THE TOP 5 IS FINALLY HERE
- Duke Blue Devils- Coach K is back for another season and that alone makes Duke a top five team and national championship contender. But seriously, this guy has seen it all. Numerous championships and now, a new look roster featuring stud freshman and a rising sophomore. Duke lost its four best players due to the NBA or graduation last year and somehow managed to completely reload. Brandon Ingram looks like the cinnamon stick from Apple Jacks the way he is built but he can fill it up. Getting Derryck Thornton to reclassify was beyond huge, as he’ll start at the point. But the big wild card is Grayson Allen, who was the lost 5-star from a year ago until he lit Wisconsin on fire in the national championship game. But maybe the most important news is that this is the last year of the Plumlee dynasty in Duke as Marshall is set to graduate.
- Iowa State Cyclones- The only thing preventing Iowa State from being in the top three was the head coaching change. Steve Prohm will have his hands full taking over for Fred Hoiberg, who moved on to the Chicago Bulls of the NBA. This roster is absolutely loaded with upper classmen. Georges Niang is a Wooden Award hopeful and among him will be Jameel McKay, Abdel Nader, Deonte Burton, Naz Long and assist-to-turnover ratio king Monte Morris. Look for Iowa State to finally end Kansas’ streak of Big 12 tournament titles (before choking in the NCAA tournament).
- Virginia Cavaliers-Defense. Defense. Defense. That has been Tony Bennett’s calling card during his great run at Virginia. With most of an outstanding core coming back for another season, Bennett’s team will once again be in the hunt for a national championship with key players such as Malcolm Brogdon, London Perrantes and Anthony Gill returing. The only question on this roster is will there be enough scoring after Justin Anderson’s departure to propel this team to a national championship.
- North Carolina Tarheels- A very close second to our number one team, UNC comes back loaded with depth all across the board. Marcus Paige is a Wooden Award candidate and he will be spreading the ball around to a plethora of weapons including Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson, Marcus Kennedy, Isaiah Hicks, among many, many others. This is probably the deepest team in the nation, but the number one seed has more star power.
- Maryland Terrapins- Mark Turgeon’s squad would have had a huge amount of pressure regardless of this number one ranking. With the additions of 5-star center Diamond Stone, Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter and Duke transfer Rasheed Suliamon, this will be the most talented roster in America. Adding them to a roster that already contained do-it-all forward Jake Layman, the king of clutch and free throws Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens, Damonte Dodd and Dion Wiley, this is top to bottom the best roster, and the best bet, to take home the national championship.