Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 10 biggest early team disappointments of 2023-24 season

Oakland v Michigan State
Oakland v Michigan State / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages
1 of 10

We're at the midway point of the season, with NCAA Basketball non-con play largely done. For the most part, we have a good look at how good or bad most of these teams are at this point. Some have greatly overachieved compared to preseason expectations, while others have underachieved.

Here's a look at the 10 biggest "disappointments" of the 2023-24 NCAA Basketball season so far, focusing on the teams in the top conferences.

10. Alabama Crimson Tide - 7-5

The Tide has had one of the toughest schedules in the non-con, featuring three straight games against top-10 teams (Creighton, Arizona, Purdue). They were competitive in all three games, holding a second half lead at one point. Losses to Ohio State and Clemson also aren't shameful either.

The problem is that with respect to Oregon, Alabama lost all five of its toughest games on the schedule. They scored 89+ points in all of their wins and currently have the 3rd-highest scoring offense in NCAA Basketball, led by Mark Sears (19.6 ppg and 3.8 apg) playing at an All-American level.

But the defense has been awful to this point, nearly giving up 80 ppg. The fast pace plays a part of it but the roster construction of mid-major transfers and young pieces, without a true interior defender like Charles Bediako has made it a big weakness.

Alabama has enough offense to win games and make the NCAA Tournament and the metrics still likes them. But are they anywhere near a threat to win the SEC or make some noise in March? No. And that's what warrants them a spot on the list, albeit at the very beginning.