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Athlon Sports' 2016-17 College Basketball Top 25

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Duke and Kentucky haven’t met in the NCAA Tournament since the 1998 Elite Eight. If that drought ends in 2016, the matchup could be epic.

Sure, Duke and Kentucky have faced each other during the season on a somewhat regular basis, splitting their last four meetings.

But that epic NCAA matchup is the only piece that’s been missing in the Coach K vs. Coach Cal rivalry. They’ve faced each other in November. They’ve sparred verbally during the spring. They’ve competed for recruits.

Now, the final piece of the puzzle could be an epic Final Four matchup.

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At least that’s the way Athlon Sports sees it. Duke is our preseason No. 1 team, followed by Kentucky at No. 2. Of course, other teams have plenty of reason to believe they have Final Four potential as well — Villanova returns enough to challenge for a second consecutive title. Oregon carries the flag for the Pac-12 after an Elite appearance. Kansas and North Carolina aren’t going anywhere.

Basketball season is still months away, but to celebrate the arrival of the Athlon Sports 2016-17 College Basketball preview, we’re giving you a snapshot of the year ahead with our top 25.

Athlon’s college basketball preview is available on newsstands on Sept. 6 and now in our online store powered by Amazon.

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Stay tuned for preview of each team in our top 25 and more.

The Athlon Sports 2016-17 College Basketball Preview is available now in our online store powered by Amazon.