Every college basketball season has a few surprises. Teams that are expected to merely make up the numbers in their conferences become surprising contenders and find their way into the NCAA tournament.
La Salle was expected to finish mid-table or worse in the Atlantic 10 last season by publications like Lindy's and Blue Ribbon. Illinois, Oklahoma State and Oregon were similarly maligned.
So who are the teams that can upset the prognostications in 2013-14? It's not just about the talent on hand, but it's also a function of scheduling. Will the RPI look strong enough when a team leaves the floor after its conference tournament?
These eight teams—presented alphabetically—aren't projected among the elite to start this campaign, but don't be surprised if their results make them at-large candidates come Selection Sunday.
NOTE: The key word is "at-large," meaning that teams from expected one-bid conferences will not be represented here.