Atlantic Sun preview: North Florida should return to NCAA tournament

North Florida junior guard Dallas Moore helped the Ospreys to the NCAA tournament last season, where they lost to Robert Morris in the first round. Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports

Northern Kentucky abandoned the Atlantic Sun after just one season in order to join the Horizon League. Having lost Mercer and East Tennessee State in 2014, the Atlantic Sun was down to seven members and had to make a move. The conference extended an invite to the nation's last independent, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, to join this season.

The Highlanders should fit right in. NJIT may always be associated with its nomadic existence that contributed to an NCAA-record 51 game losing streak, but it's far removed from those times. The Highlanders proved it last season by knocking off No. 17 Michigan in Ann Arbor. They'll be one of the serious contenders for the Atlantic Sun title and an NCAA tournament bid.