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Kentucky Wildcats crack top 5 of CBS College Basketball Top 25 poll for 2018-19

But the Cats aren’t even the best team in the SEC.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky vs Monmouth-NJ Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

As usual, offseason expectations are high for the Kentucky Wildcats. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish has ranked the Wildcats fourth in his “Top 25 (and one)” rankings.

Kentucky isn’t the top-ranked SEC team on Parrish’s list. The Tennessee Volunteers are the No. 3 team, as they return all but one of their players from the 2017-18 season, including SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams.

Ahead of Tennessee are the Kansas Jayhawks at No. 1 and the Duke Blue Devils at No. 2.

Here’s what Parish had to say about UK:

It remains unclear what Kentucky’s roster will look like come November -- especially considering the Wildcats could add pieces via Class of 2019 stars reclassifying and return players who are currently testing the NBA waters. Either way, the prediction here is that UK will retain more five-star freshmen than usual -- most notably PJ Washington and Quade Green. And the freshman class will be strong again -- especially if Class of 2019 guard Ashton Hagans reclassifies, which is expected. So John Calipari should have a team good enough to make a run at a fifth Final Four in a 10-year span.

This fourth-place ranking seems like kind of a best-case scenario ranking after reading Parrish’s argument. The Wildcats would have to retain the players they have hanging in the balance in the NBA Draft, plus get Ashton Hagans into the 2018 class.

Parrish also makes the assumption that PJ Washington will return to Kentucky, when recent buzz suggests the opposite.

But Parrish is still correct that Kentucky will have more returning freshman stars than usual, and that’ll be big, and the incoming class will again be really good, even if it’s not quite what John Calipari usually pulls in.

If Hagans does reclassify, it’ll be pretty close to what Calipari usually has.

You can read Parrish’s complete ranking list here.