Athlon Sports' preseason basketball rankings
The Athlon Sports College Basketball Top 25 is littered with familiar faces, especially at the top where Kansas has edged Kentucky for the No. 1 spot in our preseason rankings.
The Wildcats are once again loaded with elite freshmen, but this team also brings back three sophomores who played key roles last season — giving John Calipari’s team the type of veteran leadership usually lacking in Lexington. At Kansas, Bill Self has a roster led by junior big man Udoka Azubuike and several key transfers who will be stepping into prominent roles.
Duke checks in at No. 3, thank to arguably the greatest recruiting class in the history of the sport. The Blue Devils welcome in three of the top prospects in the freshman class in the form of R.J. Barrett (No. 1), Cameron Reddish (No. 2), and Zion Williamson (No. 5).
Rounding out our projected Final Four are the Bulldogs from Gonzaga. Mark Few’s team has an international flavor, with Rui Hachimura (Japan) and Killian Tillie (France) leading a cast of characters that also includes Chicago native Zach Norvell and San Jose State transfer Brandon Clarke.
The rest of our Top 25 includes several bluebloods, including North Carolina (No. 7), Michigan State (No. 10), and Syracuse (No. 14), as well as a few recent risers in the college basketball world such as Nevada (No. 5), Tennessee (No. 6) and Virginia Tech (No. 12).
7. North Carolina
10. Michigan State
11. Kansas State
12. Virginia Tech
15. West Virginia
16. Florida State
19. Mississippi State