NCAA College Basketball

College basketball rankings: 2020-2021 way-too-early Top 25 – Villanova, Gonzaga vie for No. 1

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 07: Collin Gillespie #2 of the Villanova Wildcats looks on during a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas at the Capital One Arena on March 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Way-too-early college basketball rankings for the 2020-2021 season see Villanova, Gonzaga, Baylor, Kentucky and Virginia vying for the top spot.

College basketball fans are in a dark place. We should all be enjoying the outcome of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament right now, but instead, we’re all sitting in quarantine with no signs of basketball for the foreseeable future and the tourney canceled.

That gives us way too much time to think about next season and reflect on the past campaign and what could have been.

Don’t worry, college basketball fans, we’re all in the same boat and we’ll all get through this together.

What could the college basketball rankings look like at the start of the 2020-21 season?

Projected 2020-21 preseason Top 25 rankings

25. Texas Longhorns

At one point this season, Shaka Smart’s seat was scorching-hot, and then Texas got hot. The Longhorns finished the season 18-11 and looked like an NCAA Tournament team, saving the head coach’s job and what’s even more intriguing for Smart is the fact that he’s bringing everyone back and could potentially land five-star forward Greg Brown.

  1. Illinois Fighting Illini

Am I took high on Illinois after the Illini are losing Ayo Dosunmu more than likely? Maybe, but I truly think the Illini are trending in the right direction under Brad Underwood. They return star freshman Kofi Cockburn and Trent Frazier along with rising star Alan Griffin while bringing in the No. 13 recruiting class in the nation, headlined by Adam Miller. This team will be a Big Ten contender.

  1. Houston Cougars

Houston found itself in the Top 25 for most of the second half of the 2019-20 season and they return their top six scorers from a successful 23-8 season. The Cougars won the American Athletic title and figure to be even better with another year of experience under their belts. This looks like a team that could run away with the American next year.

  1. Florida Gators

Florida didn’t live up to expectations in 2019-20 with Kerry Blackshear coming in from Virginia Tech, going just 19-12 but the Gators return a solid cast and bring in one of the nation’s top JUCO transfers in Osayi Osifo. If Scottie Lewis and Keyontae Johnson return, this team could be a favorite in the SEC. For now, the Gators are a Top 25 team.

  1. Tennessee Volunteers

Two seasons ago, Tennessee looked like a national title contender and it was because they had a ton of depth and veteran leadership, but Rick Barnes’ team took a step back in 2019-20. The Volunteers finished just 17-14 but bring in a top-five recruiting class in 2020 and they look to be one of the deepest teams in the SEC.

Next: Nos. 20-16

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