Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Way-too-early top-25 power rankings for 2024-25 season

Countdown to Craziness
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2. Alabama Crimson Tide

2023-24 season record: 25-12 (13-5 SEC)

Coming off the program’s first-ever Final Four appearance, Coach Nate Oats, who is staying with them after being contacted by Kentucky, is looking to maintain as strong of a roster as possible. But of all groups, the Crimson Tide is one of the toughest ones to observe. 

Right now, we know that starting guard Aaron Estrada (13.4 ppg and 4.6 apg) has no eligibility left, while sophomore guard Rylan Griffen has recently entered the transfer portal. Then there’s a group of veterans who do have a 5th year available, including forwards Nick Pringle, Grant Nelson, and Mohamed Wague, as well as Mark Sears.

As an All-American, Sears averaged 21.5 ppg and 4.0 apg, including multiple 30-point efforts. His NBA Draft stock isn’t super high so there’s a chance that he can return. That’ll be the difference between them being a preseason top-3 team and one that’s in the top-25.

The Tide already has a transfer newcomer in Houston Mallette, who averaged 14.7 ppg and 2.4 apg at Pepperdine this past season. There’s also a top-10 incoming freshmen class, led by five-star wings, Derrion Reid and Nassir Cunningham. Just need to find out what Sears is going to do next.