we’re projecting them as departures unless they’ve officially announced they’re returning to school for another year. (This is also notoriously tough to figure out, as some schools list seniors as fourth-year juniors and senior night festivities sometimes don’t tell the full story.)

Both guidelines are subject to change, but we had to draw a line in the sand.

With that out of the way, it’s time to dive in — there are only 217 days until the season tips!

41 - Replay Madness

The Huskies will enter the 2023-24 college basketball season with hopes of going back-to-back. Adama Sanogo could opt to leave, but Donovan Clingan — if he returns — is waiting in the wings and would immediately get preseason All-American attention despite coming off the bench this season. We can expect Jordan Hawkins to leave given his rise to a borderline lottery pick, but Andre Jackson Jr. could come back for another season. Either way, Dan Hurley is bringing in an elite recruiting class led by five-star Stephon Castle. ESPN 100 wings Solomon Ball and Jaylin Stewart are also high-ceiling prospects.

Projected starting lineup:

Stephon Castle (No. 15 in ESPN 100)
Solomon Ball (No. 55 in ESPN 100)
Jaylin Stewart (No. 84 in ESPN 100)
Alex Karaban (9.5 PPG)
Adama Sanogo (17.1 PPG)

269 - Replay Madness

Marquette’s season ended with a disappointing second-round loss to Michigan State, but given that the Golden Eagles won the Big East regular season and conference tournament titles after being picked ninth in the preseason, there should be plenty of optimism in Milwaukee. Shaka Smart’s entire starting five could return, led by All-American Tyler Kolek.

Projected starting lineup:

Tyler Kolek (12.9 PPG)
Stevie Mitchell (7.1 PPG)
Kam Jones (15.1 PPG)
Olivier Maxence-Prosper (12.5 PPG)
Oso Ighodaro (11.4 PPG)

150 - Replay Madness

Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell have announced their intentions to return to Durham, while Dariq Whitehead is leaving. Kyle Filipowski and Dereck Lively II could follow Whitehead out the door to the NBA. But Jon Scheyer is bringing in a terrific recruiting class, a group that includes three five-star prospects and five players ranked in the top 35. Jeremy Roach‘s status will be key.

Projected starting lineup:

Jeremy Roach (13.6 PPG)
Tyrese Proctor (9.4 PPG)
Mackenzie Mgbako (No. 8 in ESPN 100)
Mark Mitchell (9.1 PPG)
Sean Stewart (No. 16 in ESPN 100)

96 - Replay Madness

John Calipari is back with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, and a potential starting lineup with at least three or four of those freshmen penciled in from day one. D.J. Wagner and Robert Dillingham should form one of the most dynamic backcourts in the sport, while Justin Edwards is the No. 1 recruit. The biggest question is what Oscar Tshiebwe opts to do. Will he come back for another year?

Projected starting lineup:

Robert Dillingham (No. 11 in ESPN 100)
D.J. Wagner (No. 2 in ESPN 100)
Justin Edwards (No. 1 in ESPN 100)
Chris Livingston (6.3 PPG)
Aaron Bradshaw (No. 4 in ESPN 100)

2226 - Replay Madness

The Owls aren’t going anywhere, people. This year’s NCAA tournament darlings are well-equipped to make another run even if it doesn’t end with 35 wins and a Final Four appearance again. All five starters from the tournament will be back, with reserve guard Michael Forrest the lone expected departure from the rotation. As long as nobody enters the transfer portal or makes an ill-advised NBA draft decision, Dusty May and FAU will be back.

Projected starting lineup:

Bryan Greenlee (7.4 PPG)
Nick Boyd (8.9 PPG)
Johnell Davis (13.9 PPG)
Alijah Martin (13.1 PPG)
Vladislav Goldin (10.3 PPG)

127 - Replay Madness

There should be a nice mix of incoming talent and experienced returnees in East Lansing next season. A.J. Hoggard and Jaden Akins return on the perimeter, while Tyson Walker still has another year of eligibility if he chooses to exercise the option. Tom Izzo also brings in five-star point guard Jeremy Fears, who plays with aggressiveness and toughness. Top-10 prospect Xavier Booker is a future lottery pick if he can find consistency.

Projected starting lineup:

Jeremy Fears (No. 20 in ESPN 100)
A.J. Hoggard (12.9 PPG)
Jaden Akins (9.8 PPG)
Xavier Booker (No. 7 in ESPN 100)
Mady Sissoko (5.1 PPG)

2305 - Replay Madness

Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick are out the door and Kevin McCullar Jr. could leave as well (although he has a year of eligibility left), but don’t rank Kansas too low as long as Bill Self is in Lawrence. Dajuan Harris Jr. will be back running the show, while K.J. Adams will take on a bigger role upfront. Top-40 recruits Elmarko Jackson and Chris Johnson will be counted on early to make an impact.

Projected starting lineup:

Dajuan Harris Jr. (8.9 PPG)
Elmarko Jackson (No. 22 in ESPN 100)
Chris Johnson (No. 35 in ESPN 100)
K.J. Adams (10.6 PPG)
Ernest Udeh Jr. (2.6 PPG)

12 - Replay Madness

This ranking assumes Azuolas Tubelis returns to Tucson. If he’s back in the fold, Tommy Lloyd will once again have arguably the best frontcourt duo in the country in Tubelis and Oumar Ballo. Besides Tubelis’ status, we’ll be closely watching whether the Wildcats can land enough perimeter pop. Kylan Boswell should be fine as Kerr Kriisa’s replacement, while Pelle Larsson is also back. But expect more weapons.

Projected starting lineup:

Kylan Boswell (4.6 PPG)
K.J. Lewis (four-star)
Pelle Larsson (9.9 PPG)
Azuolas Tubelis (19.8 PPG)
Oumar Ballo (14.2 PPG)

248 - Replay Madness

At least 28 wins in four of the past five seasons, advancing past the first weekend in four straight NCAA tournaments and 65 wins in the past two campaigns. Even with the losses of Marcus Sasser, Jarace Walker and Tramon Mark, Kelvin Sampson will have his team ready for the move to the Big 12. Jamal Shead is one of the best guards in the country, and Emanuel Sharp and Terrance Arceneaux are intriguing players.

Projected starting lineup:

Jamal Shead (10.5 PPG)
Emanuel Sharp (5.9 PPG)
Terrance Arceneaux (3.7 PPG)
J’Wan Roberts (10.0 PPG)
Ja’Vier Francis (4.3 PPG)

156 - Replay Madness

Baylor Scheierman and Ryan Kalkbrenner are both projected to be selected in the NBA draft, so we’ll consider them gone for now. Arthur Kaluma could also decide to leave. If Kaluma (or Scheierman or Kalkbrenner), Ryan Nembhard and Trey Alexander all return, Creighton will have one of the best trios in the country. Virginia transfer Isaac Traudt is also a former top-60 recruit who will help inside.

Projected starting lineup:

Ryan Nembhard (12.1 PPG)
Trey Alexander (13.6 PPG)
Arthur Kaluma (11.8 PPG)
Isaac Traudt (redshirt at Virginia)
Fredrick King (3.4 PPG)

333 - Replay Madness

Brandon Miller and Noah Clowney are off to the NBA, Jahvon Quinerly leads a group of departing seniors and Nimari Burnett is heading to Michigan. But Nate Oats has already been busy in the portal, landing Wichita State transfer Jaykwon Walton. He’s also bringing back Jaden Bradley, Mark Sears, Charles Bediako, Rylan Griffen and Nick Pringle from a team ranked No. 1 entering the NCAA tournament.

Projected starting lineup:

Jaden Bradley (6.4 PPG)
Mark Sears (12.5 PPG)
Jaykwon Walton (13.9 PPG at Wichita State)
Rylan Griffen (5.9 PPG)
Charles Bediako (6.4 PPG)

8 - Replay Madness

Given Eric Musselman’s track record, we can safely assume the projected starting lineup today will look vastly different two or three months from now. We can also assume it will feature plenty of talent. Davonte Davis and a healthy Trevon Brazile will lead the way, while top-30 recruits Layden Blocker and Baye Fall will enter the program. Could Jordan Walsh or Ricky Council IV return, meanwhile?

Projected starting lineup:

Devo Davis (10.9 PPG)
Layden Blocker (No. 26 in ESPN 100)
Joseph Pinion (2.4 PPG)
Trevon Brazile (11.8 PPG)
Baye Fall (No. 19 in ESPN 100)

38 - Replay Madness

We are all the way in on the Buffs’ bandwagon. They would have been in the top 25 even before Sunday’s commitment from TCU transfer Eddie Lampkin Jr. KJ Simpson and Tristan da Silva, if both return, give Tad Boyle two All-Pac-12 players to lead the way, and he’s adding potential lottery pick Cody Williams, a top-10 recruit. There’s a slew of role players also heading back to Boulder.

Projected starting lineup:

KJ Simpson (15.9 PPG)
Julian Hammond (6.9 PPG)
Cody Williams (No. 6 in ESPN 100)
Tristan da Silva (15.9 PPG)
Eddie Lampkin Jr. (6.3 PPG at TCU)

2390 - Replay Madness

There’s still a chance Isaiah Wong returns to Coral Gables, but with a Final Four appearance and ACC Player of the Year award under his belt, he could also decide he has accomplished enough in college. Even without him and Jordan Miller, though, Jim LarraƱaga will have some building blocks after going 7-2 in the NCAA tournament over the past two seasons. Nijel Pack, Norchad Omier and Wooga Poplar are all back.

Projected starting lineup:

Nijel Pack (13.8 PPG)
Wooga Poplar (8.7 PPG)
Bensley Joseph (5.2 PPG)
Anthony Walker (2.9 PPG)
Norchad Omier (13.3 PPG)

2509 - Replay Madness

Obviously, this ranking assumes Zach Edey doesn’t return to West Lafayette. The consensus national player of the year is ranked just inside ESPN’s top 60 for the NBA draft, meaning we consider him gone until told otherwise. If Edey comes back, the Boilermakers vault into the top five, as they bring back everyone else besides David Jenkins Jr. With another year of experience under their belts, Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer should be better late in the season too.

Projected starting lineup:

Braden Smith (9.7 PPG)
Fletcher Loyer (11.0 PPG)
Ethan Morton (3.8 PPG)
Mason Gillis (6.8 PPG)
Caleb Furst (5.5 PPG)

30 - Replay Madness

Andy Enfield will have one of the nation’s most exciting players running the show next season, in elite recruit Isaiah Collier. The No. 3 recruit can score, facilitate and make shots from the perimeter and is good enough to carry the Trojans. Enfield also brings back three starters from an NCAA tournament team, and Vincent Iwuchukwu will be fully healthy for an entire season, the team hopes.

Projected starting lineup:

Isaiah Collier (No. 3 in ESPN 100)
Kobe Johnson (9.2 PPG)
Tre White (9.0 PPG)
Joshua Morgan (7.0 PPG)
Vincent Iwuchukwu (5.4 PPG)

245 - Replay Madness

Buzz Williams’ team won 19 of 22 games before losing in the SEC championship game and then in the first round of the NCAA tournament. And he’s expected to bring back several key pieces from that group. The most important is Wade Taylor IV, one of the best point guards in the country. Henry Coleman and Julius Marble should form a very solid frontcourt tandem, and several role players are also expected back.

Projected starting lineup:

Wade Taylor IV (16.3 PPG)
Manny Obaseki (5.2 PPG)
Andersson Garcia (3.2 PPG)
Henry Coleman (9.0 PPG)
Julius Marble (9.1 PPG)

251 - Replay Madness

Rodney Terry’s first offseason as the full-time head coach in Austin will be spent figuring out which of his players are coming back. There were six seniors among the Longhorns’ top eight players, while Tyrese Hunter is testing the NBA draft waters and Dillon Mitchell is projected to be selected in the draft. Regardless, Terry will be able to lean on top-five recruit Ron Holland and top-40 recruit A.J. Johnson.

Projected starting lineup:

Tyrese Hunter (10.3 PPG)
Arterio Morris (4.6 PPG)
A.J. Johnson (No. 39 in ESPN 100)
Ron Holland (No. 5 in ESPN 100)
Dylan Disu (8.8 PPG)

153 - Replay Madness

Will the Tar Heels be able to put the most disappointing season in college basketball behind them? With R.J. Davis and Armando Bacot back in Chapel Hill, there are at least two terrific pieces to build around. Seth Trimble and Jalen Washington are two of the few reserves who didn’t enter the portal, but both are talented. Simeon Wilcher can make an impact as a freshman, too.

Projected starting lineup:

R.J. Davis (16.1 PPG)
Seth Trimble (1.8 PPG)
Simeon Wilcher (No. 27 in ESPN 100)
Jalen Washington (2.2 PPG)
Armando Bacot (15.9 PPG)

239 - Replay Madness

Scott Drew’s perimeter group will be completely rebuilt next season, with Keyonte George entering the NBA draft, Adam Flagler‘s future uncertain and LJ Cryer entering the transfer portal. Freshmen Ja’Kobe Walter and Miro Little will have to push for minutes immediately. Then there’s Langston Love to run the show. Jalen Bridges is also ready for a bigger role upfront.

Projected starting lineup:

Langston Love (6.3 PPG)
Miro Little (No. 33 in ESPN 100)
Ja’Kobe Walter (No. 14 in ESPN 100)
Jalen Bridges (10.3 PPG)
Josh Ojianwuna (4.2 PPG)

2250 - Replay Madness

The first season of the post-Drew Timme era is upon us, and Gonzaga will look dramatically different. The Zags can be expected to hit the portal pretty hard, given the lack of proven production returning. Nolan Hickman and Malachi Smith should form one of the better backcourt duos on the West Coast, especially if Hickman takes a step forward in his development and Smith becomes more of the go-to guy he was at Chattanooga.

Projected starting lineup:

Nolan Hickman (7.7 PPG)
Malachi Smith (8.7 PPG)
Dusty Stromer (No. 40 in ESPN 100)
Ben Gregg (5.1 PPG)
Efton Reid (2.1 PPG)

21 - Replay Madness

Brian Dutcher said Sunday he thinks next year’s team could be better. But as it stands, the 2023-24 roster feels thin. That said, the Aztecs deserve the benefit of the doubt. Lamont Butler and Micah Parrish will both be back and that’s a great starting point. Throw in Dutcher’s ability to build one of the best defenses in the country and SDSU is in good shape.

Projected starting lineup:

B.J. Davis (four-star)
Lamont Butler (8.7 PPG)
Micah Parrish (7.7 PPG)
Elijah Saunders (0.9 PPG)
Miles Heide (NR)

2633 - Replay Madness

Several seniors are out the door, including program stalwarts Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James. So are recent breakout performer Olivier Nkamhoua, starting center Uros Plavsic and transfer Tyreke Key. Where does Rick Barnes go from here? Zakai Zeigler will be back whenever he recovers from his torn ACL, and the Vols should have an elite defense again. But the likes of Jahmai Mashack and Jonas Aidoo will have to step up.

Projected starting lineup:

Zakai Zeigler (10.7 PPG)
Jahmai Mashack (4.7 PPG)
Freddie Dilione (redshirt)
Tobe Awaka (3.2 PPG)
Jonas Aidoo (5.1 PPG)

2608 - Replay Madness

Ranked inside the top 10 of most predictive metrics for the second half of the season, can Saint Mary’s run it back and push Gonzaga for the West Coast Conference title again? Logan Johnson and Alex Ducas are gone but Aidan Mahaney is poised to have a huge year and Mitchell Saxen is back down low. ESPN 100 guard Jordan Ross is intriguing. Plus, the Gaels’ elite defense this past season should carry over.

Projected starting lineup:

Jordan Ross (No. 97 in ESPN 100)
Aidan Mahaney (13.9 PPG)
Augustas Marciulionis (5.9 PPG)
Mitchell Saxen (11.6 PPG)
Harry Wessels (2.6 PPG)

26 - Replay Madness

We know UCLA is going to find players in the portal or late signees on the recruiting trail. We know there’s a chance Adem Bona or Amari Bailey opts to return to Westwood for another season. But with both projected to get drafted, Jaylen Clark already out the door and Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell gone, the roster isn’t great right now. The Bruins have to be in the top 25, though, so here they are for now.

Projected starting lineup:

Dylan Andrews (3.3 PPG)
Sebastian Mack (No. 49 in ESPN 100)
Will McClendon (1.0 PPG)
Devin Williams (No. 56 in ESPN 100)
Kenneth Nwuba (1.3 PPG)

Next in line:

Boise State Broncos
Ohio State Buckeyes
Wisconsin Badgers
Kansas State Wildcats
Auburn Tigers

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UConn Huskies are No. 1 in 2023-24 Way-Too-Early Top 25 men’s college basketball rankings