NCAA Basketball appears to be well balanced for the 2012-2013 season where power rankings are concerned. Let's take a closer look and break it down by teams and see who the top dogs in the land are.
1. Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten)
- With a top notch recruiting class and the return of 7 foot sophomore forward
Cody Zeller, Indiana is on top of the list. Along with the Hoosiers being
contenders for the National Championship (8/1 NCAAB betting odds favorites), Zeller is a candidate for
player of the year. His 15.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks
per game should skyrocket as he matures in his 2nd year. Defense will be a key
for the Hoosiers who ranked 64th last season and look to play a less physical
game this season as stated by their head coach.
2. Louisville Cardinals (Big
East) - The Cardinals have the top defense in the land, which puts them in the
conversation for the national title. (17/2). They will need to focus on offense
as they ranked just 155th in points last season at 68.8 per game. Louisville
will be looking for a much improved year out of forward Clay Behanan (9.5 ppg,
7.5 rpg) while point guard Peyton Siva contributes with a stellar all round
game at just 5 foot 11. The Cardinals also welcome George Mason transfer, Luke
Hancock, as he'll be seeing a lot of playing time
3. Kentucky Wildcats
(SEC)- Even though they're the favorites
to win it all (6/1), the Wildcats will be hard pressed to repeat as only
sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer is the only returning player from the starting
rotation. Wiltjer wasn't afraid to put up shots at 4.1 shots per game in just
11.6 minutes. Look for these numbers to increase and of course Kentucky will
get production by its freshman. The Wildcats pick up top recruit; center
Nerlens Noel along with 2 other top 15 recruits. They should (like always) cash in heavily as sure-shot NCAAB picks throughout the season.
4. UCLA Bruins (Pac-12) - The
Bruins pick up top 5 recruits, forwards Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson
along several other talented players. This gives them a jump on the competition
to be immediate contenders at (12/1). UCLA will need to be similar to the
freshman laced Kentucky team of last year as their talent is solely based on
5. North Carolina Tarheels
(ACC)- You always have to put the Tarheels in the equation (14/1) even though
they lost a lot of talent to the NBA and present a lack of balance with most of
their talent coming from their backcourt. I wouldn't say that this is one of
the Heels best recruiting classes with point guard Marcus Paige being their top
talent at the 22nd position and North Carolina will need production, especially
on the defensive end from their number 60th ranked recruit in center Joel James
out of Florida. The Tarheels will be counting on guards Reggie Bullock and P.J.
Hairston to have big seasons. They both have great size which will enable them
to be a force in the tough ACC Conference.
6. North Carolina State (ACC)
- At 20/1, the Wolfpack seem to be a team that's overlooked regarding betting
odds as Duke and North Carolina are bigger favorites to win the title. The
Wolfpack might be the best team in the ACC. N.C. State picks up 3 of the top 50
freshman in the country in shooting guard Rodney Purvis, forward T.J. Warren,
and point guard Tyler Lewis out of the famed Oak Hill Academy. Returning for
the Pack is leading scorer, junior forward C.J. Leslie (14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg), who
looks to strengthen his position when entering the NBA Draft. Senior forward
Scott Wood will bring team leadership and the ability to score from beyond the
arc. This team looks loaded.
7. Ohio State (Big Ten) - Without
big man Jared Sullinger, Ohio State will still look to count on its defense for
game winning stops and will also count on its second leading scorer from last
year in Deshaun Thomas (15.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg). Along with Thomas, the Buckeyes
should have major improvement from junior guard Aaron Craft who can do it all.
This is an experienced team and Ohio State will be expecting major returns from
perimeter specialist LaQuinton Ross, who missed his entire freshman season due
to academic reasons.
These rankings can be
disputed by many, as Duke, Florida, Kansas, and Michigan didn't make my list.
These are also teams that warrant respect and can't be taken lightly when
considering the top teams who have a chance at winning the National
Championship. Furthermore, check out our NCAAB Bettor's guide for more details about the upcoming season.