Obligatory Way Too Early Preseason Top 25 Post

Note: I am going off the assumption that pretty much everybody who is any risk at all to leave will leave:

1. Duke

A group of teams will be virtually identical at the top, but I am taking the Blue Devils right away. They will be led by Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, but they’ll have a nice group of veterans around them as well.

2. Wisconsin

The Badgers will return virtually everyone other than Ben Brust (note: If Kaminsky does leave, which I don’t expect, this knocks them down a few spots) from a team that was a prayer three pointer away from playing for the national title. Once again the Badgers will have the smarts and experience Bo Ryan loves, but they’ll also have athleticism.

3. Kansas

The Jayhawks lose Andrew Wiggins and in all likelihood Joel Embiid, but they get wing Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander, who I think is the best recruit in the class. If Naadir Tharpe improves even more, the Jayhawks could make it to the Final Four.

4. Arizona

A lot of people have the Wildcats at the top, but I think Nick Johnson was more important to the team than he is getting credit for. They’ll have to replace Aaron Gordon as well who, despite some struggles offensively, was probably their best defender.

5. Florida

The Gators lose a group of Seniors that leaves Gainesville as one of the most accomplished classes in NCAA history, but they’ll get a lot of improvement out of guys like Kasey Hill, Chris Walker, and Dorian Finney-Smith.

6. Kentucky

The Wildcats will be loaded in the frontcourt assuming Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee, and Dakari Johnson don’t make surprising decisions to go pro.

7. North Carolina

Marcus Paige returns to Chapel Hill, and joining him will be a top 3 recruiting class including elite wing Theo Pinson.

8. Virginia

They’re losing two big pieces in Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell, but that’s it.

9. Villanova

The only major rotation player leaving is James Bell, and while Villanova lost in the second round, they only lost 4 games all season.

10. Wichita State

We’ll see how valuable Cleanthony Early’s presence inside was (my guess: very) but they return a highly efficient group of guys around him. With more work to do, that efficiency should go down a bit next year, but the Shockers will roll through the Valley and should get the benefit of the doubt in the NCAA tournament

11. SMU

12. UConn

13. Louisville

14. Texas

15. Oklahoma

16. VCU

17. Michigan

18. Maryland

19. Gonzaga

20. Baylor

21. Iowa

22. Nebraska

23. Ohio State

24. Colorado

25. UCLA