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2018 College Basketball Preseason Favorites
College Basketball is Here, Who Are The Early Favorites?
The college basketball season is officially here and we were treated to the Champions Classic event that saw Kansas take on Michigan State and Duke take on Kentucky. If last night's game is anything to go by then you might as well hand Duke the title while Kansas seems to have mastered the balance between returners, transfers and new recruits.
The teams to watch for this season are Duke, Kansas, Villanova, Michigan State and North Carolina.
Duke starts the season with the top 3 recruits of the 2018 class and it showed last night in a 34-point blowout win against the number 2 team in the country. What is most impressive is that Duke shot 54% from the field to go along with just 4 turnovers which was the least of any Division 1 team. Turnovers are a telling sign of a team's chemistry and it seems Duke is already in midseason form.
Kansas also impressed at the classic but they did so through depth. The preseason favorites had four players score 15 or more points and while their only returning guard struggled on 1 for 7 shooting, the Jayhawks still put up 92 points while out rebounding the Spartans. Last season Michigan State finished 8th in rebounding while Kansas finished tied for 181st. To show such a monumental improvement in that aspect of the game is a sign of a team ready to make a championship run.
Villanova gets a mention but mostly because they won the National championship last season. In reality Villanova lost 7 players including three starters and the final four MVP, Donte DiVincenzo. Coach, Jay Wright has shown an ability to turn the program around quickly, winning two championships in the last 3 seasons.
Michigan State may have lost last night but they are for sure a threat. The Spartans lost plenty of talent but coach Izzo is one of the best in college basketball and has put together a team that is as mature and physically dominating as any team you'll see over the season.
Virginia put together 31 wins last season and return three of their starters including two of the top three scorers. Virginia is a team that thrives on smart basketball with minimal turnovers and this season looks to be more of the same. This might be the season Virginia makes that final jump.
North Carolina round out our list of contenders. The Tar Heels start the season at 8th but that seems a bit unfair. The team only lost two starters and bring in two five star recruits which includes the 5th overall recruit. Carolina struggled last season but this roster is much better than the one that lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Comment below who your favorites are for the college basketball season.
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