This year, the NCAA tournament was special and was nothing short of amazing. From heartbreakers, thrillers, dances and game-winners, this tournament had it all. You have to give props to what Kevin Ollie and UConn accomplished after a year removed from participating in any kind of postseason, beating Kentucky for the national championship.
While UConn has barely had a chance to soak in their championship run, it is never too early to predict some teams who have the best chance of winning next season in Indianapolis.
Honorable Mention: Wisconsin, Michigan and Kentucky
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5. UConn Huskies
After winning four championships since 1999, there is no way you count the Huskies out in any given season. They always find a way to win, no matter the circumstances. The current champs were special and was a team that faced adversity–through loyalty, they persevered and beat the odds. Shabazz Napier was the heart of this team and carried them the whole season and he will be missed, but the Huskies will a tougher and stacked team next year. With Ryan Boatright returning for his senior year, the possibility of DeAndre Daniels returning and an abundance of newcomers, the Huskies should not miss a beat.
North Carolina State transfer Rodney Purvis will be ready to take the keys from Napier after he sat out this year due to NCAA transfer rules and is an incredible scorer who will be a major contributor from day one for the Huskies. UConn also brings in an impressive recruiting class led by Daniel Hamilton from Los Angeles. Hamilton is the younger brother of NBA player Jordan Hamilton and he may end up being better. UConn also has signed Sam Cassell Jr.
While Shabazz Napier’s departure hurts a bit, the Huskies still have enough talent to shock the world yet again. Who knows… maybe it is Boatright’s turn to go on a Kemba-esque run.
4. North Carolina Tar Heels
This season was definitely a learning curve for the Tar Heels with so many young players. They could not just find a constant rhythm. They suffered from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde symptoms with playing strong against some of the best teams in college basketball and falling short to some low-tier teams.
Next year there is a lot of hope for the Tar Heels as they will return a lot of their key pieces, despite the departure of James Michael McAdoo and Leslie McDonald. Marcus Paige will have a great junior campaign and showed this season a glimpse of the potential player he can be for Roy Williams. Also returning are athletic wings Brice Johnson and J.P. Tokoto, who will improve over the summer. The Tar Heels also bring in an incredible recruiting class with Theo Pinson, Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson, who should make immediate impacts the first day they step foot in Chapel Hill.