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AP Releases New Basketball 'Way Too Early Top 25' For 2018-19

NBA executive reveals Duke is better than Kentucky.

We're still sorting through the end of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, following Villanova's dominant win on Monday night. That means a ton of "way too early Top 25" lists, including one right from the Associated Press.

The AP is obviously home to the weekly media poll during the season. It does not appear that the normal cadre of writers was polled for the exercise. John Marshall is credited on the write-up here.

For anyone familiar with college hoops recruiting, No. 1 will come as little surprise. Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils are bringing in an historic class.

Duke has No. 1 recruit R.J. Barrett, No. 2 Cameron Reddish, No. 3 Zion Williamson, and No. 9 Tre Jones all joining the program for next season. It is the No. 1 class in the country, as you'd expect with four five-star players coming in.

As a result, the AP has Duke ranked No. 1 in this "way too early" top 25. The Blue Devils' write-up:

1. Duke. Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen are gone, Wendell Carter Jr. and Trevon Duval could join them. Even so, there's enough coming back and Coach K has another stellar recruiting class coming in, headed by dunking dynamo Zion Williamson.

Here is the rest of the Associated Press "way too early" top 25:

2. Kansas
3. Villanova
4. Kentucky
5. North Carolina
6. Gonzaga
7. Auburn
8. Virginia
9. Tennessee
10. Nevada
11. Michigan State
12. Louisville
13. Oregon
14. Michigan
15. Kansas State
16. Virginia Tech
17. West Virginia
18. LSU
19. Maryland
20. Mississippi State
21. Florida
22. UCLA
23. Arizona State
24. Florida State
25. Loyola Chicago

All four Final Four squads are represented, with Kansas and Villanova sliding in behind Duke at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Michigan comes in at No. 14, and Loyola Chicago rounds out the list at No. 25.

Villanova, the reining national champion for the second time in three years, could potentially be loaded, depending on NBA decisions. Most expect Mikal Bridges to go, but there's a chance that national player of the year Jalen Brunson could return, as he is getting second-round projections from many. From the AP on 'Nova:

A lot will depend on whether Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and Omari Spellman leave for the NBA. Either way, the Wildcats will be reigning champions and have breakout star Donte DiVincenzo.

Obviously, we need to hear about a number of other big players' NBA decisions before we can really start to put together an accurate top 25. It is still fun to see what some experts think, with the long off-season upon us.

[AssociatedPress]