These teams have the goods to contend

Updated: October 5, 2010, 2:44 PM ET
By Doug Gottlieb
Whenever I read preseason rankings like Andy Katz's top 25 or Dick Vitale's top 40, I immediately think about the massive group in the middle of the college basketball world that feels forever disrespected by not being on such lists. That's why making such a list is never an easy task -- there are plenty of teams with a legit argument.

So I decided to sit down and think of how many teams could end the season on such a list, and if everything worked out, be right in the NCAA tourney discussion. Programs that have a certain buzz about them in college basketball circles are the ones I'm going to identify here.

In the end, I picked 30 teams that weren't in Vitale's top 40 -- 30 teams worth watching and discussing. I will reveal 15 this afternoon and 15 more on Tuesday.

So without further ado …

Colorado: Sure, the Big 12 coaches have dissed the Buffs for bringing very little to the conference in terms of national credibility, but this season could and should be different. Tad Boyle, who is a Colorado native and KU alum, returns with a better style for Cory Higgins and Alec Burks. With the "North" still very top-heavy in the last season of the split schedule, CU should be a very tough out.