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Where UK stands in updated top 25 polls for next season

The Cats are in the top five across the board, as expected.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Immediately after the national championship game back in April, CBS Sports and ESPN released their top 25 rankings for the 2019-2020 season.

Now that players have made their NBA declarations and stepped into the mystical transfer portal, the lists have been updated. Your Kentucky Wildcats are sitting pretty at No. 3 across the board.

CBS Top 25 + 1

  1. Michigan State Spartans
  2. Duke Blue Devils
  3. Kentucky Wildcats
  4. Louisville Cardinals
  5. Memphis Tigers
  6. Maryland Terrapins
  7. North Carolina Tar Heels
  8. Kansas Jayhawks
  9. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  10. Virginia Cavaliers
  11. Seton Hall Pirates
  12. Villanova Wildcats
  13. Auburn Tigers
  14. Oregon Ducks
  15. Arizona Wildcats
  16. Michigan Wolverines
  17. Iowa Hawkeyes
  18. Houston Cougars
  19. Purdue Boilermakers
  20. VCU Rams
  21. Tennessee Volunteers
  22. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  23. Baylor Bears
  24. Creighton Bluejays
  25. Ohio State Buckeyes
  26. Davidson Wildcats

The most notable change in the CBS rankings is of the Memphis Tigers. Gary Parrish uses the 247Sports crystal ball to determine landing spots for the top remaining recruits in the 2019 class. RJ Hampton, Precious Achiuwa, and Lester Quinones are all headed to Memphis according to those percentages. They would join five stars James Wiseman and DJ Jeffries.

If it wasn’t bad enough for Kentucky to be in a Louisville-Duke sandwich, now Penny Hardaway has jumped his group into the fold as a top five team. The Tigers finished 22-14 in the 2018-2019 season, which was good for sixth in the American Athletic Conference. Could they really make that big of a jump? Will Penny even land those guys?

To be fair, Kentucky is being awarded Johnny Juzang through this system. But what if the Cats land Jaden McDaniels and/or Kerry Blackshear.

While Jeff Borzello of ESPN is not quite as high on Memphis, the North Carolina Tar Heels did jump eleven spots since his last list was released (and since Cole Anthony committed).

ESPN Preseason Top 25

  1. Michigan State Spartans
  2. Duke Blue Devils
  3. Kentucky Wildcats
  4. Villanova Wildcats
  5. Michigan Wolverines
  6. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  7. Ohio State Buckeyes
  8. Louisville Cardinals
  9. Maryland Terrapins
  10. Kansas Jayhawks
  11. Seton Hall Pirates
  12. North Carolina Tar Heels
  13. Arizona Wildcats
  14. Virginia Cavaliers
  15. Oregon Ducks
  16. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  17. Washington Huskies
  18. Memphis Tigers
  19. Houston Cougars
  20. Utah State Aggies
  21. St. Mary’s Gaels
  22. Baylor Bears
  23. Florida Gators
  24. Creighton Blue Jays
  25. Tennessee Volunteers

While Borzello does not incorporate uncommitted recruits into his rankings, he does seem quite liberal with who he leaves in and takes out of the draft (i.e. Myles Powell of Seton Hall). Regardless, his rankings feel a little more reasonable.

Until they show it on the court, Memphis nor Louisville belong in the top five. UNC has a lot of work to do in replacing their top players. And Arizona very well may not have a team come October.

There is a lot of moving and shaking that can take place before October, so be cautious in taking these lists to heart.