Busting Brackets
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NCAA Basketball: Way-too-early top 25 power rankings for 2023-24 season

Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies players celebrate after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs in the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies players celebrate after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs in the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball St. Mary’s Gaels guard Aidan Mahaney James Snook-USA TODAY Sports /

2022-23 season record: 27-8 (14-2 WCC)

Expected losses: Logan Johnson, Alex Ducas, Kyle Bowen

The UConn Huskies mostly ran through the NCAA Tournament but the one team that led them in the second half was Saint Mary’s. But after double-digit scoring wing Alex Ducas suffered an injury, the Gaels had no chance. He’s the one player on the roster that has a 5th year and if he takes it, this team will likely remain in the top-25 this offseason.

Despite losing WCC Defensive Player of the Year Logan Johnson, Saint Mary’s will have arguably the best player in the conference in Aidan Mahaney. The freshman star averaged 13.9 ppg and led the team to the overtime home win over Gonzaga, along with other key moments. Look for a bigger role for Augustas Marciulionis in the backcourt next to Mahaney.

In the frontcourt, interior defender Mitchell Saxon is coming back, while freshmen Harry Wessels and Joshua Jefferson will be key pieces once again. They also have another 7’0 center joining in  Andrew McKeever as well.

Saint Mary’s tends to get underrated at first and eventually climb into the top-25. This time around, the presence of Mahaney has everyone on alert. Depending on what Gonzaga does, the Gaels may end up being the team to beat in the WCC.