If you want to watch a fast paced, end to end, exciting sport then you don't have to look any further than the basketball played by the NCAAB. It has all the excitement of the professional game but the tickets are cheaper and there are way more matches on. And there is March Madness… need we say more.
If you are new to the world of college basketball or are watching from overseas then you may find the NCAA system a little confusing. So, here is a quick explanation.
Each college in the NCAA (national collegiate athletics association) is allowed to choose which division they enter, but they must play every sport in that division. Teams cannot get promoted from one division to another. Therefore you will see some amazing basketball teams in every division of the NCAAB.
Today, we are going to talk to you about 5 teams that you should be following if you want to see some great basketball this year. If you're planning to be betting on NCAA Basketball, then these are some teams you should keep in mind.
#1 - Stanford Cardinals
Last year, the NCAAB season was a lot shorter than usual for some leagues. We were only able to watch each team play an average of 10 games, some even less. While the Cardinals didn't have a great season last year (they went 50/50), we have a lot higher hopes for them this year.
The Cardinals have been around since 1914, and in that time they have won 13 conference titles - most recently in 2004. Last year they were towards the bottom of the Pac-12 table.
However, the team has been focusing on recruiting and retraining to make up for their gaps last year. One major sports data site is even predicting that the Cardinals will climb the Pac-12 rankings this year. If you like an underdog story (which, of course, you do, you're only human), then Stanford is the team to watch.
#2 - UCLA Bruins
The Bruins play in the Pac-12 conference and ended the 2021 season in the exact middle of the table - but don't let that fool you. Last year they made it into the final 4 of the NCAA tournament.
The Bruins were formed in 1919 and have been one of the most legendary teams in the history of the NCAAB. In the 70s and 80s they won the conference championships 13 times in a row. The only other team to have done that is the current Kansas team. The last time UCLA won their conference was in 2014. That being said, their team has still been doing well and they have been fighting for title after title.
You will notice that two of the other leading sports websites have put the Bruins on their to watch list for this year. Partly because of their performance in the NCAA tournament last year, but also because of the team's attitude and determination to win.
#3 - Princeton Tigers
Princeton may be most famous for its women's team (who put in an amazing performance last year - if you are going to watch the women's side of the NCAAB keep an eye on these ladies), today we want to talk about their men's team.
Princeton plays in the Ivy League conference. The Ivy League decided that last year they were going to cancel the majority of their winter sports for the safety of their students. So, we haven't seen the Princeton team play in two years.
However, the mood coming out of the Princeton Camp is their ready to improve on their third place conference performance from two years ago. They'll have to beat long term rivals Yale and Harvard, but whatever the result, Princeton is going to be a thrilling team to watch this year.
#4 - Truman State Bulldogs
This year the Truman State Bulldogs have been ranked 6th in the whole of Division 2. Over the last few years, the team has shocked everyone, winning their conference in 2020 and putting in a great show in the 2021 season.
If you are a big fan of basketball then you might be a little shocked to see this team on this list. They are quite a small team and until 2020 they hadn't won a conference title. The team went 18-1 in their conference last year. They made it to the elite 8 and ended the season on 20-3. That can't be ignored, especially when they were just scraping a 9-9 record three years ago.
Truman State is a public university with less than 5000 students and their basketball team doesn't even have a Wikipedia page (!) - the fact that they are able to compete with much larger universities with basketball programs is incredible. Truman State plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. We didn't know much about it either until Truman State caught our eye.
We are looking forward to seeing what Truman State can go on to do this year.
#5 - Baylor Bears
It would be rude to talk about the most exciting teams in the NCAA and not talk about the Baylor Bears - the current NCAA champions.
After the horrific scandal that the Bears were mixed up in during 2003, no one would have been surprised if we never heard of the Bears again and the university slowly let the Basketball program slide into nothingness.
But, the team is back and with a vengeance. Everyone was shocked and delighted to see the team's best ever performance in 2020 (the team ended the prematurely cancelled season in the top 5). But no one (including us) was expecting their 2021 performance.
The team ended the year on 28-2 and didn't lose a single home game in the process. During this amazing run they won their conference, made it to the final 4 for the first time in 71 years, and won their first ever NCAA title.
What have they got in store for us next year?
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