Ranking all 363 D-I teams to start 2022-23

The 2022-23 college basketball season tipped off Monday with a full day of matchups across the country, including all AP Top 25 teams in play. Along with the action, the first in-season edition of Bracketology has been formulated.

Gonzaga, Kentucky, Houston and North Carolina haven’t lost their 1-seeds (yet), and we’ve also identified our customary “Last Four In,” “First Four Out” and “Next Four Out” groups.

But why stop there? The start of a new season calls for something extra. While only 68 teams will ultimately earn a chance to play for a spot in the Final Four on April 1 in Houston, we ranked every Division I team looking to make the tournament — sorted by conference and postseason prospects.

Let the haggling begin!

Listed below is Joe Lunardi’s projected order of finish within each conference. National rankings are in parentheses.


ACC


  1. North Carolina (3)

  2. Duke (10)

  3. Virginia (15)

  4. Miami (31)

  5. Virginia Tech (35)

  6. Notre Dame (41)

  7. Florida State (42)

  8. Syracuse (53)

  9. Clemson (66)

  10. NC State (71)

  11. Wake Forest (75)

  12. Boston College (76)

  13. Louisville (94)

  14. Pittsburgh (104)

  15. Georgia Tech (116)

Tournament contenders

  • Final Four: North Carolina, Duke, Virginia

  • Sweet 16: Miami

  • NCAA Bubble: Notre Dame, Florida State, Syracuse

  • NCAA Round of 64: Clemson, N.C. State, Wake Forest

  • NIT: Boston College

  • Sleeper: Virginia Tech

Overview: North Carolina and Duke salvaged a mediocre 2021-22 regular season for the conference by advancing to their historic Final Four pairing in Coach K’s last game. The Tar Heels are the consensus No. 1 team in the polls after that run but might have a harder-than-expected time of it after dramatically outperforming their seed last March.


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AMERICA EAST


  1. Vermont (89)

  2. Bryant (185)

  3. UMass Lowell (209)

  4. UMBC (248)

  5. Binghamton (268)

  6. Albany (282)

  7. New Hampshire (315)

  8. NJIT (319)

  9. Maine (338)

Overview: Bryant joins the America East this year after a strong run in the NEC. The Bulldogs will be an immediate contender, but this is still Vermont’s world as long as John Becker is running the Catamounts.


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AMERICAN


  1. Houston (4)

  2. Memphis (37)

  3. Cincinnati (52)

  4. Tulane (65)

  5. Temple (78)

  6. UCF (98)

  7. Wichita State (105)

  8. SMU (115)

  9. Tulsa (146)

  10. South Florida (155)

  11. East Carolina (211)

Tournament contenders

  • Final Four: Houston

  • Sweet 16: Memphis

  • NCAA Bubble: Cincinnati

  • NCAA Round of 64: Tulane

  • NIT: UCF, Wichita State

  • Sleeper: Temple

Overview: The American is sure going to miss Houston when it finally joins the Big 12. In the meantime, the Cougars can legitimately contend for a national championship that is conveniently scheduled to take place in its hometown. Kelvin Sampson’s team is that good.


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ATLANTIC SUN


  1. Liberty (83)

  2. Jacksonville (174)

  3. Jacksonville State (204)

  4. Lipscomb (223)

  5. Florida Gulf Coast (236)

  6. North Florida (238)

  7. Kennesaw State (247)

  8. Austin Peay (249)

  9. Bellarmine (251)

  10. Eastern Kentucky (255)

  11. Queens University (294)

  12. Stetson (322)

  13. Central Arkansas (328)

  14. North Alabama (337)

Overview: Austin Peay (from the OVC) and Queens University of Charlotte (from Division II) join an Atlantic Sun recently dominated by Liberty. That doesn’t figure to change in 2022-23.


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ATLANTIC 10


  1. Dayton (24)

  2. Saint Louis (38)

  3. Loyola Chicago (61)

  4. VCU (87)

  5. George Mason (96)

  6. Richmond (108)

  7. Davidson (111)

  8. St. Bonaventure (130)

  9. Rhode Island (132)

  10. UMass (133)

  11. Duquesne (166)

  12. Saint Joseph’s (170)

  13. La Salle (286)

  14. George Washington (187)

  15. Fordham (192)

Tournament contenders

  • Sweet 16: Dayton, Saint Louis

  • NCAA Bubble: Loyola Chicago

  • NCAA Round of 64: VCU

  • NIT: George Mason

  • Sleeper: VCU

Overview: Richmond broke a modest NCAA tournament losing streak for the A-10 by knocking off 5-seed Iowa last season. The next challenge for the conference is to return to three-plus NCAA bids. Adding Loyola Chicago will help, but this year the league’s top dogs — Dayton, Saint Louis and VCU — are the ones who could win in March.


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BIG EAST


  1. Creighton (13)

  2. Villanova (16)

  3. Xavier (27)

  4. UConn (28)

  5. St. John’s (45)

  6. Providence (49)

  7. Seton Hall (60)

  8. Marquette (72)

  9. Butler (93)

  10. DePaul (101)

  11. Georgetown (107)

Tournament contenders

  • Final Four: Creighton

  • Sweet 16: Villanova, Xavier, UConn

  • NCAA Bubble: St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall

  • NCAA Round of 64: Marquette

  • NIT: Butler

  • Sleeper: St. John’s

Overview: Villanova’s decade of dominance might be at an end, but projected conference winner Creighton still has some postseason proving to do. If the Bluejays stay healthy and committed at both ends of the court, they could play into April and bring another Final Four banner to the Big East.


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BIG SKY


  1. Montana State (134)

  2. Montana (202)

  3. Northern Colorado (208)

  4. Eastern Washington (229)

  5. Weber State (235)

  6. Sacramento State (272)

  7. Northern Arizona (286)

  8. Portland State (292)

  9. Idaho State (334)

  10. Idaho (343)

Overview: The league title figures to reside in Big Sky country, with Montana State and Montana topping most of the preseason forecasts. The Bobcats have the best shot at an NCAA bid as they attempt to go back-to-back on Selection Sunday.


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BIG SOUTH


  1. Longwood (138)

  2. Winthrop (177)

  3. UNC Asheville (206)

  4. Gardner Webb (216)

  5. Campbell (241)

  6. High Point (250)

  7. Radford (283)

  8. Presbyterian (300)

  9. USC Upstate (304)

  10. Charleston Southern (327)

Overview: Longwood reached its first NCAA tourney a year ago and has the pieces to return. Winthrop, the league’s most successful program, will be right there in an attempt to regain the Big South crown.


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BIG TEN


  1. Indiana (12)

  2. Illinois (20)

  3. Michigan (23)

  4. Purdue (26)

  5. Michigan State (29)

  6. Iowa (30)

  7. Ohio State (34)

  8. Rutgers (47)

  9. Wisconsin (48)

  10. Maryland (54)

  11. Penn State (59)

  12. Northwestern (92)

  13. Minnesota (106)

  14. Nebraska (109)

Tournament contenders

  • Final Four: Indiana, Illinois

  • Sweet 16: Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State

  • NCAA Bubble: Rutgers, Wisconsin

  • NCAA Round of 64: Maryland, Penn State

  • NIT: Northwestern

  • Sleeper: Maryland

Overview: Indiana is my national “sleeper,” good enough to make a serious Final Four run. But it’s unlikely the Big Ten is breaking its two decade-long national championship drought come March and April. Once again, the conference is more quantity than elite quality.


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BIG WEST


  1. UCSB (99)

  2. UC Irvine (152)

  3. Hawai’i (157)

  4. Long Beach State (162)

  5. UC Riverside (194)

  6. Cal State Fullerton (205)

  7. UC Davis (207)

  8. Cal Poly (260)

  9. Cal State Bakersfield (271)

  10. UC San Diego (276)

  11. Cal State Northridge (318)

Overview: UCSB had a bit of an off season, by its own standards, but appears poised to return to the top of the Big West. UC Irvine, Hawai’i and Long Beach State — the latter with a much more humane schedule — should provide the strongest challenges.


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BIG 12


  1. Baylor (5)

  2. Kansas (6)

  3. Texas (8)

  4. TCU (18)

  5. Texas Tech (22)

  6. Oklahoma State (39)

  7. Oklahoma (40)

  8. Iowa State (57)

  9. West Virginia (67)

  10. Kansas State (82)

Tournament contenders

  • Final Four: Baylor, Kansas, Texas

  • Sweet 16: TCU, Texas Tech

  • NCAA Bubble: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma

  • NCAA Round of 64 Iowa State, West Virginia

  • NIT: Kansas State

  • Asleep: Oklahoma

Overview: You read that right. Three of our top eight teams (and five of the top 25) reside in the Big 12. The conference boasts the past two national champions and could very well have had a third from the canceled 2020 tournament. For however long it’s together, this is a perfect college basketball league.


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COLONIAL


  1. Towson (86)

  2. Hofstra (150)

  3. Delaware (168)

  4. Charleston (172)

  5. UNC Wilmington (203)

  6. Northeastern (212)

  7. Drexel (230)

  8. Stony Brook (256)

  9. North Carolina A&T (259)

  10. Monmouth (266)

  11. William & Mary (288)

  12. Elon (306)

  13. Hampton (323)

Overview: Expansion is the order of the day in the CAA, with Stony Brook, North Carolina A&T, Hampton and Monmouth coming aboard. Towson (25-9) and UNC Wilmington (27-9, CBI title) were the big winners a year ago, but it’s the Tigers who bring everybody back to chase the NCAA bid that eluded them last March.


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CONFERENCE USA


  1. UAB (43)

  2. North Texas (73)

  3. Western Kentucky (88)

  4. Florida Atlantic (121)

  5. Middle Tennessee (127)

  6. Louisiana Tech (137)

  7. UTEP (167)

  8. Charlotte (188)

  9. Rice (190)

  10. Florida International (225)

  11. UTSA (275)

Overview: This is a sneaky good league with a chance to do real damage in March. At least three teams could win postseason games. The trick will be to get all of them into a meaningful tournament before the conference breaks apart.


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HORIZON


  1. Northern Kentucky (136)

  2. Purdue Fort Wayne (171)

  3. Wright State (200)

  4. Youngstown State (218)

  5. Oakland (219)

  6. Detroit Mercy (252)

  7. Cleveland State (258)

  8. Robert Morris (305)

  9. Milwaukee (312)

  10. Green Bay (342)

  11. IUPUI (353)

Overview: The Horizon League could really use a team to break through for a round or two in March. It hasn’t happened since the Butler glory days, and it doesn’t appear anyone will be at that level anytime soon.


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IVY LEAGUE


  1. Penn (122)

  2. Princeton (145)

  3. Yale (154)

  4. Harvard (180)

  5. Cornell (214)

  6. Brown (233)

  7. Dartmouth (245)

  8. Columbia (299)

Overview: Any of the top four could win what figures to be a very competitive Ivy League race. This year, Princeton hosts the four-team Ivy tourney for the first time, so we should keep that in mind when handicapping the league’s automatic bid.


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MAAC


  1. Iona (100)

  2. Rider (189)

  3. Fairfield (198)

  4. Quinnipiac (215)

  5. Manhattan (217)

  6. Saint Peter’s (222)

  7. Niagara (240)

  8. Mount St. Mary’s (254)

  9. Siena (234)

  10. Marist (280)

  11. Canisius (296)

Overview: Mount St. Mary’s comes over to the MAAC from the NEC, replacing CAA-bound Monmouth. But the big story remains the truly remarkable run last March by St. Peter’s, arguably the most sustained Cinderella in tournament history. That said, Rick Pitino and Iona aren’t likely to let the automatic bid slip away a second time.


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MAC


  1. Toledo (87)

  2. Kent State (117)

  3. Akron (125)

  4. Ohio (173)

  5. Buffalo (178)

  6. Ball State (191)

  7. Western Michigan (239)

  8. Bowling Green (253)

  9. Eastern Michigan (257)

  10. Miami (Ohio) (265)

  11. Central Michigan (284)

  12. Northern Illinois (289)

Overview: Toledo has been consistently good under coach Tod Kowalczyk, including a 17-3 conference record last year, but the Rockets haven’t broken through to the NCAA tournament since 1980. They’ll take another shot this season in what figures to be another very balanced Mid-American race.


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MEAC


  1. Norfolk State (160)

  2. Howard (262)

  3. North Carolina Central (291)

  4. Morgan State (311)

  5. Coppin State (316)

  6. Maryland Eastern Shore (321)

  7. South Carolina State (349)

  8. Delaware State (356)

Overview: The incredible shrinking MEAC managed to bring its eight remaining schools back for another year. And, once again, Norfolk State is the best team in the conference by a wide margin.


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MISSOURI VALLEY


  1. Drake (58)

  2. Southern Illinois (113)

  3. Bradley (119)

  4. Belmont (140)

  5. Missouri State (141)

  6. Northern Iowa (144)

  7. Murray State (148)

  8. Indiana State (149)

  9. Valparaiso (199)

  10. Illinois State (201)

  11. Illinois-Chicago (273)

  12. Evansville (307)

Overview: Loyola Chicago exits and former OVC powers Belmont and Murray State make their way to the Missouri Valley. It’s a decent exchange for the league, which will try to ride Drake’s coattails into a new era.


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MOUNTAIN WEST


  1. San Diego State (17)

  2. Wyoming (46)

  3. Boise State (69)

  4. Utah State (79)

  5. Colorado State (85)

  6. UNLV (110)

  7. New Mexico (112)

  8. Fresno State (114)

  9. Nevada (131)

  10. Air Force (224)

  11. San Jose State (227)

Tournament contenders

  • Sweet 16: San Diego State

  • NCAA Bubble: Wyoming

  • NCAA Round of 64: Boise State, Utah State

  • NIT: Colorado State

  • Sleeper: UNLV

Overview: First, the good news: The Mountain West bagged four NCAA bids last season. The bad news: The teams went 0-4 in the tournament. All might be well in 2023, however, as San Diego State is more than good enough to play into the second weekend and raise the MWC banner quite high.


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NORTHEAST


  1. Wagner (243)

  2. Merrimack (267)

  3. Sacred Heart (290)

  4. St. Francis-PA (308)

  5. Central Connecticut (341)

  6. St. Francis-NY (345)

  7. Long Island (348)

  8. Fairleigh Dickinson (350)

  9. Stonehill (357)

Overview: Division I newcomer Stonehill enters, but the shoes of exiting Bryant and Mount St. Mary’s will be very hard to fill. Wagner has by far the best chance for the automatic bid, as Merrimack — finally eligible for the conference tourney — has another year before it can accept an NCAA invite.


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OHIO VALLEY


  1. Morehead State (181)

  2. Tennessee State (270)

  3. Tennessee Martin (285)

  4. SIU Edwardsville (287)

  5. Southern Indiana (301)

  6. Little Rock (310)

  7. Southeast Missouri State (313)

  8. Tennessee Tech (333)

  9. Eastern Illinois (352)

  10. Lindenwood (355)

Overview: The OVC really takes a hit this year, losing perhaps its three top schools — Belmont, Murray State and Austin Peay — while bringing in Little Rock and Division I newcomers Southern Indiana and Lindenwood. Morehead State is now king of the hill and should win the regular season handily.


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PAC-12


  1. UCLA (7)

  2. Arizona (14)

  3. Oregon (25)

  4. USC (36)

  5. Stanford (51)

  6. Washington State (62)

  7. Colorado (74)

  8. Arizona State (77)

  9. Washington (81)

  10. Utah (91)

  11. California (129)

  12. Oregon State (183)

Tournament contenders

  • Final Four: UCLA, Arizona

  • Sweet 16: Oregon

  • NCAA Bubble: USC, Stanford

  • NCAA Round of 64: Washington State, Colorado

  • NIT: Arizona State, Washington, Utah

  • Sleeper: Stanford

Overview: Traditional West Coast fans need to enjoy this while it lasts. The Pac-12 is good enough to survive UCLA and USC departing for the Big Ten, but its basketball will N-E-V-E-R be the same without the Bruins. For a change, I actually agree with Bill Walton!


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PATRIOT LEAGUE


  1. Colgate (103)

  2. Navy (228)

  3. Boston University (231)

  4. Army (263)

  5. Loyola MD (274)

  6. Lehigh (279)

  7. Bucknell (293)

  8. American (309)

  9. Lafayette (329)

  10. Holy Cross (332)

Overview: The pecking order atop the Patriot League has been fairly stable of late. Colgate and Boston U win championships, and Navy scares the heck out of everyone. The Raiders are certainly the favorites again, but the Middies figure to break through at some point.


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SEC


  1. Kentucky (1)

  2. Tennessee (9)

  3. Arkansas (11)

  4. Auburn (19)

  5. Alabama (21)

  6. Texas A&M (32)

  7. Florida (33)

  8. LSU (50)

  9. Ole Miss (55)

  10. Mississippi State (63)

  11. Missouri (64)

  12. Vanderbilt (90)

  13. South Carolina (95)

  14. Georgia (97)

Tournament contenders

  • Final Four: Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas

  • Sweet 16: Auburn, Alabama

  • NCAA Bubble: LSU

  • NCAA Round of 64: Ole Miss, Mississippi State

  • NIT: Missouri, Vanderbilt, South Carolina

  • Sleeper: Texas A&M

Overview: I don’t recall a year in which every SEC program made our top 100, and a case could be made for at least five teams to make a Final Four (or beyond) run. Not bad for a football league!


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SOUTHERN


  1. Furman (68)

  2. UNC Greensboro (126)

  3. Chattanooga (143)

  4. Samford (151)

  5. Wofford (165)

  6. Mercer (182)

  7. East Tennessee State (213)

  8. Western Carolina (274)

  9. The Citadel (281)

  10. VMI (302)

Overview: Taking away the abbreviated 2020-21 season, Furman has won at least 22 games each year under Bob Richey. Unfortunately, none have come in the SoCon title game. That has to change at some point. I’m betting purple.


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SOUTHLAND


  1. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (193)

  2. Nicholls State (237)

  3. New Orleans (317)

  4. Texas A&M Commerce (336)

  5. Northwestern State (339)

  6. Southeastern Louisiana (340)

  7. McNeese State (344)

  8. Houston Christian (346)

  9. Lamar (358)

  10. Incarnate Word (359)

Overview: It’s a good time to be Texas A&M Corpus Christi or Nicholls State, considering they’re the only top 300 programs left in the Southland. One of the two, along with maybe New Orleans, should grab the automatic bid pretty much every year.


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SUMMIT


  1. Oral Roberts (102)

  2. South Dakota State (135)

  3. South Dakota (175)

  4. North Dakota State (210)

  5. Denver (244)

  6. UMKC (295)

  7. St. Thomas-MN (297)

  8. Western Illinois (298)

  9. Nebraska Omaha (320)

  10. North Dakota (330)

Overview: Oral Roberts, fueled one last time by the incomparable Max Abmas, will try to recapture its 2021 NCAA tournament magic. But first, the Golden Eagles will need to wrest the Summit championship back from the Dakota schools. It’s no easy task.


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SUN BELT


  1. Louisiana (120)

  2. James Madison (153)

  3. Texas State (158)

  4. Marshall (164)

  5. Old Dominion (176)

  6. South Alabama (184)

  7. Georgia State (195)

  8. Appalachian State (196)

  9. Coastal Carolina (197)

  10. Troy (221)

  11. Georgia Southern (226)

  12. Arkansas State (269)

  13. Louisiana Monroe (278)

  14. Southern Miss (303)

Overview: You can’t tell the teams without a program in the new-look Sun Belt. Most important is that CAA transfers James Madison and Old Dominion, both of which came mainly for football, will be factors on the hardwood immediately. Holdover Louisiana is the favorite, but not by much.


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SWAC


  1. Southern (242)

  2. Texas Southern (277)

  3. Prairie View A&M (314)

  4. Jackson State (324)

  5. Alcorn State (326)

  6. Grambling State (331)

  7. Bethune Cookman (335)

  8. Alabama A&M (347)

  9. Florida A&M (351)

  10. Alabama State (354)

  11. Arkansas Pine Bluff (361)

  12. Mississippi Valley State (363)

Overview: The SWAC remains respectable at the top, with Southern and Texas Southern continuing a multiyear battle. Prairie View A&M snuck in for one title, but it has been more than a decade since any other school went to the NCAA tournament. Look for more of the same.


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WAC


  1. Grand Canyon (80)

  2. New Mexico State (124)

  3. Abilene Christian (128)

  4. Stephen F. Austin (142)

  5. Utah Valley (156)

  6. Cal Baptist (161)

  7. Sam Houston State (163)

  8. Seattle (169)

  9. Southern Utah (179)

  10. Tarleton State (220)

  11. UT Arlington (246)

  12. Utah Tech (261)

  13. UT Rio Grande Valley (325)

Overview: Grand Canyon is beginning to separate from the rest of a growing WAC, and the gap might widen when New Mexico State departs. In the meantime, there are at least a half-dozen programs with long-term designs on contending.


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WEST COAST


  1. Gonzaga (2)

  2. Saint Mary’s (44)

  3. BYU (56)

  4. San Francisco (84)

  5. Santa Clara (118)

  6. Portland (123)

  7. San Diego (139)

  8. Loyola Marymount (147)

  9. Pepperdine (159)

  10. Pacific (232)

Tournament contenders

Overview: The best year in league history gave us the No. 1 overall seed (Gonzaga) and a record No. 5 seed for Saint Mary’s, one of the smallest schools in Division I. With the Zags and BYU in the fold, the WCC remains a sneaky multi-bid power. Without them, who knows?

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/34966270/bracketology-where-rank-all-363-division-men-college-hoops-teams-2022-23 Ranking all 363 D-I teams to start 2022-23

Emma Bowman

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