The official Associated Press and Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 polls are still a few weeks away but every major outlet is working to see if they can get their ranking to match it. ESPN is no exception, and recently released a Way-Too-Early Top 25.
Heading the list is the presumptive No. 1 Michigan State Spartans. Behind them are a trio of NCAA Tournament from the Power Five conferences: Kentucky at No. 2, Kansas at No. 3, and Duke at No. 4.
ACC titans Louisville and UNC round out the top six. NCAA Tournament regulars Gonzaga, Villanova, Maryland and Texas Tech also found their way to the list.
Here are the top 10 schools from ESPN’s rankings:
- 10. Texas Tech
- 9. Maryland
- 8. Villanova
- 7. Gonzaga
- 6. North Carolina
- 5. Louisville
- 4. Duke
- 3. Kansas
- 2. Kentucky
- 1. Michigan State
Perhaps the most impressive rise on ESPN’s list was Kansas, who jumped to No. 3 from No. 10 in their previous ranking. Things have been looking up for the Jayhawks lately with the reinstatement of Silvio De Sousa and the strong injury boost from Udoka Azubuike, as well as the impending return to Devon Dotson.
Last year the ACC proved to be the more dominant conference, with three teams entering the tournament as No. 1 seeds. The Virginia Cavaliers ultimately beat Texas Tech to claim the title, but were not included in this top ten.
ESPN’s list certainly bodes well for the conference again with three teams in the top six, but Michigan State, Kentucky, and Kansas clearly look like the teams to beat early in the season.
The full Top 25 is available at ESPN.