College basketball rankings: Gonzaga climbs latest Top 25 And 1 after landing two key transfers

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1


UConn
This ranking is based on the Huskies returning four of the top six scorers from a team that won the 2023 NCAA Tournament – specifically everybody except Jordan Hawkins and Adama Sanogo, both of whom are expected to remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. That core combined with a top-five recruiting class should have UConn as a real contender to win back-to-back national championships.

— 31-8
2


Purdue
This ranking is based on the Boilermakers returning six of the top seven scorers – everybody except Brandon Newman – from a team that won the Big Ten regular-season title and the Big Ten Tournament before securing a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. CBS Sports National Player of the Year Zach Edey has a decision to make, obviously, but for now I’m projecting him to return to Purdue.

— 29-6
3


Marquette
This ranking is based on the Golden Eagles returning every relevant player from a team that won the Big East regular-season title and the Big East Tournament before securing a No. 2 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones should provide Shaka Smart with a core capable of competing for a national championship.

— 29-7
4


Duke
This ranking is based on the Blue Devils returning the top four scorers – Kyle Filipowski, Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell – from a team that finished 10-1 in its final 11 games and won the ACC Tournament. Duke is also enrolling a top-two recruiting class and will be among the most talented teams in the country, per usual.

— 27-9
5


FAU
This ranking is based on the Owls returning all five starters from a team that won the C-USA regular-season title and the C-USA Tournament before advancing to the 2023 Final Four. FAU should be the AAC favorite in its first season in its new conference.

— 35-4
6


Creighton
This ranking is based on the Bluejays returning everybody except Ryan Nembhard from a team that won 24 games and advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The addition of Steven Ashworth, a transfer from Utah State, is significant considering he’s a point guard who averaged 16.2 points per game for a team that made the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

— 24-13
7


Alabama
This ranking is based on the Crimson Tide returning four of the top seven scorers – everybody except Brandon Miller, Noah Clowney and Jaden Bradley – from a team that won the SEC regular-season title and the SEC Tournament before securing the No. 1 overall seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Alabama should be the favorite to repeat as SEC champions.

— 31-6
8


Kansas
This ranking is based on the Jayhawks enrolling a top-five recruiting class and returning three starters – Dajuan Harris, K.J. Adams and Kevin McCullar – from a team that won the Big 12 regular-season title before securing a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Based strictly on the roster, this ranking is possibly high, but assuming Bill Self will have a top-10 team is rarely a mistake. — 28-8
9


Michigan St.
This ranking is based on the Spartans returning five of the top six scorers – everybody except Joey Hauser — from a team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Michigan State will combine that core with a top-five recruiting class headlined by five-star prospects Xavier Booker and Jeremy Fears.

— 21-13
10


Houston
This ranking is based on the Cougars returning five of the top eight scorers – Jamal Shead, J’Wan Roberts, Emanuel Sharp, Ja’Vier Francis and Terrance Arceneaux – from a team that won the AAC regular-season title before securing a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The addition of Baylor transfer LJ Cryer should have Houston competing for a league title in its first season in the Big 12.

— 33-4
11


Arkansas
This ranking is based on the Razorbacks returning five of the top eight scorers – Trevon Brazile, Davonte Davis, Jordan Walsh, Makhi Mitchell and Jalen Graham – from a team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Five-star prospects Baye Fall and Layden Blocker, plus transfers Tramon Mark and Khalif Battle, will combine with that core and give Eric Musselman a chance to make a fourth straight Sweet 16.

— 22-14
12


Gonzaga
This ranking is based on the Zags returning four of the top seven scorers – Anton Watson, Malachi Smith, Nolan Hickman and Ben Gregg – from a team that shared the West Coast Conference title with Saint Mary’s before making the Elite Eight of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Mark Few will combine that core with a recruiting class headlined by transfers Ryan Nembhard (Creighton), Graham Ike (Wyoming) and Steele Venters (Eastern Washington) and have a chance to finish in the top 25 at KenPom for the 13th straight season. 11 31-6
13


Miami
This ranking is based on the Hurricanes returning three starters – Nijel Pack, Norchad Omier and Wooga Poplar – from a team that shared the ACC regular-season title with Virginia and advanced to the 2023 Final Four. That should be enough for the Hurricanes to compete at or near the top of the ACC once again.

1 29-8
14


Kentucky
This ranking is based on the Wildcats enrolling the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class featuring four five-star prospects – among them Justin Edwards, DJ Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw — to pair with a returning core headlined by two-time All-American Oscar Tshiebwe. It’s a roster that could give John Calipari a realistic chance to return to the Final Four for the first time since 2015.

1 22-12
15


San Diego St.
This ranking is based on the Aztecs returning four of the top six scorers – everybody except Matt Bradley and Keshad Johnson – from a team that won the Mountain West Conference regular-season title and the Mountain West Tournament before advancing to the championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Another MWC title seems likely for San Diego State. 1 32-7
16


Tennessee
This ranking is based on the Vols returning three of the top four scorers – Santiago Vescovi, Zakai Zeigler and Josiah-Jordan James – from a team that secured a No. 4 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament and made the Sweet 16. Chris Ledlum, a transfer from Harvard, should slide into the starting lineup beside Uros Plavsic and have the Vols in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year.

— 25-11
17


USC
This ranking is based on the Trojans returning four of the top six scorers – Boogie Ellis, Kobe Johnson, Tre White and Joshua Morgan – from a team that won 22 games and secured a No. 10 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. USC is also enrolling a top-15 recruiting class highlighted by five-star guard Isaiah Collier, who is the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2023, according to 247Sports.

2 22-11
18


Texas A&M
This ranking is based on the Aggies returning four starters – everybody except Dexter Dennis – from a team that won 25 games and secured a No. 7 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. A second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament is a likely scenario for Texas A&M.

1 25-10
19


UCLA
This ranking is based on the Bruins returning three of the top seven scorers – Jaylen Clark, Adem Bona and Dylan Andrews – from a team that won the Pac-12 regular-season title before securing a No. 2 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. That core combined with a top-15 recruiting class highlighted by four-star guard Sebastian Mack should allow UCLA to be a Pac-12 contender again.
This ranking is based on the Bruins returning three of the top seven scorers – Jaylen Clark, Adem Bona and Dylan Andrews – from a team that won the Pac-12 regular-season title before securing a No. 2 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. That core combined with a top-15 recruiting class highlighted by four-star guard Sebastian Mack should allow UCLA to be a Pac-12 contender again. 1 31-6
20


Saint Mary’s
This ranking is based on the Gaels returning four of the top five scorers – everybody except Logan Johnson – from a team that shared the West Coast Conference title with Gonzaga before securing a No. 5 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Aidan Mahaney should return as one of the best point guards in the country.

1 27-8
21


Auburn
This ranking is based on the Tigers returning the top seven scorers from a team that won 21 games and advanced to the second round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Johni Broome is the best of the projected returnees after averaging a team-high 14.2 points and 8.4 rebounds as a sophomore. 1 21-13
22


Baylor
This ranking is based on the Bears returning three of the top six scorers – Jalen Bridges, Langston Love and Jonathan Tchamwa-Tchatchoua – from a team that won 23 games and secured a No. 3 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The loss of Adam Flagler (NBA Draft), Keyonte George (NBA Draft) and LJ Cryer (transfer portal) will be tough to overcome but should be somewhat offset by the arrival of five-star guard Ja’Kobe Walter.

1 23-11
23


Arizona
This ranking is based on the Wildcats returning two of the top four scorers – Oumar Ballo and Pelle Larsson – from a team that won the Pac-12 Tournament before securing a No. 2 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. It should be USC, Arizona and UCLA finishing in the top three of the Pac-12 standings (in some order) for the second straight year. 1 28-7
24


Iowa St.
This ranking is based on Iowa State returning five of the top nine scorers – Tamin Lipsey, Tre King, Robert Jones, Hason Ward and Demarion Watson – from a team that started 13-2 and secured a No. 6 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Iowa State is also enrolling a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star prospect Omaha Biliew.

— 19-14
25


Miss. St.
This ranking is based on the Bulldogs returning the top five scorers – among them Shakeel Moore and D.J. Jeffries – from a team that won 21 games and secured a No. 11 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Tolu Smith, Mississippi State’s leading scorer, has entered the NBA Draft but for now I’m projecting him to eventually withdraw and return to school.

— 21-13
26


Missouri
This ranking is based on the Tigers returning five of the top seven scorers – Kobe Brown, Isiaih Mosley, Noah Carter, Nick Honor and Sean East – from a team that won 25 games and advanced to the second round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Brown is a question mark, but for now I’m projecting him to return to Missouri. — 25-10



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