An Early First Look at the 2017-18 NCAA Basketball Pre-Season Top 25
Now that we know who will not be playing college basketball next year, it is time to get a start on the 2017-18 College Basketball season with a way too early top 25.
1) Kansas Jayhawks – I am putting the Jayhawks at number one because I believe they could very well have the best back-court in College Basketball. Svi Mykhailiuk’s return puts this Jayhawks team over the top at this point. Mykhailiuk, Devonte’ Graham and Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman, a former top-10 recruit, will merge into a strong unit that can lead Kansas to another Big 12 championship and maybe more.
2) Wichita State Shockers – The Shockers were 30-4 last year and have everybody back, I expect them to win the AAC on their first try. I highly doubt this team will be seeded number 10 this next season.
3) Kentucky Wildcats – As always, they lose the core of last year’s team, but once again they will replace them with the best recruiting class in the country.
4) Duke Blue Devils – Like the Wildcats, the Blue Devils lost a lot, but it won’t matter as the Blue Devils have the second-best recruiting class in the country.
5) Arizona Wildcats – The Wildcats were helped by Rawle Alkins deciding to return for another year. I would rate this team higher because of the talent, but Coach Sean Miller has a history of coming up short, even with a talented team.
6) Michigan State Spartans – The Spartans will have a big bounce-back season.
7) North Carolina Tar Heels – If the Heels stay healthy they should make a run at a third straight title game.
8) Miami(Fla) Hurricanes – The Hurricanes WILL compete for an ACC crown!
9) Xavier Musketeers – Trevon Blueitt returning just may make the Musketeers the Big East favorites.
10) Florida Gators – The Gators will once again be a quality challenger to Kentucky in the SEC.
11) Villanova Wildcats – Jay Wright has proven he is an elite coach, so even with losing a lot, the Wildcats will still battle for a Big East title.
12) USC Trojans – The Trojans will return almost entirely intact from last year.
13) Louisville Cardinals – The Cardinals will have to overcome losing players, but as always, Pitino will rebuild quickly.
14) West Virginia Mountaineers – Huggins will return a great defensive team as always.
15) Minnesota Golden Gophers – The Gophers return almost everybody and will contend for a big ten title.
16) Cincinnati Bearcats – The Bearcats will try to keep up with Wichita State in the AAC.
17) Gonzaga Bulldogs – The Bulldogs lost a lot after this past season, but make no mistake about it, Mark Few is an elite coach and the Bulldogs won’t drop too far.
18) Northwestern Wildcats – The Cats danced for the first time ever last year, they will dance again this year.
19) Seton Hall Pirates – The Pirates aren’t back to the glory days of the late 80’s yet, but they are heading in the right direction.
20) Notre Dame Fighting Irish – I put the Irish here because Mike Brey is a great coach and because of that, you always have to watch out for the Irish.
21) UCLA Bruins – The Bruins lost a lot of talent, will they be able to recover? This is a test for head coach Steve Alford.
22) St.Mary’s Gaels – They will easily win over 20 games once again.
23) Missouri Tigers – The Tigers should be a much-improved team next year.
24) Texas Longhorns – Shaka Smart is an excellent coach and he will make a huge difference in Texas this season.
25) Northern Kentucky Norse – The Norse made the NCAA Tourney for the first time last year and return most of that team.