The hectic April dust has settled and we’ve made a few tweaks to the 2012-2013 Top 25 from two weeks ago. The elite high school recruits have made their decision. The potential pros have left for NBA riches or decided to stay on campus. So let’s give this another shot. New additions: Missouri, UNLV, Minnesota. Dropped out: Tennessee, Marquette, Duke.
1. Indiana (27-9, Sweet 16). Top five scorers back and they might have the best player in the country.
2. Louisville (30-10, Final 4). Eager to see the leap Dieng makes this summer.
3. NC State (24-13, Sweet 16). It feels too high, but on paper this is the ACC’s best team.
4. Florida (26-11, Elite 8 ). Return four of their top six players and were an epic collapse away from the Final Four. Yes, they’ll be better than UK.
5. Michigan (24-10, First Round). Trey Burke is staying!
6. Missouri (30-5, First Round). The Pressey-Dixon-Bowers-Oriakhi quartet will be formidable. Tigers were a glaring omission from the previous Top 25.
7. Syracuse (34-3, Elite 8 ). Probably a bit high for a team losing four starters.
8. Creighton (29-6, 2nd round). Let me guess – you’re laughing at the veteran Blue Jays over the defending champs?
9. Kentucky (38-2, National Champs). You can’t lose your top six players and not take a significant step back. Yes, I’m aware how strong the incoming recruits are. Expect a nice March run but a loss to a veteran team before the Final 4.
10. UCLA (19-14, NIT). Two of the country’s Top 10 recruits will make the Bruins relevant again.
11. North Carolina (32-6, Elite 8 ). Loaded on the wing.
12. Kansas (32-7, Title Game). It’s Bill Self. They’ll be fine despite losing Robinson and Taylor.
13. Baylor (30-8, Elite 8). Fear Scott Drew, errrrbody!
14. Ohio State (31-8, Final 4). Craft, DeShaun Thomas and Smith won’t be far behind Indiana & Michigan in the Big Ten.
15. Memphis (26-9, 1st round). Still don’t trust Josh Pastner in a big spot.
16. Maryland (17-15). Best case scenario – finish 2nd in the ACC, ahead of UNC and Duke.
17. UNLV (26-9, 1st round). Moser’s back, and Birch, the transfer from Pittsburgh, should have a big impact.
18. Butler (22-15, NIT). Top four scorers back plus high-impact transfer in Clarke.
19. Miami (20-13, NIT). Four of top five scorers return, and the Hurricanes are kind of a sleeper in the ACC.
20. Arizona (23-12, NIT). Might have the 2nd best recruiting class in the nation.
21. Minnesota (23-15, NIT) – Top five scorers return for Tubby Smith’s … last hurrah before taking another job?
22. Michigan State (29-8, Sweet 16). It’s Izzo. They’ll be fine despite losing Green.
23. San Diego State (26-8, First Round). Top three scorers are back.
24. BYU (26-9, First Round). West Coast resurgence!
25. Harvard (26-5, First Round). They’ll win a game in the NCAA tournament.