10. Michigan State: Izzo is going the one and done route. I don't envision any Big 14 team being a true title contender but Sparty will have oodles of talent. Wisky, Indiana & Maryland are all projected by some as top-10 teams. Wisconsin will be loved by the computers , Indiana's fate hinges on Thomas Bryant's decision to stay or go. I don't believe in Mark Turgeon.
9. UCLA: The Pac-12 will be the best league in 2017. They have 4 legit top 10 teams, including USC. If Steve Alford doesn't make things happen in 2017, I don't care what his buyout is, he's out.
8. Oregon: This could change if guys expected to return surprise us and decide to depart. If things happen like they should, they'll probably be the Pac-12 favorite but not mine.
7. Kansas: The presumptive favorite for the services of Josh Jackson, Kansas will easily win another Big XII title. Plenty returns lead by Frank Mason and Landen Lucas. Lucas, to me, is the next great Kansas big that carries his team.
6. North Carolina: Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson leave but most of the core will be back. They don't have any five stars coming in but with the returning depth, the guys they are getting won't have to be the stars. There's a chance Justin Jackson leaves but it isn't expected.
5. Xavier: It looks like Jalen Reynolds is leaving and losing him along with James Farr thins the front court. Sean O'Mara flashed at moments but isn't the physical threat Farr & Reynolds were. That said, their guard play will be electric and they add Rashid Gaston, a transfer from Norfolk State who would alleviate front court depth issues.
4. Arizona: I'm higher on them because I expect big things from Allonzo Trier who is returning for his sophomore season. They have solid bigs returning and add enough pieces this team will not be a 6-seed or losing in the opening round.
3. Villanova: The Big East will be stacked next season and a bit more daunting for the Wildcats. Butler, Creighton & Seton Hall will all be top 25 teams. Marquette will be better, as will St. John's. Won't matter. Villanova will miss the leadership of Arch and Chef but look for big seasons from Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins.
2. Kentucky: Liked them losing in the Round of 32? Hope you enjoyed it because they will be stacked next year. Forget the top rated class coming in, which will be as good as any in the Calipari era, Isaiah Briscoe will have another summer to work on his game and Marcus Lee has a chance to be a monster senior. It'll be a blend of vets and frosh and possibly Cal's best mix.
1. Duke: Book it. This team will be in the Final 4. Kennard, Thornton, Jeter and Jefferson all return. Even Matt Jones. Couple those with the talent, probably the top 2 NBA prospects for the 2017 draft coming in? Sorry, Duke haters. If they land Marques Bolden? I'd say undefeated would be in the cards of they didn't play in the ACC. Them and Kentucky are 1-2 and there's no argument in my mind.
Edit: Grayson Allen is returning. Real threat to go undefeated in 16-17.