Men's College Basketball Preseason Rankings: Nos. 6-10
The Panthers are probably a little overrated, but in another case of weak scheduling, this won't be evident until Big East play starts. Levance Fields is already battling injury, which isn't a good sign for things to come. Hosting Siena and visiting Florida State will be ample tests before conference play starts.
The Panthers have to play UConn twice, but only run into Villanova, Louisville, Notre Dame, Marquette, and Georgetown once in the regular season. I hate the Big East. But not as much as the Big Ten.
7. Michigan State
The Spartans are the only Big Ten school I ever tend to respect. Tom Izzo is a great coach, and he knows it's better to prepare your team with difficult tasks than it is to just schedule Alcorn State and IPFW.
A trip to Maryland for the third game of the season, UNC comes in for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, at Texas, and hosting Kansas. The Spartans will have some blemishes come March, but it will be a tested squad and a very dangerous No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the tournament.
The Longhorns are another team probably ranked too high, but they give themselves plenty of opportunities to prove a blogger wrong. UCLA, Villanova, and Michigan State all come into town, and a visit to Wisconsin will round out Texas' schedule, all before Christmas. One of those Big Ten games might actually be played at Madison Square Garden.
The Big 12 only has a few teams in the top 25 for now, but Baylor, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State always come to play. Texas will win the Big 12 this year.
9. Notre Dame
The Irish are the fourth Big East team in the top 10. Give me a break. A February beatdown at UCLA is on tap for the Fighting Irish.
Aside from that, I guess we're just going to have to count on the Big East teams to sort out their problems head-to-head, because UCLA and Gonzaga are the only two ranked non-conference opponents for the four Big East teams in the top 10. Pansies.
The Boilermakers might give me reason to actually give more respect to the Big Ten than the Big East this season. We already know they drew Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, but they also host Davidson in mid-December. It takes guts to invite them in, because, honestly, Davidson is probably going to win that game. I'd tell you why, but Davidson is No. 20. Wait a couple days!
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