Preseason polls are almost a rite of passage for every new college basketball (and football) season. They frame the conversation for early season games, create topics for debate and inevitably lead to teams that are deemed as overrated.
But what about the teams that are underrated? Rarely does a program that starts lower than it deserves and gradually climbs in the rankings get quite the same attention as a squad that starts in the Top 10 and subsequently crashes and burns.
But those underrated teams emerge almost every season, and 2012-13 won’t be any different.
Here are five teams that will outplay their preseason rankings this year. Since the official polls are not out yet, the ESPN preseason poll was used to determine rankings.