With college basketball season officially underway, as team practices have started, the hype is real.  Every team understands that they are all on the same playing field, until November 6th hits.  That is the day that separates the men from the boys.  With 40 days to go until then, here are 40 BOLD predictions for the upcoming season.  Let’s get started:

15. Zion Williamson will have a 50 point game.

Yes, Zion will get this done.  The man would be one of the biggest, pound for pound players in the NBA already.  With games against Eastern Michigan, Stetson, and Hartford, there are literally no players on those teams that can realistically match up with Williamson.  He’ll drop 40 plus on one of them.

14. There will be 38 power 6 teams in March Madness

This number always changes from year to year, but I will go with 39 this year.  9 from the ACC, 8 from the Big Ten, 7 from the Big East, 6 from the SEC, 5 from the Big 12, and 3 from the Pac 12.

13. The AAC gets in 4 teams

Houston and UCF are favorites, with Tulsa, UConn, Memphis, and Cincinnati all there.  All six of these teams finish with over 18 wins, putting four of them in the big dance.

12. Notre Dame will finish in the bottom 3 of the ACC

After losing Bonzie Colson and co, the Irish have little to look forward to.  Might be one of the worst seasons in South Bend in a while.

11. Kamar Baldwin leads the Big East in scoring – at over 24 PPG

Might not be that bold, but Butler lost a lot of good players, and Baldwin already scored 15 PPG last season.  This will most surely happen.

10. Bol Bol only averages 7 PPG

I’m not rooting against Bol, but he is very raw and needs weight.  I see a big defensive presence, but Bol will struggle offensively.

9. Louis King averages 18 PPG

King has gone way too underrated this season, and I think he is one of the top 10 incoming freshman – maybe even top 5.  His scoring will prove that this season.

8. Sticking with Oregon, they win the Pac-12

The Pac-12 is down again this year – I often call it a mid major.  Nonetheless, Oregon will win the Pac-12 and probably earn a 3-5 seed.

7. Gonzaga gets a 1 seed, but loses in the second round

The ‘Zags have a ton of talent this year and might only lose a 1 conference game all season long.  However, they lack one really big star, and therefore will be upset – my prediction is the round of 32.

6. St. Mary’s or BYU gets in the NCAA Tournament

Both got snubbed last season – especially the Gaels, as the WCC only got Gonzaga in.  This year will be different, as I see a bit more love from the committee.

5. Chicago State goes winless

The Cougars only bring back one of their top 3 scorers from a season ago.  This same Cougars team only won 3 games last season, and opens up against the likes of Indiana and Notre Dame.

4. Mike Daum leads the NCAA in scoring at 29 PPG

Daum put up close to 24 PPG last season, and should be even more improved for South Dakota State, who looks to make the big dance again.

3. Marquette wins the Big East regular season title and tournament

Sorry, Nova.  Your run is over.  After losing Brunson, Bridges, DiVencenzo, and Spellman, the Wildcats will have to rely on Phil Booth, Eric Paschall, and a bunch of freshmen.  The Wildcats still finish in 2nd, but don’t come out on top.

2. Syracuse sets a record – for over 40,000 fans

Syracuse and Duke.  February 23rd.  Mark it down.  Duke will most likely be in the top 3 coming into the Dome to face off with a Syracuse team who will be somewhere between 5 and 15.  Not to mention the fact that it will be the last Cuse/Duke battle with the current Dome structure.  This will be something else.

1. A team not named Kansas, Duke, Villanova, or North Carolina wins it all.

Yes, these are the favorites.  No, none of them will win it all.  Kansas lacks guard experience, and will be bounced in the Elite 8.  Duke lacks seniority (Grayson is gone), and will also lose in the Elite 8.  Nova won’t repeat due to too many players gone, and Carolina doesn’t have quite enough to take home the chip.