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Preseason projected Top 4 seeds by Region

Dave2015The complete preseason bracket arrives next week.  Ahead of that, here’s how the Top 4 seeds in each Region shape up heading into the 2019-20 college basketball season.

It begins with Michigan State.  The Spartans are a rather clear favorite to open the season at No. 1 on the Seed List.  Spots two through six?  Take your pick.  After changing my mind more than once, I settled on Kentucky, Louisville, and Kansas as the other No. 1 seeds.  Florida and Duke received strong consideration, too; they ended up as the top No. 2 seeds.  Given that Gonzaga has reloaded (again) and should pile up victories, a two-seed in the West seems like a fair bet.

The final two seed? Another contested decision, and truth be told, I’m not completely sold on my choice – Maryland.  In the end, though, the Terrapins projected lineup and returning experience won out over North Carolina, Oregon, Seton Hall and Ohio State.

If you’re looking for surprises, how about these two: aforementioned Ohio State and Xavier.  I’m probably higher than most on both squads.  Chris Holtmann adds key pieces to a returning nucleus that was better than expected a year ago.  The Musketeers bring almost everyone back from a team that – let’s be honest – was an NCAA caliber crew at the end of last season; they just didn’t have the overall resume to make the final cut.

Michigan State Kentucky Louisville Kansas
Florida Duke Maryland Gonzaga
North Carolina Ohio State Seton Hall Oregon
Xavier Villanova Texas Tech Virginia

The next two teams in line (just missing): Baylor and Memphis.  The Bears should be sneaky good in the Big 12.  And given the talent collected by second year coach Penny Hardaway, the Tigers look like front-runners for the American Athletic Conference (AAC) title.  If there’s a pause, it’s this: How will a Memphis handle lofty expectations and the lengthy grind of a college season?

Thankfully, the real fun begins soon and we’ll start measuring teams against actual results.

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