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

BOZICH | My AP college basketball preseason Top 25 ballot -- with surprise No. 1

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Rick Bozich shares his weekly ballot in the AP college basketball pre-season poll. Rick Bozich shares his weekly ballot in the AP college basketball pre-season poll.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The AP college basketball preseason poll has been released, which is the All Clear for me to release my ballot.

Once the games begin Nov. 10, I’ll post my weekly ballot here at WDRB.com on Monday mornings. I encourage suggestions, criticisms and even rare praise. (I’m a veteran voter. I understand how this works.)

I considered the first seven teams on my ballot for Number One, but settled on Arizona because the Wildcats have veteran guards with NBA ability. That’s usually the safest way to start.

You can make your case for ranking the top five, 10 or all 25 in another order. Just send your suggestions to rbozich@wdrb.com.

Here we go.

1. Arizona (32-5 last season) – Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins give the Wildcats a dynamic backcourt to team with a freshman class led by DeAndre Ayton, a guy John Calipari wanted.

2. Michigan State (20-15) – Is this the team that ends the Big Ten’s 17-season NCAA title drought? I need to see more offense.

3. Duke (28-9) – Grayson Allen returns for his 14th season but will this sensational group of freshmen achieve more than last season’s sensational group of freshmen?

4. Kansas (31-5) – Safest prediction on the board: The Jayhawks will win the Big 12.

5. Wichita State (31-5) – I considered ranking the Shockers Number One, but decided to wait until point guard Landry Shamet and forward Markis McDuffie get healthy.

6. Kentucky (32-6) – Another group of 5-star freshmen, but is there a John Wall, Brandon Knight or De’Aaron Fox to handle the point guard work?

7. Villanova (32-4) – Jalen Brunson should be a first-team all-American.

8. West Virginia (28-9) – If John Calipari didn’t enjoy his trip to Bloomington, I can’t wait to hear what he says about Morgantown.

9. North Carolina (33-7) – I believe I have ranked the Tar Heels too high.

10. Florida (27-9) – I fear that (without Devin Robinson) I have also ranked the Gators too high.

11. Cincinnati (30-6) – Sports Illustrated says this is Mick Cronin’s best team – and the Bearcats will play Bellarmine tonight at 7 in Freedom Hall.

12. USC (26-10) – The Trojans return their top eight scorers from last season, a group that includes former Louisville wing Shaqquan Aaron.

13. Miami (21-12) – Bruce Brown will be an outstanding sophomore – and an even better pro.

14. Notre Dame (26-10) – Forward Bonzie Colson was not ranked as one of the Top 125 prospects in the country by Scout or Rivals but he is the pre-season pick as the ACC’s top player.

15. Louisville (25-9) – Good luck trying to forecast a situation unlike anything we have seen.

16, Purdue (27-8) – The Boilermakers didn’t lose anything other than their Mr. Everything, Caleb Swanigan.

17. Minnesota (24-10) – The Gophers will have to prove they can play with a target on their backs.

18. Gonzaga (37-2) – What are we going to talk about now that “The Gonzaga is overrated story line has been retired?”

19. UCLA (31-5) – Lavar Ball is talking more about the Lakers than the Bruins – and Steve Alford is likely happy to exhale.

20. Xavier (24-14) – Who’s going to be the first person to ask Chris Mack how much interest he has in the Louisville job?

21. Northwestern (24-12) – In case you don’t follow one of the 17.1 million Northwestern grads in the media, the Wildcats have big, big hopes.

22. Seton Hall (21-12) – Kevin Willard has taken a player (Angel Delgado) that Rick Pitino wanted and turned the Pirates into a dangerous NCAA Tournament team.

23. Saint Mary’s (29-5) – Everybody says that center Jock Landale should be in the race for Player of the Year.

24. Alabama (19-15) – I can’t wait to watch freshman point guard Collin Sexton.

25. TCU (24-15) – Jamie Dixon had made his alma mater relevant – as Pitt has tumbled to the rear of the ACC.

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