Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CBS Sports Ranks Kentucky No. 2, Louisville No. 50 in Team Rankings

CBS Sports has ranked every team in college basketball for the 2015-16 season.

The Kentucky Wildcats come in at No. 2 behind North Carolina. Kansas, Maryland and Virginia round out the top 5.

Louisville, which is in the midst of the escort scandal, is No. 50. The Cardinals are ranked below Valparaiso, Davidson and Stephen F. Austin.

Murray State comes in at No. 107. Western Kentucky is No. 137. Eastern Kentucky cracks the top 200 at No. 189.

Morehead State is all the way down at No. 223. Northern Kentucky rounds out the state teams at No. 261.

Here is the top 10 and some other notables:

1. North Carolina: Our No. 1 team in the country has a veteran point guard in Marcus Paige, a slimmed-down and improved big man in Kennedy Meeks, an even more dynamic big man in Brice Johnson, and a wing set to break out this season in Justin Jackson. All four are projected in next June's draft. For UNC, this is the time. The right mix of veterans and skill, and with NCAA sanctions possibly on the horizon next spring or summer, it's set up to be a memorable season regardless for Roy Williams.

2. Kentucky: The Wildcats are probably the most talented team in the country, but they have some questions to fulfill still. Will Skal Labissiere be eligible? Can all of Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe co-exist? Are the freshmen for real? If all the pieces fit together, they'll have a shot to make another Final Four.

3. Kansas: As long as Cheick Diallo gets eligible, his is the team I feel most confident in being successful. They return Frank Mason and Perry Ellis, along with a host of other players that could contribute to yet another Big 12 championship under Bill Self.

4. Maryland: The starting five is going to be so good by midseason. Robert Carter is eligible following a redshirt year, and Jake Layman still doesn't get enough love nationally. A lot of pressure on Melo Trimble to perform like an All-American, but he'll have so much talent around him, the Terps should be top 10-good almost wire to wire.

5. Virginia: The Tony Bennett Experience will continue to keep Virginia near or at the top of the ACC. How good can these guys be? Well, the Hoos were 30-4 last season and only lost Darion Atkins and Justin Anderson. Yes, a dent, but still a lot of talent here. Malcolm Brogdon, hello.

6. Iowa State

7. Duke

8. Oklahoma

9. Wichita State

10. Gonzaga

13. Indiana

22. Vanderbilt

25. Cincinnati

39. XAVIER

41. Valparaiso

50. Louisville: Damion Lee could have a good year. There's also the current scandal. How much does that affect what goes on in the program? No way to tell. But no denying this is the weakest Pitino roster in more than five years.

58. Belmont: The Bruins made the Tournament one year ahead of schedule behind a miracle Taylor Barnette 3 against favored Murray State. This was always going to be Rick Byrd's next great team, and there's a chance he leads them to 25 wins with leading scorer Craig Bradshaw looking like the favorite for OVC player of the year.

104. Tennessee

107. Murray State: Murray: prizint! Lose their coach to Iowa State, but the good news is Matt McMahon now runs the show, and he's spent years as an assistant at MSU previously. The Racers are always respectable. That's not going to change now.

137. Western Kentucky: Losing T.J. Price and George Fant won't be easy, but Chris Harrison-Docks should pick up the slack as Aaron Cosby enters the fold from Illinois for a season.

170. Tennessee-Martin

175. East Tennessee State

189. Eastern Kentucky: They have to not only replace Corey Walden and Eric Stutz, but also their coach in Jeff Neubauer. Expect a bit of a step back this year as they figure out how to do that.

223. Morehead State: Sean Woods' team loses big contributors but should have enough young talent to keep things optimistic.

242. Marshall

261. Northern Kentucky: A new member of the Horizon, NKU still can't play for the league title until 2017. They also feature a new coach in John Brannen, who replaces Dave Bezold.

Complete Rankings

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