LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Sources say that the Associated Press college basketball pre-season Top 25 poll will be released Monday.

Kentucky and Louisville are expected to begin the season ranked in the top five.

That makes this a perfect time to give you an opportunity to pick apart my ballot.


1. Michigan State (32-7) -- Anything less than a national championship should be considered a disappointment in East Lansing.

2. Kansas (26-10) -- Snoop and his pole dancers made me do it.

3. Kentucky (30-7) -- One source I trust said the Wildcats have their usual collection of talented pieces but they don't have a John Wall, Brandon Knight or De'Aaron Fox at point guard. Hey, who does?

4. Duke (32-6) -- Tennessee won a football national title after Peyton Manning left. Maybe the reloading Blue Devils can win one without Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish.

5. Florida (20-16) -- Adding Kerry Blackshear from Virginia Tech was the best recruiting coup of the off season.

6. Louisville (20-14) -- I still want to see how this point guard situation shakes out -- and how quickly Malik Williams gets completely healthy.

7. Maryland (23-11) -- The Terps have players. The Terps always have players. Right, Mark Turgeon?

8. Gonzaga (33-4) -- It's too early in the season for Gonzaga jokes. And the Zags beat Michigan State in a secret scrimmage Saturday in Denver. Nobody can keep a secret any more.

9. North Carolina (29-7) -- I follow college basketball with a dangerous obsession, but other than freshman point guard Cole Anthony I can't say the rest of the Tar Heels' starting five is particularly memorable.

10. Virginia (35-3) -- No Ty Jerome. No Kyle Guy. No De'Andre Hunter. But Tony Bennett did not leave for the NBA.

11. Villanova (26-10) -- Jay Wright takes another crack at joining the Three-Ring Club.

12. Baylor (20-14) -- Football is unbeaten. The basketball team will start the season in the Top 15. Big times in Waco.

13. Texas Tech (31-7) -- This seems a bit too high even to me, considering Chris Beard lost four starters.

14. Seton Hall (20-14) -- Myles Powell is a reasonable pre-season all-American choice for Kevin Willard, an underrated coach.

15. Memphis (22-14) -- Now we're going to find out if Penny Hardaway can coach.

16. Utah State (28-7) -- Most of the important pieces are back from a team that went 15-3 in the Mountain West last season.

17. Saint Mary’s (22-12) -- When it doubt, include the Gaels.

18. Ohio State (20-15) -- Solid collection of veterans plus a Top 10 recruiting class equals Big Ten contender.

19. Purdue (26-10) -- Matt Painter has earned the respect -- even without Carsen Edwards or Ryan Cline.

20. VCU (25-8) -- The Rams are doing better without Shaka Smart than Shaka Smart is doing without the Rams.

21. Arizona (17-15) -- Introducing the Pac-12, still the weakest of the Power Five leagues.

22. Washington (27-9) -- Isaiah Stewart is a reasonable choice for the top freshman scorer in the country.

23. Syracuse (20-14) -- An ACC coach told me that the Orange have the shooters to win any game on their schedule.

24. Colorado (23-13) -- The Buffs are in the Top 25. UCLA is not. What a world.

25. Creighton (20-15) -- I had to pick somebody, and Blue Jays' fans think I owe them for picking Russ Smith over Doug McDermott as the national player of the year in 2014.

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