ESPN releases Top 25 NCAA basketball list

The college basketball season officially tips off in mid-November and ESPN realizes that the “Way Too Early Top 25” is “Way Too” cliche. So, on Wednesday, they released a “No-Longer-Way-Too-Early” Top 25 for the upcoming season. Honestly, I was very surprised by the top two teams in the country going into the season.

The list released by ESPN  had only one team from the 2015 Final Four in its top five and two teams that made it to the Sweet Sixteen standing above the rest. Surprisingly, Duke, the defending national champions and the team with the number one ranked recruiting class for 2015, were left just outside of the top five.

The Maryland Terrapins topped the list as the early number one team in the country. As ESPN put it, I will also give Maryland fans a second to gather themselves. But looking at what they have returning this season, it really isn’t an unlikely pick.

Melo Trimble and Jake Layman both return for the Terps this season and that is sure to give the team a boost in the backcourt. Players like Diamond Stone and Robert Carter will also push the Terrapins into a prime contender position this season.

The North Carolina Tar Heels came in at second and there is sure to be lots of controversy surrounding their spot, namely from UNC fans. Right now, Marcus Page’s history of injuries is what kept the Heels out of the top spot. However, Roy Williams’ club will benefit from sophomores Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson, and Joel Berry II.

The full list is below.

1. Maryland Terrapins
2. North Carolina Tar Heels
3. Kentucky Wildcats
4. Virginia Cavaliers
5. Kansas Jayhawks
6. Duke Blue Devils
7. Iowa State Cyclones
8. Oklahoma Sooners
9. Wichita State Shockers
10. Villanova Wildcats
11. Gonzaga Bulldogs
12. California Golden Bears
13. Utah Utes
14. Indiana Hoosiers
15. Arizona Wildcats
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
17. Baylor Bears
18. Vanderbilt Commodores
19. Michigan State Spartans
20. West Virginia Mountaineers
21. SMU Mustangs
22. LSU Tigers
23. Butler Bulldogs
24. Wisconsin Badgers
25. Texas A&M Aggies

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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