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NCAAB · a month ago

5 Biggest Losers from the College Basketball Offseason

David Connelly - SportsGrid

David Connelly - SportsGrid

5 Biggest Losers from the College Basketball Offseason

It’s been about as eventful of an offseason in college sports that most can remember. Between conference realignment, coaching changes, and roster turnover through a hectic transfer portal, college basketball is in for a wild ride in 2023-24.

To help capture some of the most significant moments of the offseason, we rank the top five losers from this summer in college hoops.

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1. Pac-12’s Remaining Four

Washington, Washington State, Cal, and Stanford are undeniably the biggest losers of this college hoops offseason. The demolition of the Pac-12 has left them behind, forcing them to either head across the country for a power conference or move down a rung to the Mountain West. It’s the dark side of conference realignment, as greed may leave a profound mark on the future of these programs.

2. Bob Huggins

After putting together one of the best transfer classes in the entire country earlier this offseason, Huggins had perhaps the most anticipated season in Morgantown in over a decade. But usage of a homophobic slur and a DUI derailed all of it, forcing him to resign from the position and lose a few key transfers. The Mountaineers still have hope but will have to do it with 39-year-old interim head coach Josh Eilert making his head coaching debut.

3. Big East

While all the rivaling Power 6 conferences continue strengthening on the backs of college football moves, the Big East has taken a back seat in the national spotlight due to its lack of college football participation. While the league remains prevalent in hoops, it continues to grow inferior to the increasing strength of the Big 12, Big Ten, and SEC. If the ACC ends up folding or wants to eliminate a few programs, that would be the time for an old-school Big East reunion.

4. Penn State

The Nittany Lions have sneakily lost a boatload this offseason. After lifting the program to new heights, head coach Micah Shrewsberry is off to South Bend after taking the Notre Dame job. With Seth Lundy and Jalen Pickett off to the NBA, the nucleus that helped bring Penn State to the NCAA Tournament is largely missing. It could be back to mediocrity in Happy Valley for the foreseeable future.

5. College Basketball Itself

Despite generating the most revenue of any collegiate sport under the NCAA, college football has been the priority with conference realignment. It’s what moves the needle for most athletic programs and has left college hoops at its mercy. As the conferences continue to shift and take shape based on the desires of the gridiron, we can only hope it doesn’t tarnish the landscape of college basketball.

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