The Associated Press released their College Basketball pre-season Top 25 today. To no surprise, the North Carolina Tar Heels were ranked #1 after coming off of a National Championship runner-up season. North Carolina returned almost their whole lineup that they brought to New Orleans for the Final Four last season. A few other veteran teams follow North Carolina in the rankings, with Gonzaga at 2, Houston at 3, and Kentucky coming in at 4. Rounding out the top 5 both tied, is Baylor and the defending champions the Kansas Jayhawks, who are coming into this season with almost a whole new lineup with their top 4-5 guys gone. Below is the full list of the AP Poll:
1.) North Carolina (47)
2.) Gonzaga (12)
3.) Houston (1)
19.) San Diego State
25.) Texas Tech
RV: Texas A&M 112, UConn 101, Miami 66, Purdue 56, Saint Louis 36, Michigan State 35, Florida State 32, Xaiver 29, Wyoming 25, Ohio State 23, Iowa 13, Rutgers 4, Florida 3, USC 3, Toledo 1, Virginia Tech 1, Memphis 1, Notre Dame 1, UAB 1
BIG TEN TEAMS IN PRE SEASON AP POLL
There are three teams that are representing the BIG TEN in the release, Indiana (15), Michigan (22), and Illinois (23). Typically, the BIG Ten basketball usually will have a handful of teams that crack the pre-season poll. Last season there were 5 teams and in the 20-21 season the BIG Ten had 7 teams in the poll. The last time the Big Ten only had 3 teams in the pre-season poll was the 2018-2019 season.
With there only being 3 teams in the poll, it shows the amount of teams that lost key pieces last season. Teams like Purdue, Ohio St., and Wisconsin all had a handful of seniors or impactful players that went to the next level. Don’t count some of these teams out just yet tho, it is college basketball, and you can get a quick turn around with the portal. There are still a few teams from the BIG Ten that came in receiving votes: Purdue (56), Michigan State (35), Ohio State (23), Iowa (13), and Rutgers (4).
MICHIGAN COMES IN AT #22 IN THE AP POLL
Coming off of a sweet sixteen appearance last season with a 23-13 record. The Wolverines enter this season at #22 in the pre-season poll. Losing some top producing in Caleb Houston, Moussa Diabate, Devante’ Jones, Brandon Johns Jr., and Eli Brooks. It is going to seem like a whole new Michigan Basketball team you will see on the court this season, but some of the pieces that were added are going to make major impacts.
Aa few returns from last season that will be returning are Terrance Williams II and Kobe Bufkin. But the biggest piece of the team is JR Hunter Dickinson returning to Ann Arbor to prove that he is the best player in the country. A few pieces they have added are Jaelin Llewellyn (Princeton), Jett Howard (FR), Joey Baker (Duke), Yourself Khayat (FR) and Tarris Reed Jr. We saw towards the end of last season the Coach Howard had them rolling on all cylinders and expect the same thing this season. This is a younger team that will be on the court this season, but with a few leaders returning, this team as the potential to chase another BIG Ten Championship and maybe even another deep run into March.
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