College basketball came down to the blue bloods last season, with Kentucky adding to its Hoops Rushmore résumé in a Final Four that included Kansas, Louisville and Ohio State.
This season, the mid-majors figure to play a bigger role.
While Indiana is the preseason No. 1 for the first time in 33 years and big names like Duke, North Carolina and Arizona are loaded with talent, it's the little guys who could make the most noise this season.
Just look at the preseason All-America team: Creighton's Doug McDermott, Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and Murray State's Isaiah Canaan. The Top 25 also is littered with mid-majors, including Creighton, UNLV, San Diego State and Gonzaga.
Here are a few other things to look for:
FIVE TEAMS TO WATCH
Indiana: The long climb from the embarrassment of an NCAA phone-call scandal appears to finally be over. The Hoosiers have 7-foot center Cody Zeller and the kind of team that could make a title run.
Kentucky: The Calipari Method continues: Sign future NBA players, win, lose them to the NBA, repeat.
Louisville: Rick Pitino flexed his coaching muscles with one of the best jobs of his career last season and may not be done since most of the players from that team are back.
Ohio State: Jared Sullinger and William Buford are gone. Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft are not. Thad Matta rarely leaves the cupboard bare.
Michigan: Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. make up a backcourt that could help the Charlotte Bobcats win more games. They certainly will in Ann Arbor.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Zeller, Indiana: He might be the best player in Clan Zeller, which is saying something coming from that family.
Burke, Michigan: Burke led the Wolverines in scoring and assists last season. Don't expect a sophomore slump. He's too good to have one.
Thomas, Ohio State: Thomas played in Sullinger's shadow last season. He won't this season, especially after a confidence-building run through the NCAA Tournament.
McDermott, Creighton: Missouri Valley Player of the Year, third nationally in scoring, preseason All-American you might want to keep an eye on this guy.
McCollum, Lehigh: Score, score and score some more. He's a pretty good rebounder and can pass, as well.
FIVE NEWCOMERS TO WATCH
Nerlens Noel, Kentucky: The bluest of coach John Calipari's blue-chippers this season, the 6-foot-10 forward has an elevated game and the hair to match it.
Jahii Carson, Arizona State: Sun Devils fans have been waiting a year for Carson to be eligible, and the sophomore point guard isn't likely to disappoint with that wicked crossover and super hops.
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA: Bruins coach Ben Howland landed a stellar recruiting class this season, led by the left-handed Muhammad. The key is getting him on the court; the NCAA is still investigating whether he received improper benefits from boosters of an AAU team.
Grant Jerrett, Arizona: Coach Sean Miller said Jerrett is as far along as any incoming big man he's seen and he's seen a few good ones.
Steven Adams, Pittsburgh: The former rugby player from New Zealand should fit right in with the Big East bangers.
FIVE NEW COACHES TO WATCH
Kevin Ollie, Connecticut: Replacing a three-time national champion (Jim Calhoun) won't be easy. Doing it as a first-time coach on a one-year contract will add a degree or two of difficulty.
Larry Brown, SMU: Of all the options for the 71-year-old Hall of Famer, this one was unlikely.
Frank Martin, South Carolina: With one of the more surprising moves in the offseason, Martin will try to rebuild another program after making Kansas State relevant.
Danny Manning, Tulsa: Manning probably won't need a miracle in his first coaching job. He learned from one of the best as an assistant under Bill Self at Kansas.
Richard Pitino, Florida International: Rick's son has proven to be pretty sharp himself.
FIVE TRANSFERS TO WATCH
Mark Lyons, Arizona: He went to the NCAA's final 16 three times before graduating from Xavier. He's reunited with the coach who recruited him there, giving Miller a heady, quick point guard who won't wither under the spotlight.
Alex Oriakhi, Missouri: He was a key contributor to UConn's 2011 national title run. The powerful big man could have a similar impact on the Tigers.
Aaric Murray, West Virginia: One of three transfers landed by coach Bob Huggins, Murray could have the biggest impact after leading La Salle in scoring (15.2 points a game) and rebounding (7.7).
Ryan Harrow, Kentucky: In case the Wildcats didn't have enough talent with another top recruiting class, they added Harrow from North Carolina State. After a year of waiting, he gets his turn to run the show in Lexington.
Trey Zeigler, Pittsburgh: A former McDonald's All-American, he was allowed to leave Central Michigan when his father, Ernie, was let go. The dude can shoot, too, averaging more than 16 points the past two seasons.