Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 8 teams who managed to survive 2024 transfer portal madness

Illinois v Iowa State
Illinois v Iowa State / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Loyola-Chicago Ramblers

In one of the most impressive team turn-arounds, Loyola-Chicago went from last in the Atlantic 10 in their first season to tying for the regular-season title, winning 23 games overall. But would they be in a position to defend their title and keep those with eligibility intact?

There were a few pieces that would’ve been easy targets for power conference teams, as has been plenty other players in the A-10. That includes leading scorers Desmond Watson (12.6 ppg), along with sophomore guad Jayden Dawson and freshman shot-blocking big, Miles Rubin.

All three are back, which is an impressive feat for a non-power conference team. And they became the building blocks for an overall successful offseason so far, with the team landing four new pieces to round out the roster.

We’re a long way to go in the offseason but right now, Loyola-Chicago has a good case to make when it comes to being a preseason contender in the A-10. Coach Drew Valentine had a rough year but bounced back and has since kept the momentum, including keeping all of the top returning players from looking at the power conferences.