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CBS ranks all 353 college basketball teams; Cats near the top

Let’s just play some basketball already.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Wofford vs Kentucky John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Each year, Matt Norlander at CBS Sports ranks every single college basketball team from top to bottom.

For the second season in a row, that number is set at 353. That is quite a project, and his brief analysis on each team is always interesting to read.

Norlander has the Kentucky Wildcats coming in at No. 3. Here are his top five:

  1. Michigan State Spartans
  2. Kansas Jayhawks
  3. Kentucky Wildcats
  4. North Carolina Tar Heels
  5. Maryland Terrapins

Other teams of note are Florida (No. 6), Louisville (No. 9), Duke (No. 10), and Kentucky’s SEC-Big 12 challenge opponent Texas Tech (No. 11). No other SEC schools can be found until Auburn comes in at No. 29.

This is what Norlander had to say about the Kentucky Wildcats:

“This season’s Kentucky squad isn’t receiving as much prevalent preseason praise as plenty of previous squads under John Calipari, but I love the fact that UK returns two backcourt players, which is obviously uncommon for Cal. Ashton Hagans, maybe a top-10 defender in college hoops, and Immanuel Quickley, who is going to irrefutably be better, give UK good strength and tempo in the backcourt. In comes a firecracker, Tyrese Maxey, who I believe will be the team’s best player. Up front, more experience returns in the form of EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards. Plus, former Bucknell big man Nate Sestina is in the mix and could prove pivotal. Defensively, things look stout. This is not a super-flashy team, but the floor is extremely high for this group and the ceiling is winning the national title.”

His reasoning for listing Kansas ahead of Kentucky is the expected development of sophomore Ochai Agbaji for the Jayhawks.

Regardless of these rankings, we will find out much more about these top three teams at the Champions Classic in a few weeks. What do you make of Norlander’s rankings?

Read about all 353 teams and their rankings here.