College Basketball
(James Snook-USA TODAY Sports)

After a long wait, the NCAA finally released their preseason AP top 25 rankings for the 2020 college basketball season. Atop the list are the Gonzaga Bulldogs. In our own preseason top 25, fellow writer Karl Heiser along with myself also had Gonzaga ranked number one.

This is the first preseason number one ranking in program history. Head coach Mark Few has put together a great roster this season and, though the votes were close, Gonzaga certainly has the talent to be a number one team. Players like Joel Ayayi, Drew Time, Anton Watson, Corey Kispert, and Jalen Suggs will look to bring Gonzaga its first national championship.

Following the Bulldogs, Baylor, Villanova, Virginia, and Iowa round out the top five. Baylor received just four less first place votes than Gonzaga, while Villanova logged eleven and Virginia received one.

The Big Ten looks to be the best conference in college basketball in 2020, as they have three of the top ten teams and seven of the top 25. Iowa’s Luka Garza was recently voted as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. Garza will hope to lead the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes to a Big Ten championship. Illinois and Wisconsin are the other top ten teams, both with strong rosters.

Rounding out the top ten is Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Duke, and Kentucky. Kansas will be without their two best players from last season, Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike. Additionally, they have lost forward Silvio De Sousa, who stepped away from the program one month ago.

The Creighton Blue Jays will begin the season ranked eleventh. This is an intriguing team, as Marcus Zegarowski and Mitchell Ballock will be one of the best backcourts in college basketball.

On a surprising note, teams such as Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan, and Michigan State will all be starting the season ranked lower than usual. In a year filled with uncertainty, any and all of these teams are capable of rising high up the AP top 25.

The college basketball season begins on November 25. Many teams usually out of the spotlight will find themselves right in the thick of things. We’ve already discussed Illinois, but teams like Rutgers and Arizona State will too draw national attention. Bottom line; this is going to be an exciting season of college basketball.