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

BOZICH | My final AP college basketball Top 25 ballot

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Rick Bozich shares his final ballot for the AP college basketball Top 25. Rick Bozich shares his final ballot for the AP college basketball Top 25.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The college basketball season continues for 21 more days. The Associated Press college basketball Top 25 poll stops on Monday.

Here’s my final ballot – although I intend to rank the teams one more time after the national championship game is played in Phoenix April 3.

1. Villanova (31-3) – The Wildcats had the best overall season – and looked terrific in Big East Tournament. But I’m not picking them to go back-to-back.

2. Gonzaga (32-1) – I believe the Zags are legit. But I don’t believe they’ll reach the Final Four. It’s not a knock. It’s a reminder that the odds are against every team to get to Phoenix.

3. Kansas (28-4) – Is anybody else worried that the Jayhawks have dealt with a lot of noise away from the court?

4. North Carolina (27-7) – The Tar Heels, as usual, are a cut below the best teams on the defensive end. It’s not a disqualifier, but it’s something to think about.

5. Kentucky (29-5) – There are about a dozen teams that can win it all – and the Wildcats are one of them, especially if De’Aaron Fox plays the way he played in Nashville.

6. Arizona (30-4) – Sorry, Sean Miller. They made me pick a national champion – and you lost.

7. Duke (27-8) – As one of the 17 former Blue Devils who work for ESPN or CBS will tell you, Duke is the hottest team in the country.

8. Oregon (29-5) – I was going to pick Oregon to win it all – until Chris Boucher injured his knee.

9. Louisville (24-8) – I like Louisville’s path to Phoenix because Oregon lost Boucher and Kansas has a history of burping along the way.

10. SMU (30-4) – Friendly reminder: The Mustangs have won 16 straight games.

11. West Virginia (26-8) – A second-round game between WVU and Notre Dame would be a treat.

12. UCLA (29-4) – Injuries to Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf, even if they are minor, are not the way to go into the tournament.

13. Wichita State (30-4) – This is another team that I like considerably more than the Tournament Selection Committee.

14. Baylor (25-7) – The Bears have lost four of their last seven.

15. Notre Dame (25-9) – I’m waiting for an update on Bonzie Colson’s ankle before I make my call on the Irish.

16. Florida State (25-8) – Early word is that it’s trendy to pick Florida Gulf Coast to topple the Seminoles, who have been spotty away from home.

17. Purdue (25-7) – If anybody is going to save the image of the Big Ten, it’s the Boilermakers.

18. St. Mary’s (28-4) – The Gaels weren’t good enough to beat Gonzaga, but they could win a game or two.

19. Iowa State (23-10) – The surprising winners of the Big 12 Tournament face a dangerous Nevada team.

20. Michigan (24-11) – Weren’t the Wolverines a bubble team 20 minutes ago?

21. Florida (24-8) – The Gators have lost three of their last four, but the good news is they’re not playing Vanderbilt.

22. Butler (23-8) – The Bulldogs have lost their last two as well as half of their last 10.

23. Cincinnati (29-5) – The Bearcats lost the rubber match to SMU – by 15 points.

24. Middle Tennessee (30-4) – I’m picking the Blue Raiders to take Minnesota out in the first round. Veteran team, veteran coach.

25. Virginia (22-10) – Many like Kevin Keatts and UNC-Wilmington in the first-round upset against the Cavaliers. Not me.

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