1: North Carolina- This North Carolina team is stacked. With returners like Marcus Paige, Kennedy Meeks, Brice Johnson, Justin Jackson and Nate Britt, they are bound to make a title run. They hit a slight speed bump with the injury to Paige, but they should still be fine until he comes back. Watch for UNC to have a great year with these veterans leading the way.

2: Kentucky- This team lost most of their players to the draft last year, but it seems like they will not even skip a beat. Led by returners Marcus Lee and Tyler Ulis, they have a star studded freshman class with Skal Labissiere, Isaiah Briscoe, Isaac Humphries and Jamal Murray. It will be interesting to see how these young guys perform but if history says anything, then they will be just fine.

3: Maryland- This is the best Maryland team we have seen since the Steve Blake and Juan Dixon era. Led by Melo Trimble and Jake Layman, this team has nice batch of returners and once you throw in transfer Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke) and top 10 ranked freshman Diamond Stone, this team is poised to do damage in March.

4: Kansas- Kansas is a lot like North Carolina…led by returning starters. Perry Ellis, Wayne Seldon, Frank Mason, Brennen Greene and Jamari Traylor are all returning and with the mix of freshman Check Diallo and Carlton Bragg, this team can definitely make a title run.

5: Duke- Not even Blue Devil fans will deny they lost a load this past year with Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justice Winslow, but they still have a top 10 caliber team. Led By Grayson Allen and Matt Jones, and top ranked freshman Luke Kennard and Brandon Ingram, Duke has a solid squad, but are in a tough ACC conference so they will be interesting to keep track of this year.

6: Virginia- Virginia is led by returners London Perrantes and Malcolm Brogdon, but they have a lot of young guys who do not have much experience. They had a bad habit of starting out slow last year and if they do that again this year, it will be a much bigger issue than it was last year.

7: Iowa State- Iowa State brings back Georges Niang, Monte Morris and Abdel Nadar from a solid squad last year. The main question for these guys will be the head coaching switch from Fred Hoiberg (who is now the head coach of the Chicago Bulls) to Steve Prohm. Prohm has much success at Murray State (104-29), but it will interesting to see if that transfers to a powerful conference like the Big 12.

8: Oklahoma- Led by one of the best players in the College Basketball, Buddy Hield, this team is dangerous. Heath was named to the preseason All-American team after averaging 17.4 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and shooting 42 percent from the field. With him handling the ball, this team can go deep into March

9: Gonzaga- Just like Oklahoma, this team is led by one of the best players in College Basketball. This time it is Kyle Wiltjer. The Gonzaga star averaged 16.7 points per game and 6 rebounds, while shooting 53 percent from the floor and 47 percent from deep. In my personal opinion, he is the best player in basketball and can finally take Gonzaga to the dream land, with help from Johnathan Williams and Nigel Williams-Goss.

10: Wichita State- The shockers are led by Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, this team has the veteran leadership to go to the Final Four this year and they also have the favorable schedule. As long as guys like Evan Wessel and Anton Grady step up and have big years, this team will be fun to watch.

 

Justin Golba

Spark Sports NCAA Analyst

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