College Basketball 2014-2015 Consensus Preseason Top 25 Rankings

Tom Pennington

You might have read an article or two speculating who'll be the top teams of the next college basketball season. We've combined all the way too early ranking for next season we could find to see which team is projected to lead the pack.

The conclusion of the 2013-2014 college basketball season brings about one thing immediately: speculation as to who'll be the best teams of the 2014-2015 season. One of the biggest problems with these articles is that while it can be easy to ascertain who might be the top 3-5 teams might be, figuring out the teams around 5-15 and 16-25 is a bit harder.

What I've done is combine the preseason 2014-2015 rankings from 9 different articles. They are:

Eamonn Brennan, ESPN.com

Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead

Brendan Prunty, The Star-Ledger

C.J. Moore & Jason King, Bleacher Report

Gary Parrish, CBS Sports

Rob Dauster, College Basketball Talk

Scott Gleeson, USA Today

Lost Lettermen

The Sports Bank

I assigned point values to each team's ranking, with a #1 ranking earning a team 25 points, and a #25 ranking earning a team 1 point. I then averaged the point values and sorted the teams by the averaged point values to find the consensus top teams. This methodology does have some flaws - I could only find nine preseason rankings, and while I played with adding teams that writers listed as outside the Top 25, not all writers listed teams as being just outside the Top 25, so I erred on the side of consistency. Without further ado, the top 39 teams listed by the aforementioned writers:

Rank Team Average
1 Arizona 23.9
2 Duke 23.8
3 Wisconsin 23.2
4 Kansas 21.6
5 North Carolina 19.8
6 Kentucky 19.3
7 Virginia 16.9
8 Florida 15.1
9 SMU 13.8
10 Villanova 13.7
11 Texas 13.0
T12 Wichita State 12.6
T12 Connecticut 12.6
14 Michigan 12.0
15 Louisville 8.9
16 Gonzaga 6.9
T17 Iowa State 6.8
T17 Oklahoma 6.8
T19 VCU 5.7
T19 San Diego State 5.7
21 Ohio State 5.3
22 Michigan State 5.1
23 Oregon 5.0
24 Nebraska 4.0
25 Colorado 3.6
26 UCLA 3.2
27 Stanford 3.0
28 Harvard 2.7
T29 Iowa 2.2
T29 Baylor 2.2
T29 Maryland 2.2
32 Syracuse 1.9
33 UNLV 1.4
34 Kansas State 1.3
T35 West Virginia 1.0
T35 Utah 1.0
37 Pittsburgh 0.8
38 Minnesota 0.4
39 BYU 0.3

A few notes:

  • On Michigan State - They're the fourth ranked Big Ten team in this poll behind Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State, with Nebraska on the Spartans' heels. However, MSU was one of only 15 teams to receive a vote in the top 25 from every writer. Whether that means people think MSU can maintain a semblance of strength or whether the Spartans were added lazily to the end of each poll to fill it out (Michigan State was 25th, 24th, or 23rd in 5 of the 9 articles) remains to be seen.
  • There is a big three - It's Arizona, Duke, and Wisconsin. Arizona will get everyone back except Aaron Gordon, Duke is Duke, and the Badgers are only losing Ben Brust.
  • People are high on SMU. How much of that is the Larry Brown effect remains to be seen.
Like I said, the methodology isn't perfect, but it gives a good idea of who the frontrunners are for the 2015 NCAA Title. Let me know what you think or if I've missed anything in the comments!
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