Even after every recruit signed, after players were drafted, and after (nearly) every coaching change was made, college basketball news impacting the 2012-13 season continued to break through the late summer and early fall.
With roughly 340 teams in Division I basketball, some players are bound to fall through the cracks.
We’d like to do our part to rectify that by highlighting some of the key players you may have missed last season. A handful of reasons led to these players going overlooked and underrated nationally: Chief among them is an absence from the NCAA Tournament. Some made all-conference teams. Some had impressive statistics, but for whatever reason, only hardcore fans knew their names.
In 2012, 30 of 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament field missed out a bid a season earlier.
The tally included eight from the six major conferences, including returns to prominence for Indiana and NC State. A quarter of the Sweet 16 -- the Hoosiers, Wolfpack, Baylor and Ohio -- was comprised of teams that a year earlier were either in consolation tournaments or missed the postseason altogether.
In 2012-13, Tournament droughts undoubtedly will end with a handful of teams capable of reaching the second weekend.
What would recent Final Fours be without Butler and VCU? And how boring would college football be without coaches like Lane Kiffin and Pat Fitzgerald.
There’s an intriguing youth movement afoot in college sports where Butler’s Brad Stevens and VCU’s Shaka Smart, both under the age of 40, have reached the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament and subsequently turn down big-time jobs to continue building their mid-major programs.