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College Basketball 2018: Jay Bilas ranks top 68 teams

Jay Bilas ranks the 68 best teams in college hoops.

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Bilas recently released his “top 68” rankings and the Kentucky Wildcats come in at 17th on the most recent list.

The Wildcats are situated between Seton Hall (16) and Arizona (18). In terms of the SEC, only Tennessee (15) finished ahead of Kentucky in the rankings, which have Auburn (22) and Florida (23) also cracking his top 25. A host of teams Kentucky has played or will play are just outside his top 25.

Here’s what Bilas had to say about the Cats, in which he praised Shai Gilgeous-Alexander but noted Kentucky has work to do in terms of rebounding and turnovers.

Kevin Knox is the Wildcats’ best player, but he is being keyed on by opposing defenses. The player who has broken out is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA is averaging more than 11 points and five assists, and he is Kentucky’s best defender. Since SGA cut his magnificent hair, he has been Kentucky’s best player. He is shooting 48 percent from the floor, 45 percent from deep and 86 percent from the free throw line on the season. Kentucky has two issues to deal with -- turnovers and rebounding. Actually, Kentucky’s “first-shot” defense is not as bad as some like to portray it. But what puts Kentucky in a bad spot is coughing up the ball and allowing second opportunities. No defense can stop run-outs or defend second chances.”

Bilas makes some good points. Kentucky has really been burnt defensively by quick perimeter players who can get into the lane and create mismatches or get the defense off balance, and by second-chance points.

Kentucky’s turnovers have also led to plenty of easy points for opposing teams. It seems like most of Calipari’s teams have improved in the area of turnovers as the season progresses and while this team may be one of the more turnover-prone teams of the Calipari era due to style of play, they should improve as the season continues.

Here’s what Bilas’ top 25 looks like:

1. Villanova Wildcats

2. Michigan State Spartans

3. West Virginia Mountaineers

4. Purdue Boilermakers

5. Virginia Cavaliers

6. Duke Blue Devils

7. Wichita State Shockers

8. Kansas Jayhawks

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders

10. Cincinnati Bearcats

11. North Carolina Tar Heels

12. Oklahoma Sooners

13. Xavier Musketeers

14. Arizona State Sun Devils

15. Tennessee Volunteers

16. Seton Hall Pirates

17. Kentucky Wildcats

18. Arizona Wildcats

19. Creighton Bluejays

20. Gonzaga Bulldogs

21. Clemson Tigers

22. Auburn Tigers

23. Florida Gators

24. Miami Hurricanes

25. Florida State Seminoles

Other notables include Texas A&M (26), Arkansas (28), Georgia (41), Louisville (42), Virginia Tech (44), UCLA (45), Missouri (50), LSU (58), Alabama (63),

For the full list, you can find that here.