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Kentucky, Duke headline the first official preseason top 25

USA v Dominican Republic - Mens Exhibition Game

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Athlon Sports, one of college basketball’s premier preview magazines, released their preseason top 25 over Labor Day Weekend, and there was a bit of a surprise at the top.

Instead of slotting North Carolina or Maryland in the top spot, Athlon has Kentucky ranked as their preseason No. 1 team. That’s not too crazy, especially when you consider that they are bringing in one of the nation’s best freshmen classes.

What’s surprising is that they have Duke slotted at No. 2 behind Kentucky instead of the Heels or the Terps, who slide in at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. The Blue Devils are the reigning national champions, but they also lost their top four players from last year’s team and will enter this season lacking front court depth and with only freshman Derryck Thornton at the point guard spot.

It’s hard to argue against riding with Coach K, but there are five or six teams that I would rank over Duke until we see how they cope with some of the question marks on their roster.

Anyway, you can read through Athlon’s complete top 25 here.