When Does 2023-24 NCAA Men’s Season Start? Listing Colleges That Will Compete for the Ultimate Glory

Published 10/24/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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With November creeping up on us, the excitement surrounding the 2023-24 men’s college basketball season is palpable. As NCAA basketball practices ramp up, rosters are finalized and media days take place, fans are gearing up for another thrilling season. With many emerging talents gracing prestigious basketball teams, this season, like many will be one to look forward to.

With the 2023-24 NCAA men’s basketball season kicking off in under two weeks, we break down the top teams you need to keep an eye on in the upcoming season.

Top teams and their players to look out for

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The 2023 Final Four indeed had a touch of unpredictability and underdog magic, with non-power conference teams like Florida Atlantic and San Diego State making an unexpected appearance. Even Miami, a program not typically associated with rich basketball history made it.

But as we gear up for the 2023-24 season, the balance might just shift back towards the traditional powerhouses if the preseason rankings are any indication. As per NCAA officials, mark your calendars for November 6th because that’s when the NCAA hardwood action officially commences. And it’s not just college hoops aficionados who are thrilled; NBA fans also eagerly eye the incoming draft prospects, making this a season to watch for budding talent.

Here are the top 10 teams and their players to watch out for-

  1. Kansas Jayhawks: Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks claim the throne at number one in our preseason rankings. With an abundance of proven talent, including preseason All-American Hunter Dickinson and a stellar returning trio of Dajuan Harris Jr., Kevin McCullar Jr., and K.J. Adams Jr., the Jayhawks are poised to make a championship run.
  2. Duke Blue Devils: Duke isn’t far behind, holding the second spot. Kyle Filipowski’s return and a talented backcourt led by Tyrese Proctor and Jared McCain make the Blue Devils a formidable contender. Under the guidance of coach Jon Scheyer, this squad is ready to compete at the highest level.
  3. Purdue Boilermakers: Zach Edey, the reigning Wooden Award winner, leads the Boilermakers. Purdue returns all five starters and boasts a strong supporting cast, making them favorites to dominate the Big Ten. Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer carry the expectation to step up for the team’s success.
  4. Michigan State Spartans: Tom Izzo’s Spartans boast experience, elite guards, and an explosive mix of talented newcomers. Tyson Walker and Malik Hall decided to stay. And a high-level recruiting class has retained Michigan State’s competitive edge.
  5. UConn Huskies: Despite losing key players, the reigning champions have high hopes. Donovan Clingan’s return from injury, along with top recruit Stephon Castle, and the addition of Cam Spencer, gives UConn a competitive edge. The Huskies aim to make another deep NCAA tournament run.
  6. Houston Cougars: Houston’s move to the Big 12 is a significant change, but they remain a team to watch. With transfers LJ Cryer and Damian Dunn joining the squad, and the dominant Jamal Shead and J’Wan Roberts, they have the potential to be a force in their new conference.
  7. Marquette Golden Eagles: Shaka Smart’s team is back, except for NBA-bound Olivier-Maxence Prosper. The core of Tyler Kolek, Stevie Mitchell, Kam Jones, David Joplin, and Oso Ighodaro, supported by a strong sixth man, makes Marquette a contender in 2023-24.
  8. Tennessee Volunteers: Coach Rick Barnes sought to improve the Vols’ offense during the offseason. Dalton Knecht and Jordan Gainey’s arrival, along with promising freshman Freddie Dilione, could provide the scoring boost needed. Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James are back, but Zakai Zeigler’s health remains a question mark.
  9. Creighton Bluejays: Despite some changes, Creighton remains a team to watch. The return of key players and the addition of transfers provide depth and talent. Keep an eye on Steven Ashworth, Baylor Scheierman, Trey Alexander, Mason Miller, and Ryan Kalkbrenner as they look to make an impact.
  10. Gonzaga Bulldogs: Mark Few worked his magic once again, reloading the roster with transfers to offset key departures. Ryan Nembhard, Graham Ike, and Steele Venters are expected to make an impact, alongside Anton Watson’s leadership.

While these college teams are gearing up for an exciting season, NBA fans are also eagerly awaiting the debut of Bronny James.

Will Bronny James play this season?

It looks like the USC Trojans might just get a major boost this season in the form of Bronny James! The young basketball prodigy, son of the legendary LeBron James, is on the road to recovery and eager to hit the court for USC.

LeBron James shared the exciting news during the Los Angeles Lakers‘ media day, stating, “Bronny is doing extremely well. He has begun his rehab process to get back on the floor this season with his teammates at USC.”

This update comes following the health scare Bronny faced earlier this summer when he suffered cardiac arrest during a workout. The family attributed it to a congenital heart defect, which was undoubtedly a terrifying moment for the entire James family.

via Imago

Despite Bronny missing the team’s first practice, USC’s head coach, Andy Enfield, remains hopeful. “Bronny’s doing very well,” Andy Enfield told ESPN. “But we just can’t comment on anything medically. He’s going to class and doing extremely well in school, and we’re really excited for him.”

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The fact that LeBron mentioned his son’s “successful surgery” certainly indicates that the road to recovery is looking positive.

Watch This Story: LeBron James Sets Up Lakers 7ft Recruit With an Audacious Lob as Anthony Davis Witnesses From the Bench

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Bronny James is no ordinary freshman; he’s a 5-star recruit according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. If he returns to the court, his addition could be a major boost to the Trojans. USC has been riding a wave of success in recent years with three consecutive NCAA men’s tournament appearances, including a memorable run to the Elite Eight in 2021. With Bronny in the mix, the Trojans’ ceiling for success this season could soar even higher.

Are you excited for the 2023-24 NCAA season? Let us know who you’re rooting for in the comments below!

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Written by:

Ranjitha Ramesh

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Ranjitha Ramesh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Ranjitha has a strong foundation in reporting and writing. Her passion for basketball, particularly the Lakers and LeBron James, fuels her desire to delve into the lifestyle and off-court activities of NBA stars.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor