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Boosted wrote:
Anybody else as pumped as I am about college basketball being right around the corner??
It is far and away my favorite time of year. I am a UCONN grad and HUGE Huskies fan!!!!!

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Here is CBSSportline's final preseason poll...

Don't ever forget that the schools with the most talent typically win the most games, and I'm not sure there's a school with more talent (perhaps Kentucky, but certainly nobody else) than Kansas. From veterans like Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins to newcomers like Xavier Henry and Thomas Robinson, the Jayhawks are loaded. But there's no denying that the off-the-court distractions must cease, ASAP. Because any coach will tell you off-the-court distractions can easily turn into on-the-court problems, and on-the-court problems are what cost talented teams the wins and championships they might otherwise deserve.

Anyway, here's the Final Preseason Top 25 (and one):

1. Kansas: The Jayhawks are, like I said, talented. But they are also accomplished -- proof being how they won 27 games (including 14 in the Big 12) last season. Remarkably, every relevant player from that team returns except Morningstar, who, well, you know.

2. Kentucky: If you read me much, you know I'm a sucker for talent. That's why Kentucky is this high, and please don't send any e-mails telling me that I'm stupid for ranking an NIT team second. Yes, the Wildcats went to the NIT last season. But, perhaps you heard, they have since changed coaches and rebuilt the roster, and now they have three possible lottery picks (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson) and a team that is -- here's that word again -- talented enough to give John Calipari his first national title.

3. Michigan State: Five of the top six scorers from a team that played for the national title are back, including All-American Kalin Lucas. I'm most interested to see whether Delvon Roe -- who was hampered by a bad knee last season -- can return to the prospect I watched on the summer circuit during his high school years. That guy was a pro. It would be a shame if he never reaches that potential.

4. Texas: Is it possible to lose A.J. Abrams -- and his 16.6 points per game -- and improve? Yes, if the guy replacing him is Avery Bradley, a hard-working, defensive-minded physical specimen who has made quite the impression on the Texas staff to date.

5. North Carolina: It seems crazy that a program could lose Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green and still be ranked in the top five. But this is UNC under Roy Williams, and the cupboard is never bare. The only concern is at point guard, where Larry Drew is the option, but only by default.

6. Villanova: Jay Wright lost some key players from his Final Four team, among them Dante Cunningham, Dwayne Anderson and Shane Clark. But Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Reggie Redding and a heralded recruiting class are enough to produce another 30-win season.

7. Connecticut: Stanley Robinson not entering the NBA Draft was a huge development for the Huskies. He'll now team with Kemba Walker, Alex Oriakhi and a healthy Jerome Dyson to help Jim Calhoun continue his Hall of Fame career.

8. Purdue: Robbie Hummel's back problems never allowed Purdue to find its grove last season, and yet the Boilermakers still won 27 games and advanced to the Sweet 16. All five starters return from that team. If healthy, an Elite Eight should be the minimum goal.

9. West Virginia: The Mountaineers have endured some off-court issues, but such things have rarely prevented Bob Huggins from excelling. This season will be no different. WVU is talented enough to make a Final Four with Devin Ebanks and Da'Sean Butler, plus a healthy Joe Mazzula.

10. Duke: The transfer of Elliot Williams cost the Blue Devils a guard and some athleticism. But Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith are good enough to keep the Blue Devils in the top 10.

11. Butler: This is a serious roster with serious talent, a team perfectly capable of riding Gordon Hayward, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack to a surprise Final Four provided Butler can do enough in the nonleague portion of its schedule to secure a high seed.

12. Washington: The Isaiah Thomas/Abdul Gaddy backcourt should be tremendous. It will be the reason the Huskies challenge for another Pac-10 title despite the loss of Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon.

13. Clemson: The Tigers made up for the unexpected loss of Terrence Oglesby when they added USC signee Noel Johnson in June. He'll team with Trevor Booker, Demontez Stitt and fellow freshmen Milton Jennings and Devin Booker (Trevor's younger brother) to push Clemson back into the NCAA tournament, where Oliver Purnell will advance this time, I guarantee.

14. Tennessee: Last season's Vols didn't play with the energy or urgency the nation had come to expect from a Bruce Pearl team. This ranking is based on that changing, and on Bobby Maze becoming a more reliable point guard.

15. Oklahoma: Jeff Capel's stellar recruiting class is what will keep OU near the top of the Big 12 despite the loss of Blake and Taylor Griffin. Class of 2009 standouts Tommy Mason-Griffin and Keith Gallon provide a nice supporting cast for All-American Willie Warren, who should post huge numbers as a sophomore, then be a lottery pick (kind of like a certain Sooner did last season).

16. Minnesota: The status of Trevor Mbakwe remains unclear because of an assault charge in Florida. But he is practicing and will likely play, in which case Tubby Smith will have a big man who averaged 16.3 points and 13.2 rebounds in junior college last season.

17. Dayton: Brian Gregory's team returns the core of a roster that advanced to the second round of last season's NCAA tournament. While Xavier adjusts to the losses of Sean Miller and Derrick Brown, the Flyers must take advantage and let Chris Wright lead them to an A-10 title.

18. Ohio State: The departure of B.J. Mullens should be inconsequential, especially if Evan Turner plays like a lottery pick. A healthy David Lighty will help Thad Matta compete with Michigan State and Purdue at the top of the Big Ten.

19. Michigan: Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims provide an excellent one-two punch, and John Beilein still knows how to coach. It should be a fun year for the Wolverines, who should make the NCAA tournament and advance again.

20. California: Mike Montgomery has a core of Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin. He'll use it to challenge for a Pac-10 title and return to the NCAA tournament.

21. Siena: The Saints are your classic experienced and accomplished non-BCS team. There's probably a ceiling on how far they can advance. But they should have no problem making another NCAA tournament with four starters back from a team that won 27 games.

22. Louisville: It has been a wild offseason for the Cards, specifically coach Rick Pitino. But Samardo Samuels and Jerry Smith are back, and freshman Peyton Siva is expected to make an immediate impact.

23. Illinois: Yes, this is the sixth Big Ten school listed in the Top 25 (and one). So the league should be in for a good season provided the teams don't spend too much time beating up on each other.

24. Georgetown: The Hoyas were overwhelmed by their schedule last season and never recovered. That won't happen again thanks to the return of Greg Monroe, who could've been a lottery pick but instead opted for a sophomore year of college.

25. Gonzaga: It's obvious I think the Zags' reserves are more talented than the rest of the WCC's starters. Assuming I'm right, Mark Few will get another league title and hover around the Top 25 (and one) all season.

26. Mississippi State: With Renardo Sidney, the Bulldogs are better than this ranking indicates. But I'm still under the impression that the controversial big man will never play college basketball, and my hope is that the parents of the next crop of elite prospects learn from the mistakes of the Sidney family ... or at least understand you probably ought to live in a home that doesn't set off red flags for the NCAA.

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we are listed at #7, but it is going to be an interesting year with all the talent we lost, including a dominating 7 foot center, to the pros.

We have a lot of talent, but the incredible freshmen UCONN brought in are going to have to play very well very quickly.
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