I mentioned on a recent episode of the Eye On College Basketball podcast that I don't usually adjust the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 unless something roster-related at a school requires me to do it. And that's still true. I don't usually do it. But after talking to various people while conducting our annual #CandidCoaches series, and after evaluating 20 teams in great detail for our #SummerShootaround series, I decided to adjust the Top 25 And 1 just a little to get my projected Big Ten champion higher, a possible ACC champion into the top 20, and the likely Mountain West champion into the rankings for the first time this offseason.
So that's what I've done.
This is version 18.0 of the Top 25 And 1.
I moved Indiana up from 17th to 13th because, after really thinking about it, I just believe 17th is too low for a projected Big Ten champion considering the Big Ten champion has finished no lower than 13th at KenPom.com in any of the past five years. So that's the logic behind getting the Hoosiers into the top 13. I also moved Virginia from unranked to 16th largely because multiple ACC coaches have told me in recent weeks that they think the Cavaliers will compete with North Carolina and Duke for the league title. And I also moved San Diego State from unranked to 21st simply because the more time I spent studying SDSU's roster this offseason, the more I realized I've probably underrated the Aztecs from the jump. That's on me and something I've attempted to fix here.
(For those curious, Virginia and San Diego State entering the Top 25 And 1 bumped Saint Louis and Michigan State down to what amounts to No. 27 and No. 28.)
Gonzaga remains No. 1 in the Top 25 And 1 thanks to the fact that the Zags are returning six of the top eight scorers from a team that was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament — among them two-time All-American Drew Timme and fellow double-digit scorers Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton. The roster has also been bolstered this offseason by transfers Malachi Smith and Efton Reid. Smith averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season at Chattanooga and is the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year. Reid is a former five-star recruit who played last season at LSU.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|The Zags are returning six of the top eight scorers from a team that secured the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament - among them two-time All-American Drew Timme and fellow double-digit scorers Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton. That experienced core will be bolstered by multiple transfers - most notably reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year Malachi Smith - who should have Gonzaga once again competing for the program's first national title.||--||30-5|
|The Tar Heels are returning every rotation player besides Brady Manek from a team that beat Duke twice before playing in the title game of the NCAA Tournament. Veteran standouts Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, RJ Davis and Leaky Black will be joined by Northwestern transfer Pete Nance and enter the season as the ACC favorite.||--||20-13|
|The Cougars are returning double-digit scorer Jamal Shead and getting All-American candidate Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark back from injuries, which provides Kelvin Sampson with a talented and experienced core. Jarace Walker is a five-star freshman who is expected to join those three and Reggie Chaney in the starting lineup to headline a team that should compete for a second Final Four appearance in a three-year span.||--||33-3|
|The Wildcats are returning CBS Sports National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe and SEC assist-leader Sahvir Wheeler from a team that was a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They'll be joined by a top-five recruiting class highlighted by five-star guard Cason Wallace and five-star wing Chris Livingston, both of whom are one-and-done candidates who could help John Calipari make his first Final Four since 2015.||--||22-12|
|The Blue Devils are returning Jeremy Roach and pairing him with the nation's top-ranked recruiting class that features three of the best four prospects in 2022 - namely Dereck Lively, Dariq Whitehead and Kyle Filipowski. That collection of talent should make Jon Scheyer's first season as Duke's head coach a good one.||--||27-9|
|The Razorbacks lost every meaningful piece from last season's Elite Eight team besides Davonte Davis but should still be a Final Four contender. Nick Smith, Anthony Black and Jordan Walsh provide Eric Musselman with three five-star freshmen to mesh with impactful transfers like Ricky Council (Wichita State), Jalen Graham (Arizona State), Makhel Mitchell (Rhode Island) and Makhi Mitchell (Rhode Island).||--||22-13|
|The Bears are returning double-digit scorers LJ Cryer and Adam Flagler from a team that secured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The addition of five-star guard Keyonte George is among the reasons Scott Drew should have a legitimate national title contender for the fourth consecutive season.||--||23-11|
|The Jayhawks are returning Jalen Wilson, Dajuan Harris and Joseph Yusefu from a team that won the NCAA Tournament. They'll be joined by a top-five recruiting class - highlighted by five-star prospects Gradey Dick, MJ Rice and Ernest Udeh, plus Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar -- that should have Bill Self competing for his 17th Big 12 regular-season championship.||--||28-8|
|The Vols are returning four of the top five scorers - among them Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James - from a team that won the SEC Tournament before getting a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Five-star wing Julian Phillips is expected to make an immediate impact and help Tennessee compete with Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama for supremacy in the SEC.||--||25-10|
|The Bruins are returning double-digit scorers Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez from a team that made the Sweet 16. Five-star prospects Amari Bailey and Adem Bona will give Mick Cronin two one-and-done candidates capable of helping UCLA make the Final Four for the second time in a three-year span.||--||31-5|
|The Bluejays are returning five of the top seven scorers from a team that advanced to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. The addition of South Dakota State transfer Baylor Scheierman, the reigning Summit League Player of the Year, makes Greg McDermott's team the preseason favorite in the Big East.||--||23-12|
|The Longhorns are returning the top two scorers from a team that finished 15th at KenPom - namely Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr, each of whom is using a fifth year of eligibility. That core - combined with a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star prospects Dillon Mitchell and Arterio Morris, plus Iowa State transfer Tyrese Hunter - should have Chris Beard coaching in his fifth straight NCAA Tournament.||--||28-8|
|The Hoosiers are returning the top three scorers from a team that made the NCAA Tournament - among them Trayce Jackson-Davis, who could be a candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year. Indiana's top-10 recruiting class is highlighted by five-star prospect Jalen Hood-Schifino, an elite combo guard who should help Indiana compete for its first Big Ten title since 2016.||4||23-12|
|The Tigers are returning four of the top six scorers - among them K.D. Johnson, Wendell Green and Allen Flanigan - from a team that earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That core will be joined by a top-20 recruiting class that gives Bruce Pearl a chance to compete for back-to-back SEC championships.||1||21-13|
|The Horned Frogs are returning the top six scorers - including All-American candidate Mike Miles - from a team that beat Kansas late and finished 26th at KenPom. That experienced core should give Jamie Dixon's team a chance to compete for what would be TCU's first Big 12 title.||1||22-13|
|The Cavaliers are returning the top seven scorers - among them double-digit scorers Jayden Gardner, Armaan Franklin and Kihei Clark - from a team that finished 12-8 in the ACC and won two games in the NIT. Most ACC coaches seem to believe Virginia is the biggest threat to challenge North Carolina and Duke at the top of the league.||NR||25-8|
|The Wildcats are returning Azuolas Tubelis, Kerr Kriisa, Pelle Larsson and Oumar Ballo from a team that won the Pac-12 and secured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.. That core - combined with the additions of transfers Courtney Ramey (Texas) and Cedric Henderson Jr. (Campbell), plus five-star freshman Kyland Boswell - should be enough to keep Tommy Lloyd's program near (or at) the top of the league standings.||2||28-7|
|The Wildcats are returning six of the top nine scorers from their Final Four team - among them Brandon Slater and Caleb Daniels. Jay Wright left Kyle Neptune with a nice core that should allow the new Villanova coach to keep the Wildcats in the national conversation provided Justin Moore returns from injury midseason and plays as well as he previously played.||2||17-17|
|The Aggies are returning every relevant player -- besides Quenton Jackson and Hassan Diarra -- from a team that made the championship game of the NIT. Buzz Williams made the NCAA Tournament in his fourth season at both Marquette and Virginia Tech and should do the same at Texas A&M.||1||25-10|
|The Wolverines are returning a core of Hunter Dickinson and Terrance Williams that'll be joined by a recruiting class highlighted by Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellyn and top-40 prospect Jett Howard, the latter of whom was named MVP at the Iverson Classic. That's a roster talented enough to get Michigan into the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.||1||18-16|
San Diego St.
|The Aztecs are returning four of the top five scorers from a team that received a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament - among them Matt Bradley, who averaged 16.9 points and 5.4 rebounds last season. San Diego State looks like the clear favorite in the Mountain West Conference.||NR||29-6|
|The Ducks are returning three of the top six scorers -- among them double-digit scorers Will Richardson and Quincy Guerrier - from a team that started 9-3 in the Pac-12. A recruiting class featuring five-star prospect Kel'el Ware, JUCO All-American Tyrone Williams and Colorado transfer Keeshawn Barthelemy should allow Dana Altman to have a nice bounce-back season.||2||21-15|
|The Crimson Tide is returning four of the top eight scorers from a team that earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament - among them Noah Gurley and Charles Bediako. Nate Oats will combine that core with a top-five recruiting class featuring five-star prospects Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley, plus Ohio transfer Mark Sears, which should be enough to have Alabama in the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.||2||31-5|
|The Boilermakers are returning three of the top seven scorers from a team that made the Sweet 16 - among them All-American candidate Zach Edey. Admittedly, that's not a lot -- but Matt Painter deserves the benefit of the doubt based on the consistency with which he runs his program.||2||29-6|
|The Flyers are returning the top five scorers from a team that just missed the NCAA Tournament - among them double-digit scorers Daron Holmes and Toumani Camara. Dayton should be a slight favorite over Saint Louis to win the Atlantic 10.||2||22-12|
|The Buckeyes are returning Zed Key and Justice Sueing from a team that earned a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament and combining them with a top-10 recruiting class featuring transfers Sean McNeil (West Virginia), Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State) and Tanner Holden (Wright State). Chris Holtmann should spend March coaching in his eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament.||2||16-19|
In: Virginia, San Diego State
Out: Michigan State, Saint Louis