Another season of college basketball is upon us and that means another season of “Brinkman Bracketology.” For those of you who missed out on Brinkman Bracketology last season it’s designed to take you through the college hoops season through my eyes. My insights include projected top tournament seeds, bracket busters, potential cinderella candidates, and top players poised for future greatness. This inaugural edition of Brinkman Bracketology will outline my preseason Final 4.
Michigan State (+900) odd to win championship
Michigan State opens atop the AP Poll to start the season and sits as the third favorite in Vegas to win the National Championship. With Tom Izzo on the bench and Cassius Winston at point guard it’s easy to see why they are considered one of the favorites. Winston is a senior, the reigning Big Ten player of the year, and a preseason first team All American entering the 2019-2020 season. Winston isn’t the only stud Tom Izzo has this year. At 6’8 Xavier Tillman will handle all the dirty work inside, and Michigan State also brings in two fabulous freshmen in Rocket Watts and Malik Hall. Even with senior guard Joshua Langford out indefinitely with a foot/ankle injury I still feel like Michigan State is the best team in the best conference.
The preseason AP Top 25 has been released. Michigan State is No. 1 in October for the first time in school history. Here’s the top 10:
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) October 21, 2019
Memphis (+1600) odd to win championship
I love the newfound swagger this program has under the leadership of Penny Hardaway. The first-time head coach promised prosperity and big-time recruits, and both seem to be certainties entering the season. Memphis touts the top freshman in the country and potential top NBA draft selection James Wisemen. At over seven feet tall Wisemen should have no issue making an immediate impact and is drawing comparisons to last years top draft choice Zion Williamson. Memphis also brought in 6’3 point guard Boogie Ellis to man the perimeter. Ellis was slated to go to Duke until Hardaway waived his magical recruiting wand and poached him away from Coach K. As you can see Memphis will have no shortage of talent this season.
Florida (+2000) odd to win championship
The Gators open at 6th in the opening AP Poll and it’s easy to see why. Size and defense should the calling card for this edition of Florida Gator basketball. The highlight of the offseason was landing graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear from Virginia Tech. Blackshear is a seasoned veteran who stands just under seven feet tall and averaged just under fifteen point and seven rebounds in a loaded ACC last season. The Gators also added one of my favorite freshmen of this seasons recruiting class in Scottie Lewis. Lewis should start right away and only adds to the defensive mentality of this Florida team. The Gators also have a reliable backcourt featuring Andrew Nembhard and sharpshooter Noah Locke. Locke set a freshman SEC record draining 81 three pointers last season. All signs point to a fruitful season when it comes to basketball in the sunshine state.
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) October 28, 2019
Baylor (+4000) odd to win championship
I always try to think outside the box on at least one of these preseason picks and Baylor has a lot going for it I like. The main factor being head coach Scott Drew. Drew has proven to be excellent at getting the most out of his talent. Drew was able to alter his lineup and adjust nicely after losing star forward Tristan Clark to a knee injury prior to conference play last season. Baylor was still able to win a tournament game despite being down their best player. The Bears will get Clark back and add transfer MaCio Teague who averaged just over 16 points per game for UNC Ashville last season. Starting point guard Jared Butler returns as well. Butler shot nearly 40 percent from three after entering the starting lineup last season after Clark was injured. Baylor starts the season 16th in the country and have the athleticism, depth, and coaching to make a deep run.
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) October 25, 2019