Sideline Sports CBB Preseason Top 25

Another summer has come and gone, the sun sets at 4:30pm, the leaves are on the ground, and in mere hours the basketball will be tossed into the air to tip off the 2021-22 college basketball season. And this time around, every seat will be filled, as we go from the silence of COVID caused empty arenas to the deafening noise of sold out crowds. Players can now transfer without sitting out a season, so this year will be unprecedented, and amazing, for a multitude of reasons. With so many unknowns entering this season, it would take a crazy man to make a preseason top 25, which almost always ends up being a hilarious momento by March Madness, but we are those guys, and this is our 2021-22 Preseason Top 25.

RankCompositeAlexBenDylanRyan
1GonzagaGonzagaGonzagaGonzagaGonzaga
2KansasUCLAKansasKansasUCLA
T3UCLAVillanovaTexasTexasKansas
T3TexasTexasVillanovaUCLATexas
5VillanovaKansasMichiganMichiganVillanova
6MichiganPurdueUCLAPurdueMichigan
7PurdueBaylorPurdueIllinoisBaylor
8BaylorMichiganBaylorVillanovaKentucky
9IllinoisIllinoisDukeKentuckyMemphis
10KentuckyMemphisIllinoisBaylorDuke
11Duke DukeMemphisOregonPurdue
12MemphisKentuckyKentuckyDukeOregon
13OregonAlabamaAlabamaAlabamaIllinois
14AlabamaHoustonOregonMemphisArkansas
15ArkansasArkansasOhio StateAuburnHouston
16HoustonOregonHoustonArkansasAlabama
17Ohio StateNorth CarolinaArkansasFlorida StateOhio State
18TennesseeTennesseeTennesseeHoustonAuburn
19Florida StateOhio StateFlorida StateTennesseeFlorida State
20North CarolinaMarylandMarylandNorth CarolinaTennessee
21AuburnFlorida StateNorth CarolinaUConnNorth Carolina
22MarylandUConnSt BonaventureOhio StateUConn
23UConnSt BonaventureUConnMarylandMaryland
24St BonaventureVirginiaMichigan StateSt BonaventureMichigan State
25Michigan StateMichigan StateAuburnXavierIndiana
Also Receiving Votes: Virginia (2), Indiana (1), Xavier (1)

Breaking It Down

Bulldogs On The Hunt Again:

Nobody was able to defeat Gonzaga until the final game of the season last year, yet the Zags find themselves with something to prove. The championship game loss raised the age old strength of schedule questions, Mark Few did himself no favors with an offseason DUI, and outside of POY favorite Drew Timme it is a Gonzaga team bolstering more newcomers than usual. Will Chet Holmgren be The One to bring Gonzaga a ring? They may be the unanimous number one in our poll, but this is a Gonzaga team facing more questions than usual.

Blue Bloods Bouncing Back:

Last year was unlike what we are used to seeing from Duke and Kentucky, with both teams missing the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky never had a shot, finishing the year at an abysmal 9-16, while Duke’s potential bid-stealing ACC Tournament run was derailed by COVID. Both teams have reloaded with NBA talent as usual, but face some of the most important years in their respective histories, with Coach Cal trying to right the ship, and Coach K trying to go out on top once again. Our number 10 and 11 ranked teams will face off in the marquee game of opening night in the Champions Classic, trying to start off the season with a momentum building win.

Time To Prove It:

UCLA had one of the most amazing NCAA Tournament runs in recent history, advancing all the way to the Final Four, and only being eliminated by a half court buzzer beater. But now Mick Cronin and the Bruins have to prove that was legitimate, and not just a Cinderella run. This is a team that lost 9 games before the NCAA Tournament, and was firmly on the bubble, having to win a First Four game in overtime to even kick off that legendary run. They bring back nearly every major contributor from that Final Four squad, and open up the season ranked in a tie for third, but with an opening week test against Villanova, and a Thanksgiving week rematch with the Zags, this is a team that will have plenty of challenges early to prove that run was no fluke.

The most chaotic sport in the world is back, and unlike last year, our coverage is going to be running from the opening tip tomorrow to the final buzzer in early April. Stick with us as we all collectively fall what will be one of the best college basketball seasons of all time.

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