The first set of rankings came out for men's college basketball, and not only did mid-majors get a lot of love, but there are some fantastic regular season games between the top mid-majors and some of the elite teams in the country. Should be a great year for college basketball.
Here's a quick look at the top five teams' potential based on scheduling.
1. North Carolina
UNC is the unanimous number one. No arguments over here, seeing as how the Tar Heels return all five starters, including that Hansbrough guy.
A weak non-conference schedule should keep them in the top ten all year, as they should be. The Big 10/ACC challenge is looking to be one of the best ones since its inception. UNC visits Michigan State in its leg of the event.
The ACC is aways very competitive, so expect a few losses here and there, but if the Heels stay healthy, that number should be below five, and a number one seed in the NCAA Tourney is imminent.
UConn also has a very weak non-conference schedule, but the parity in the Big East should at list send shivers up the Huskies' spines. A December trip to Spokane will also be a great indication of things to come.
Louisville plays NOBODY. The annual visit to Kentucky is in there, but props to Pitino for taking the easy road to March. I know who I'm not rooting for.
Send up a prayer for Lamar or Morehead State to pull a Dayton—a team Louisville has lost to two years in a row, and surprise, surprise! Guess who isn't on the schedule this year??
The Bruins has a couple of tough tests, visiting Texas in early December, and then a more telling game in February when it hosts Notre Dame.
Not much in the Pac-10 this season. I don't buy into Arizona State or USC. Easy season for the Bruins, so it's good to have the two top 10 non-conference opponents on the schedule.
Duke must have brought in one hell of a recruiting class to earn this kind of ranking. At Purdue for the Big Ten/ACC challenge, a mid-December trip to Xavier that cannot be overlooked, and then hosting Davidson in January will be a great game.
The Blue Devils' final game of the season is AT Carolina, with seeding, and perhaps the conference on the line. I think Duke fans can empathize when I ask WHY HASN'T GREG PAULUS GRADUATED YET?!?!?!
Teams 6-10 coming tomorrow.