BOZICH | My pre-season AP college basketball Top 25 ballot - WDRB 41 Louisville News

  • Who's your pick for the pre-season No. 1 in college basketball?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Duke
    48%
    298 votes
    Villanova
    4%
    28 votes
    North Carolina
    3%
    18 votes
    Kansas
    3%
    18 votes
    Kentucky
    22%
    141 votes
    Other
    20%
    129 votes

BOZICH | My pre-season AP college basketball Top 25 ballot

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The AP college basketball pre-season poll will be released on Halloween. Rick Bozich shares his ballot. The AP college basketball pre-season poll will be released on Halloween. Rick Bozich shares his ballot.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Scrimmages have started. Exhibition games are next. We are three weeks from the first games of the 2016-college basketball regular season.

Who wants to wait three weeks to rank the Top 25 teams in the country?

Not me. Not you. Not anybody who loves the game.

Here's my ballot for the Associated Press Pre-Season Top 25, which will be released at 12:30 p.m. Oct 31. Happy Halloween. Happy hoops.

1. Duke (25-11 last season, Sweet 16 finish) -- The Blue Devils have finally run out of Plumlees but with a solid group of returnees and a delightful group of freshmen, they'll be everybody's Super Bowl, especially if Harry Giles gets healthy.

2. Villanova (35-5, national champs) -- If Jalen Brunson takes the next step, Jay Wright has the pieces to return to the Final Four.

3. North Carolina (33-7, national runner-up) -- Three starters return from a team  that won its first five NCAA Tournament games by an average of 16.2 points.

4. Kansas (33-5, Elite Eight) -- Great guards. Young Frontcourt. Big 12 champions.

5. Oregon (31-7, Elite Eight) -- Higher if Dillon Brooks makes a robust recovery from his foot injury. Lower if he does not. 

6. Wisconsin (22-13, Sweet 16) -- The analytics people tell me that the Badgers need center Ethan Happ to take more shots to take the next step.

7. Kentucky (27-9, Round of 32) -- Sometimes the best freshmen in the nation translates to the Final Four. Sometimes they do not.

8. Arizona (25-9, Round of 64) -- Insiders are watching for news about sophomore guard Allonzo Trier. 

9. Virginia (29-8, Elite Eight) -- There's not enough returning talent to justify this ranking but Tony Bennett lives here. Austin Nichols should be the most valuable transfer in the ACC.

10. Louisville (23-8, no post-season) -- Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel, this is your moment.

11. Indiana (27-8, Sweet 16) -- If Collin Hartman doesn't make it back, the Hoosiers will be down five valuable parts from last season.

12. Purdue (26-9, Round of 64) -- With Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan, the Boilermakers will be dangerous on the glass.

13. Xavier (28-6, Round of 32) -- Most polls will rank this group higher. 

14. Gonzaga (28-8 Sweet 16) -- Start learning to spell this name: Prezemek Karnowski. 

15. West Virginia (26-9, Round of 64) -- Start learning to spell this name: Bob Huggins.

16. St. Mary’s (29-6, Sweet 16) -- With all five starters back, the Gaels are positioned to overtake Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference.

17. UConn (25-11, Round of 32) -- The best of the American Athletic Conference -- and it's not nice to diminish the AAC around here.

18. Florida (21-15, NIT) -- Devin Robinson and Kasey Hill give the Gators a reasonably solid one-two punch.

19. Michigan State (29-6, Round of 64) -- The Spartans had the talent to replace Denzel Valentine and Matt Costello -- until their two best big men suffered knee injuries.

20. Texas (20-13, Round of 64) -- Shaka Smart begins to make his move in the Big 12.

21. San Diego State (28-10, NIT) -- Believe it or not, Steve Fisher is 71 and has one more run left in the tank.

22. Cincinnati (22-11, Round of 64) -- The usual assortment of grinders on Mick Cronin's roster.

23. Syracuse (23-4, Final Four) -- Nebraska transfer Andrew White, a volume shooter, is the X-Factor.

24. Rhode Island (17-15, no post-season) -- It's fun to plug longshots into the final poll spots, and Danny Hurley has his best collection of talent, including former Indiana guard Stanford Robinson.

25. Creighton (20-15, NIT) -- In Maurice Watson Jr. and Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster, the Blue Jays have one of the best backcourts in America.

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