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
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7. Cal Bears - 4-7

Few teams had more offseason hype than Cal, who made a few big splashes in the transfer portal. The team won just three games in all of last season so they’ve already made improvements. However, a good case can be made that they’ve still been a disappointment to this point.

The Bears started out 2-5, taking losses to Pacific, Montana State and UTEP. The other four were to power conference programs, including in overtime to both Butler and San Diego State. At this point, the only decent win for the program is Santa Clara, meaning that they’re nowhere near the NCAA Tournament.

Even without much depth, there are still three players with 16+ ppg, led by Texas Tech transfer Jaylon Tyson’s 19.4 ppg. However, the next three top scorers (Fardaws Aimaq, Jalen Cone, and Keonte Kennedy) are all 5th-year seniors who’ll be gone, meaning that Cal will have to rebuild all over again.

Considering that the program is going to the ACC next year, this needed to be a big year so that Coach Mark Madsen could get more talent via the portal. If things don’t get better in the last year of Pac-12 play, all of that momentum that previously had will be for nothing.