Bracketology 2024: Arizona, Memphis and James Madison among early winners

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Bracketology Baylor Bears guard RayJ Dennis Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the first week of the 2023-24 NCAA Basketball season and we’ve already had some interesting results. And look, I know no one wants to hear about Bracketology so early but for many teams outside of the top-tier power conference programs, everything from now until March will matter from a resume perspective.

So far, several teams have been able to get big wins that should pay dividends later on. Here’s my first of a weekly series of “Bracketology winners”, focused on the top 10 teams that helped their respective resumes the most.

10. Duquesne Dukes

It’s viewed as one of the best Duquesne teams in a long time and this week was the first test. They first had to get past a talented Cleveland State squad at home, before taking on College Charleston in a neutral-site matchup on Friday. The Cougars won 31 games last season and are the big favorite to win the CAA again.

In a game that had multiple 20-4 type runs, the Dukes came out with a 90-72 win. And assuming Charleston ends up being as good as preseason expectations, that should end up as a Quad 2 win down the road. We’ll see what happens with Duquesne the rest of the way but they did pass the first real test.

9. Baylor Bears

In a neutral site game of their own, Baylor took on Auburn in the Sanford Pentagon. Although they were trailing for a good part of the second half, the Bears got on a big run and took both the lead and the eventual victory, 88-82. Freshman guard JaKobe Walter went off for 28 points in the game to get on the national radar.

Auburn looked just as impressive and already was a top-30 caliber team so this very likely will end up being a Quad 1 win for the resume. Just as important, it was a great test for the new-look backcourt, who showed high potential.

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