Welcome to the 2017-2018 season here at RSN Bracketology! In what looks to be a thrilling and wide-open college basketball season, RSN will have it all for you. Here is your first look at our preseason rankings, a look at our projected top 25 teams.
Surprise, surprise. The Blue Devils begin 2017 at #1 on our list. The additions of generational talent in Marvin Bagley and Trevon Duval, alongside the return of Grayson Allen, make for a potentially historic season in Durham.
Allonzo Trier, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, DeAndre Ayton, Dusan Ristic – that is enough said. This Wildcat team is absolutely stacked with a mixture of returning stars and a new crop of ultra-talented freshmen. Expect a dominant season and a run through March for this loaded Arizona team.
Another year, another crop of new freshmen to replace the Kentucky one-and-dones. The Wildcats will feature another young core full of talent this season led by forward Nick Richards, who is gaining more and more hype as the season approaches.
Kansas returns this season with a very experienced core, looking to finally grasp another Championship that they have coveted for years. Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk lead this group and look poised to lead the Jayhawks to another Big 12 regular season championship.
Player of the year candidate Jalen Brunson will be given every opportunity to shine this season after the departure of Josh Hart. Brunson will look to carry Villanova to another Big East title, this season in a much tougher conference by the look of it.
6. Michigan State
Fueled by the unexpected return of Miles Bridges, Michigan State seems likely to return to their past state of domination in the Big 10. After a bit of a down year in 2016-17, Tom Izzo and Co. will get to show their worth rather quickly, with a date with #1 Duke their second game on the year.
7. North Carolina
The defending National Champions may be ranked a bit low by their own standards, but make no mistake – the Tar Heels are back. NCAA Tournament MVP Joel Berry II and senior Theo Pinson return to battle Duke for an ACC Title, and likely make another deep run in March.
8. Notre Dame
Leadership and experience are often qualities undervalued in the sport of college basketball. Bonzie Colson is the epitome of these characteristics, putting off the NBA for one more year to return to South Bend. The Irish feature just one freshman on their entire roster, possibly the most experienced in all of college basketball.
9. West Virginia
Jevon Carter is back… again. In what seems to be his 74th season in gold and blue, Carter will lead the Mountaineer charge once again. Bob Huggins’ scrappy and pressure-based strategy has worked for years, and looks poised to work once again in a tough Big 12.
10. Wichita State
The Shockers will finally gain the national respect they deserve after moving from the Missouri Valley to the AAC. Landry Shamet, Colin Frankamp, and Markis McDuffie all return as leaders of this electrifying Wichita State team. Expect a major push for an AAC title and a high tournament seed.
12. Miami (Fl)
15. Seton Hall