The college basketball season came to a close Monday night with North Carolina's grinding victory over Gonzaga in the desert. Now it's time to start looking ahead to the next season and to do that, we're going to — you guessed it — take an early look at what the preseason AP Top 25 might look like. A lot can change between now and then, but here's how it could stack up as of now: ___ 1. Kentucky. The Wildcats have already lost De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, with Bam Adebayo possibly joining them in the NBA draft. Even so, Coach Cal has another stellar recruiting class joining a good group of returnees from an Elite Eight team. 2. Louisville. If Donovan Mitchell decides to return, the Cardinals will have seven of their eight top scorers back. Even if he doesn't. Louisville will still be stacked and still be one of the nation's dominant defensive teams. 3. Arizona. Allonzo Trier and Kobi Simmons could join Lauri Markkanen in leaving for the NBA. Either way, Sean Miller has great talent coming back and possibly the best recruiting class in Arizona history. 4. Wichita State. A rebuilding season in 2016-17 turned into a surprise run to the NCAA Tournament. The Shockers return all five starters and will be better next season. 5. Duke. The Blue Devils have already lost Harry Giles, Amile Jefferson and Jayson Tatum, with Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen mulling their futures. Coach K has a good recruiting class that could still get better, so the Blue Devils will not be short of talent, particularly if Kennard and Allen stay. 6. Villanova. Losing Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins will hurt. If guard Jalen Brunson opts to stay, the Wildcats will have a roster that should not see a significant drop-off. 7. Gonzaga. The Zags lose seniors Przemek Karnowski and Jordan Mathews from the breakthrough team that reached the national title game. If Zach Collins and Nigel Williams-Goss decide to return, they could make a return trip to the Final Four. 8. North Carolina. Kennedy Meeks and Isiah Hicks were seniors this season, but the reigning national champions will still be in good shape if Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II return. 9. Florida. Mike White did a superb job replacing Billy Donovan last season. The core of this year's team returns and will be joined by a top-10 recruiting class. Devin Robinson's NBA decision will be a big key for the Gators' future. 10. Kansas. National player of the year Frank Mason III was a senior and Josh Jackson is expected to leave for the NBA draft, so the Jayhawks lose a ton. There's still plenty of talent on this roster and Bill Self brings in another strong recruiting class. 11. West Virginia. Jevon Carter took a star turn in the NCAA Tournament and the Mountaineers have a solid returning core from this year's defense. And that Press Virginia defense isn't going anywhere. 12. Xavier. Trevon Bluiett is testing the NBA waters, though he won't hire an agent. Should he return, the Musketeers will be in great shape with a top-10 recruiting class joining a group that went to the Elite Eight. 13. Michigan State. Miles Bridges' NBA decision will be huge. Sparty will be good even if he leaves. 14. Minnesota. The Gophers weren't supposed to be good until next season. After a surprise run this past season, they could be even better than anticipated in 2017-18. 15. Southern California. If Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu return, watch out for Troy. 16. Notre Dame. Few teams will have a better inside-outside combination than Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell — as long as Colson stays. 17. Cincinnati. The addition of transfer Cane Broome after sitting out a season makes what was already going to be a good team that much better. 18. Indiana. New coach Archie Miller inherits a talented roster that underachieved last season. Don't expect that to happen again with Arch in charge. 19. Saint Mary's. Randy Bennett will have another team filled with experienced players, led by ultra-efficient big man Jock Landale. 20. Butler. The Bulldogs have several key players returning and Chris Holtmann brought in one of the best recruiting classes in program history. 21. Oregon. Tyler Dorsey is back, Dillon Brooks could be and Dana Altman has one of his best recruiting classes headed to Eugene. 22. Miami. A strong recruiting class headlined by guard Lonnie Walker and a solid returning group should put the Hurricanes in the ACC hunt. 23. TCU. Winning the NIT isn't quite the same as winning the NCAA Tournament, but it was a big first step under first-year coach Jamie Dixon, especially with the top six scorers returning. 24. UCLA. The Bruins lost Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf and Bryce Alford. There's still tons of talent in Westwood, with more on the way. 25. Alabama. Avery Johnson has a good mix of returning players and a strong recruiting class. ___
A lot can change between now and then, but here's how it could stack up as of now:
13. Michigan State. Miles Bridges' NBA decision will be huge. Sparty will be good even if he leaves.
15. Southern California. If Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu return, watch out for Troy.
25. Alabama. Avery Johnson has a good mix of returning players and a strong recruiting class.
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