Mid-major 2021-22 conference predictions — Can Gonzaga finish the job?


As the countdown continues toward the start of the 2020-21 college basketball season on Nov. 9, ESPN’s panel of experts is making its predictions. We begin by breaking down the best of the mid-major conferences, including a league (the West Coast Conference) which houses a team that rests comfortably outside the mid-major realm — the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

The Zags fell one win short of a historic undefeated season in 2020-21, and our writing team of Myron Medcalf, Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway and Joe Lunardi weighed in on whether Mark Few and Co. could take the final step toward a championship. Gonzaga, which topped Jeff Borzello’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 published Monday, is widely expected to be ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll when it is announced on Monday, Oct. 18.

Also included in our look at the “top leagues beyond the top leagues” (Atlantic 10, C-USA, Ivy, MAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, SoCon, Sun Belt, WCC) is a look at the most intriguing non-Gonzaga teams from mid-major conferences, the most underrated coaches from this tier, and the low-majors that savvy college basketball observers should have their eyes on in 2021-22.

Jump to: Superlatives | Roundtable | Picks

Mid-majors 2021-22 superlatives

Player of the Year

Medcalf: Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Borzello: Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Gasaway: Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Lunardi: Drew Timme, Gonzaga

Newcomer of the Year

Medcalf: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Borzello: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Gasaway: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Lunardi: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

Mid-majors 2021-22 writer roundtable

Gonzaga will likely enter 2021-22 as college basketball’s team to beat. Give us one reason why you think the Zags can finish the job and cut down the nets in New Orleans, and one thing that worries you about Mark Few’s squad.

Medcalf: Whenever Mark Few has an elite frontcourt, he usually makes a run. This is not unfamiliar with Gonzaga. With Przemek Karnowski, Johnathan Williams and Zach Collins, he reached the national title game in 2017. Two years later,…

Source : espn

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