College basketball is coming back on Nov. 25 and preseason practice can start on Oct. 14. That is less than a month away! We need some more damn preseason predictions and thankfully NCAA.com’s Andy Katz is here to fill that need with his preseason Power 36 rankings.
Due to the unprecedented nature of this season, each team will be given a “transition period” to help their players get mentally and physically prepared for the season. The transition period will occur Sept. 21-Oct. 13, and teams may participate in strength and conditioning activities, sport-related meetings and skill instruction for up to 12 hours a week, with an eight-hour limit on skill instruction. Players must have two days off per week during the transition period.
With all D-1 teams currently in the “transition period” lets take a look at who Katz has ranked where. Here is the top-10:
1- Gonzaga Bulldogs
2- Baylor Bears
3- Villanova Wildacts
4- Illinois Fighting Illini
5- Iowa Hawkeyes
6- Wisconsin Badgers
7- Virginia Cavaliers
8- Kansas Jayhawks
9- Kentucky Wildcats
10- Tennessee Volunteers
The Big Ten is well represented with 30% of the top-10 hailing from the toughest conference in the land. Illinois moved up 17 spots from Katz’s last rankings thanks to the decisions of center Kofi Cockburn and guard Ayo Dosunmu to take their names out of the NBA Draft pool. The rest of the top-6 stayed in the exact same spot while UVa jumped up three spots and Tennessee moved up six.
Here is what Katz said about Wisconsin: “The Badgers earned a three-way share of the Big Ten regular season title after a brutal non-conference schedule. Wisconsin lost only one contributing player from that late title run. This is a team that doesn’t need a big-time star.”
As far as the rest of the rankings go, Katz has the Michigan State Spartans at No. 12, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at No. 13, the Michigan Wolverines at No. 17, the Indiana Hoosiers at No. 18 and the Purdue Boilermakers at No. 32.
Per usual, the B1G is going to be a freaking Mad Max: Fury Road journey to the end of the season.