Jordan Cornette’s Preseason Top 25 College Basketball Rankings

    Jordan Cornette unveils his preseason top 25 college basketball rankings for the 2016-17 season.

    April 5, 2016

    Early preseason top 25 college basketball rankings for the 2016-17 season. 

    Before we completely turn the page to the 2016-17 season, let’s take a moment to appreciate what we witnessed to end the 2015-16 season. Simply unbelievable. Hats off to Villanova.

    Now it’s time to peek ahead, and there’s no better place to start than with the defending champion Wildcats. Gone are Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu, but Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson return to anchor what’ll be another stout Nova team. With the pieces coming back I have the Wildcats slotted at No. 4 in my early preseason rankings.

    The addition of McDonald’s All-Americans Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum for Duke is enough to offset any losses in Durham. Grayson Allen has yet to decide if he’ll depart, but even if he does, I still like Duke – a lot. The Blue Devils sit at No. 1 in my early preseason top 25 college basketball rankings.

    Just behind Duke I have the Blue Devils’ arch-rival and 2016 runner-up, North Carolina. Next year’s Tar Heels squad may be more balanced than this year’s.

    With the influx of talent Kentucky welcomes on a yearly basis, it’s hard to not have the Wildcats ranked in the top five. John Calipari’s team is slotted at No. 3 in my early top 25.

    Rounding out the top five are the Kansas Jayhawks. Bill Self loses team leaders Wayne Selden Jr. and Perry Ellis, but the combination of who’s returning and joining the team will have the Jayhawks in the national title hunt again.

    Below are my early preseason top 25 college basketball rankings. Players who haven’t declared for the draft are assumed to be returning. As more departures occur and rosters for next season become clearer, these rankings will be updated to reflect the changes.

    1. Duke
    2. UNC
    3. UK
    4. Villanova
    5. Kansas
    6. Xavier
    7. Wisconsin
    8. Oregon
    9. Michigan State
    10. Virginia
    11. Indiana
    12. Seton Hall
    13. UConn
    14. Texas
    15. Gonzaga
    16. Notre Dame
    17. Arizona
    18. West Virginia
    19. Iowa State
    20. Dayton
    21. UCLA
    22. Syracuse
    23. Purdue
    24. Oklahoma
    25. Miami (Fla)

    MORE: Top College Basketball Title Contenders For 2016-17


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