Blue Ribbon, the preeminent college basketball preview publication, released their preseason top 25 on Tuesday afternoon, and Kentucky is the No. 1 team in the country, edging out Kansas, Gonzaga and Duke.
Personally, I would put Kansas above the Wildcats, but as long as Kentucky, Kansas, Gonzaga and Duke are in the top four — regardless of order — it is hard to disagree too much with any ranking this season.
Where I would disagree is with Villanova.
Blue Ribbon has the Wildcats sitting 21st, and while I understand the inclination to drop Villanova based on what that program has lost, my counterpoint would be that both Eric Paschall — who is in line for an all-american season — and Phil Booth return as fifth-year seniors, while a roster full of four- and five-star recruits will be coming of age. I have Villanova fifth, which is admittedly high and a bet on Jay Wright and this Villanova program.
That said, to me, Villanova is a clear top ten team.
Anyway, here is the rest of Blue Ribbon’s top 25:
- Michigan State
- Mississippi State
- North Carolina
- Kansas State
- Florida State
- West Virginia
- Virginia Tech