Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball Ranking of top 10 mid-major winners of 2024 offseason

McNeese v Gonzaga
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No. 2: Memphis

For the first half of the 2023-24 season, the Tigers looked like one of, if not the best mid-majors in the country. In mid-January, the Tigers boasted a 15-2 record were ranked no. 10 in the AP poll and looked all but set to make a run in the NCAA tournament. Then the wheels fell off - quickly. Following their 15-2 start, the Tigers lost four straight games, including home losses to South Florida and Rice. The team continued to sputter down the stretch and went 7-8 to finish the season and falling out of the NCAA tournament altogether. Despite the massive mid-season implosion, Memphis has made many solid moves in the transfer portal and looks ready to return to the big dance in 2025.

The Tigers' incoming portal class includes players such as former Iowa State and Texas guard Tyrese Hunter, former Illinois big man Dain Dainja, and former Tulsa guard PJ Haggerty. Hunter and Dainja will both be seniors next season will bring plenty of experience across the board, with both players having an elite eight appearance under their belt with their former teams. On the flip side redshirt sophomore PJ Haggerty is familiar with the American Conference, and won the conference's Freshman of the Year award this year while playing for Tulsa. Haggerty averaged an impressive 21.2 ppg, along with 5.5 rpg and 38.3 apg while shooting 49% from the field.

Outside of their portal additions, the Tigers will look for star forward David Jones, who has declared for the NBA draft, to withdraw from the draft and return to Memphis for his senior year. Should Jones return, the Tigers would return a top 10 overall scorer in the country from this year, as Jones averaged 21.8 ppg. But even if Jones opts to stay in the NBA draft, the Tigers have made some solid moves that will help not only fill the by Jones.

With the significant changes across the American Conference, both in the roster/coaching front along with conference realignment, Memphis looks to be the favorite to win the conference.