RANK TEAM REC. COMMENT
1 North Carolina 0-0 You can’t go wrong with the Heels, Memphis or UCLA. Other than Deon Thompson replacing Brandon Wright, what you see is what you saw last season, when UNC should have been in Atlanta.
2 Memphis 0-0 Must find a shooter to replace Jeremy Hunt, but the Tigers are loaded and primed to make good after two Elite Eight ousters. Is Derrick Rose the piece that makes the dribble-drive motion offense title-caliber?
3 UCLA 0-0 Exit Arron Afflalo, enter Kevin Love to anchor the nation’s best frontcourt. If Josh Shipp and Co. can provide enough from the wing, a third straight Final Four is a real possibility.
4 Kansas 0-0 With a healthy Brandon Rush, this team is as good as any. We’ll have to wait and see how healthy he can be coming back from an ACL tear. The third Elite Eight victim in our top four.
5 Louisville 0-0 One half of a two-headed Big East monster, the youthful Cards showed glimpses down the stretch last season. Now the target will be on Edgar Sosa and Co. How will they react?
6 Georgetown 0-0 Lose Jeff Green and have repeat Final Four expectations? With Roy Hibbert back, DaJuan Summers ready and a much deeper and more experienced guard corps, that’s an affirmative.
7 Tennessee 0-0 Dane Bradshaw is gone. Will Tyler Smith’s arrival offset the loss of Bradshaw’s floor game? If the answer is yes, especially on the defensive end, look out.
8 Michigan State 0-0 Maybe Grand Valley State should be in our top six then? Kidding aside, the Spartans have the guards to go deep in March. They just need more from their frontcourt to make this rating stick.
9 Indiana 0-0 If you like inside-out basketball, just settle in and watch D.J. White and Eric Gordon operate this winter. Many Big Ten teams don’t have one legit scorer. IU has two.
10 Washington State 0-0 Bad year in the Pac-10 to lose Ivory Clark, but the rest of the roster is dripping with talent and cohesion. Will foes deal with Cougs better this time around?
11 Oregon 0-0 A small-ball team in a big Pac-10 world, everyone’s back but Aaron Brooks. That’s a big but; how the Ducks adjust will determine if they have a quack at another Elite Eight.
12 Marquette 0-0 The guards are back for another run. Dominic James gets the pub but Jerel McNeal makes things hum. Can the frontcourt provide some needed assistance?
13 Duke 0-0 Kyle Singler’s arrival should help ease some of the nightly scoring load, but this is still a smaaaaaaall Devils team that isn’t markedly different from last season’s first-round fizzlers.
14 Kentucky 0-0 Is it possible for a Kentucky team to be underrated? Relative lack of size is an issue, but “2-Pat” (Patrick Patterson) and a corps of talented, if inconsistent, guards could mean business.
15 Gonzaga 0-0 Last season was a mess and the Zags still danced. Now Josh Heytvelt’s back and the Zags are deeper and more athletic across the board. Hope the WCC got its licks in last season.
16 Texas 0-0 Lose possibly the best freshman ever … and get better? That’s yet to be seen, but D.J. Augustin will be a household name this season and he has plenty of help in Austin.
Tags: NCAA basketball