The NBA’s already tipped off, but for those seeking more hoops action, it’s time to get ready for the 2017-18 NCAA basketball season! Following is the Grueling Truth’s top 25 rankings for the upcoming season.
1) Duke Blue Devils – Every year seems to start out like this and once again the Devils are at or near the top of this preseason list. They will be a young team that will be led by Grayson Allen and if Allen plays like a leader the Devils will be tough.
2) Kansas Jayhawks – The Jayhawks are absolutely loaded in the back-court with Devonte’ Graham, Malik Newman, Lagerald Vick and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
3) Arizona Wildcats – The Wildcats are loaded, but aren’t they always? Can Coach Sean Miller get this team to make a deep run come Tournament time?
4) Michigan State Spartans – Coach Tom Izzo had an uncharacteristic down year last year, look for a huge rebound year behind Miles Bridge.
5) Kentucky Wildcats – The Wildcats are loaded at forward, but the back court has to be cause for concern.
6) Florida Gators – Last year’s leading scorer, KeVaughn Allen, returns from last year’s elite eight team.
7) Villanova Wildcats – Look for the Wildcats to have their fourth straight 30-win season.
8) Wichita State Shockers – The switch in conferences will give the Shockers tougher competition, but this is a talented team that will flirt with 30 wins this year.
9) West Virginia Mountaineers – The Mountaineers return 3 starters from last year’s Sweet 16 team.
10) North Carolina Tar Heels – The Heels lost three starters from last year’s title winning team.
11) USC Trojans – The frontline tandem of Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu will be the strength of Andy Enfield’s team.
12) Xavier Musketeers – Much of the scoring should be provided by the senior duo of Trevon Bluiett (18.5 ppg) and J.P. Macura (14.4). Sophomores Tyrique Jones and Quentin Gooden will play larger roles after emerging late during last season’s run to the Elite Eight.
13) Cincinnati Bearcats – As always, they will be a great defensive team, but can they score enough?
14) Miami Hurricanes – The Canes are talented, but the FBI investigation will weigh heavy on talented teams like the Hurricanes, USC, and Louisville.
15) Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Talented team that will compete for an ACC title.
16) Minnesota Golden Gophers – Senior Nate Mason will run the point as part of a talented group of guards.
17) Northwestern Wildcats – This team could win the Big Ten this season.
18) Louisville Cardinals – Talented team, but this situation is a mess.
19) Seton Hall Pirates – The Pirates are the only team in the nation to have three players that have scored over 1,000 points in their career.
20) UCLA Bruins – The Bruins have a talented recruiting class coming in.
21) Gonzaga Bulldogs – Lost a lot from last year’s runner-up team.
22) St. Mary’s Gaels – As always, they will be chasing Gonzaga and they may be able to catch them this year.
23) Purdue Boilermakers – The Boilermakers will have a big hole to fill in the middle.
24) Alabama Crimson Tide – Alabama returns four starters, including F Braxton Key, and welcome in an outstanding recruiting class led by guard Collin Sexton and John Petty that should bolster the backcourt.
25) Baylor Bears – The Bears lost a lot from last season and will need some young players to step up.
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