TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

April 10, 2013

The future looks bright for UK and its fans

The Way It Is

CORBIN — If you know me, I always like to look ahead, and for many University of Kentucky Wildcat men’s basketball fans, the tip-off to the 2013-14 season couldn’t  come quick enough after seeing rival Louisville and former coach Rick Pitino cut the nets down in Atlanta on Monday.

With that said, I figured it would be nice to give Wildcat fans something to look forward to next season. Yep, I’m going to give my thought on next season’s top 25 teams in the college basketball landscape — take in mind, a lot of things can happen between now and October, but I figured I’d give it a try.

25 — Florida State Seminoles — Now Florida State won’t even make the top 25 if the Seminoles don’t get top recruit Andrew Wiggins. If they don’t get Wiggins, then put Boise State or Iowa State in this spot.

24 — Wichita State — The Shockers shocked many of us this past season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them continue to play well with many of their players returning from this season’s Final Four team.

23 — UCONN — Don’t underestimate the Huskies next season.

22 — Indiana — The outlook of maybe losing both Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo doesn’t look good for the Hoosiers, who really missed their chance of making a run at a National Championship this year.

21 — Notre Dame — The Fighting Irish will be hard-pressed to match this past season’s 25-win total.

20 — Tennessee — The Volunteers make their return to the top 25 and might actually be rated higher if newcomers such as A.J. Davis, Robert Hubbs, Travon Landry and Darius Thompson can step up and contribute.

19 — Virginia — Look for the Cavs to surprise this upcoming season.

18 — UCLA — Steve Alford’s new squad returns some firepower.

17 — Gonzaga — This is a team I’m not too sure about. The Bulldogs could very well be ranked even lower. It depends on whether leading scorer Kelly Olynyk returns or not.

16  — Kansas — If the Jayhawks get Wiggins, then they’ll move way up into the top 10, but at the present time, I’m sticking them at the 15-spot.

15 — VCU — Folks VCU  has shown the past three years this program is a solid one and will be for many years to come.

14 — Memphis — Don’t be surprised to see the Tigers make even more noise next season. Remember they are coming off a 31-win season, but also lose a lot of talent, too.

13 — Colorado — Sabatino Chen is gone, but the Buffaloes will be fine.

12 — Marquette — The Golden Eagles reached the Elite Eight this past year and might surprise even more next season.

11 — Wisconsin — The Badgers were ousted by Ole Miss this season in the round of 64. Look for them to be even better next year.

10 — Syracuse — The Orange missed out on a good opportunity this season.

9 — Ohio State — The loss to Wichita State will linger for a while for Buckeye fans.

8 — Florida — The Gators and Kentucky will battle things out in the SEC.

7 — Louisville — This might be too much of a drop-off for the defending National Champions, but Peyton Siva and potentially Russ Smith will hurt.

6 — Duke — The Blue Devils will still be pretty darn good next season.

5 — Michigan — The Wolverines could drop a bit, it’s just according to who leaves. But if no one attempts to go pro, Michigan could very well be one of the top two teams in the country.

4 — North Carolina — The Tar Heels could be sneaky-good next season.

3 — Michigan State — Tim Izzo will return a lot of talent.

2 — Arizona — The west coast Wildcats are going to be pretty darn good.

1 — Kentucky — There you go Wildcat fans. From losing to Robert Morris in the NIT to being the top-ranked team entering the season the next. Coach John Calipari will have a lot of talent in Lexington and could very well cut the nets down in North Texas.

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