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Original Issue

2017-18 TOP 10


A way-too-early look at the teams and players who will challenge for the NCAA championship next season

1. Arizona

Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins will welcome the nation's top freshman, 7-foot, 250-pound center DeAndre Ayton.

2. Kentucky

UK is in great shape to land 6'11" center Mohamed Bamba, who would be the jewel of yet another stellar freshman class.

3. Louisville

Donovan Mitchell will probably go pro, but three other starters, including junior PG Quentin Snyder (4.1 apg), will be back.

4. Duke

Blue Devils hope junior Grayson Allen returns to team up in the backcourt with 6'3" freshman Frank Jackson (10.9 ppg).

5. Villanova

Sophomore PG Jalen Brunson will be back to pass to stud PF Omari Spellman, who was academically ineligible for '16--17.

6. Gonzaga

Zags could reach consecutive Final Fours thanks to Zach Collins, a 7-foot freshman who scored 10.0 ppg off the bench this year.

7. North Carolina

Joel Berry II's return, Luke Maye's breakout and the arrival of 6'3" freshman Jalek Felton will make the Heels tough to beat.

8. Michigan State

If 6'8" freshman Nick Ward stays, he'll join two big recruits—6'11" Jaren Jackson and 6'9" Xavier Tillman—to form a huge front line.

9. Wichita State

After finishing 31--5 and pushing Kentucky to the brink in the second round, the Shockers will have every starter back.

10. Minnesota

Gophers have top four scorers back from a squad that won eight of its last nine games and finished fourth in the Big Ten.