15. NC State: Despite a late season run which has everyone jacked for this season, the Wolfpack still struggled on the defensive end, and Coach Gottfried has never once coached a defense ranked better than 50th in defensive efficiency. The Pack should be able to score, but what to do when the shots aren't falling? There's a reason only 3 of the past 40 Final Four teams had defenses ranked worse than 50th.
14. Missouri: Consider this to be the measuring stick for Frank Haith. With all of the roster turnover and new faces, he once again has a very talented team, but how will they mesh? Alex Oriakhi is reunited with childhood friend Phil Pressey, while the entire team joins in a new conference. How will things shake out behind Florida and Kentucky? I think Missouri is going to be breathing down their necks.
13. UNLV: Dave Rice enters his 2nd year in Las Vegas where his main issue will be figuring out who will be setting up the offense. Scorers (and defenders for that matter), they don't lack. Point guard Oscar Bellfield is gone, and several combo style guards are there to fill in. Anthony Marshall returns from a solid junior season, Justin Hawkins is back, transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones (USC) can now play after sitting a year (though he's injured to begin the year), and freshmen Kaitin Reinhardt and Daquan Cook arrive ready to contribute. The front court has talent and depth. All-around stat stuffer Mike Moser returns and will likely add some hardware to his personal trophy case, a couple of 5* recruits in Khem Birch (transfer from Pitt, eligible in December) and Anthony Bennett join the fray – and then there's a who's who of guys to fill the gaps.
12. Florida: Next year's preseason No. 1 is this year's preseason No. 12. This team has talent and depth, though Billy Donovan would be a lot happier if his two high profile transfers were instantly available, so instead he'll have to make do with just 8 consensus top-100 players. The have interior depth and talent. They have perimeter depth and talent.
11. Michigan: The buzz around this team began as soon as Trey Burke announced his return. Now they have a great guard tandem, so solid roll players, and a host of new talent headlined by Glen Robinson III and Mitch McGary, both of whom should start and contribute the occasional big night. The Achilles heel was defense. Can this team pressure the ball? Can they take away possessions?