Vitale: Draft thoughts

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When looking at the landscape of college basketball, the 2006-07 season should be excitement galore, baby!

There are so many talented teams out there. I mean just look what happened with George Mason, the Cinderella story making it to the Final Four. Will we see more surprises this season?

It is time to look at my summertime rankings for the upcoming campaign, 10 at a time until I unveil number one. Here we go.

1. North Carolina
Roy Williams has a super recruiting class coming in to join Tyler Hansbrough and company. There will be joy on Franklin Street!
2. Florida
Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Al Horford and company want to be the first repeat champion since Duke. The Gators have a legit shot of doing it.
3. Kansas
Rock, chalk, Jayhawk! They will be rocking and rolling in Lawrence as Bill Self's team is loaded.
4. Ohio State
Thad Matta needs a healthy Greg Oden. The Buckeyes should be the team to beat in the Big Ten.
Ben Howland is happy Arron Afflalo returned to school. The Bruins are the best in the West.
6. Pittsburgh
Jamie Dixon loses guard Carl Krauser but returns Aaron Gray in the middle.
7. LSU
Glen Davis decided to stay in school so John Brady has a tough SEC challenger.
8. Georgetown
John Thompson III has done a nice job and he has talent up front in Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green.
9. Alabama
Ronald Steele is one of the premier point guards in America.
10. Duke
Look for big things from Josh McRoberts as he moves into a more natural position up front.
11. Wisconsin
Bo Ryan is one of the unsung heroes in the coaching profession. Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor will make sweet music.
12. Marquette
Tom Crean loses Steve Novak but he has a lot of returning talent, including a guy I love in Dominic James.
13. Boston College
Jared Dudley and company will be tough in the ACC.
14. Arizona
Lute Olson is glad Mustafa Shakur returned. Marcus Williams will be a big-time super soph.
15. Connecticut
It is not a rebuilding period for Jim Calhoun ... it is re-loading, baby!
16. Villanova
If Curtis Sumpter can return to form, watch out.
17. Memphis
John Calipari lost a lot but will still be the team to beat in C-USA.
18. Tennessee
Bruce Pearl's squad wasn't a one-hit wonder. Look for big things from Chris Lofton.
19. Texas
If Rick Barnes had LaMarcus Aldridge, PJ Tucker and Daniel Gibson back the Longhorns would be in the top three. Instead, Kevin Durant will step in and be a major impact player.
20. Louisville
Rick Pitino's team will bounce back with David Padgett a factor up front.
21. Kentucky
Big blue fans should relax because Tubby Smith is a flat-out winner.
22. Gonzaga
Even without Adam Morrison, Mark Few has built up a consistent program.
23. Texas A&M
The Aggies won't sneak up on people any more. This is a Big 12 contender.
24. Georgia Tech
Paul Hewitt's club will bounce back big time as diaper dandies Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton shine immediately.
25. Xavier
Drew Lavender is eligible after transferring from Oklahoma.
26. Oklahoma State
Sean Sutton's first full season as coach will be special, led by JamesOn Curry.
27. Illinois
With names like McBride, Pruitt and Frazier, this team will be better than people think.
28. Washington
Even without Brandon Roy, Lorenzo Romar has a team that will make noise in the Pac-10.
29. Southern Illinois
Could this be this year's George Mason?

30. San Diego State
If Marcus Slaughter had returned to school, this would have been a Top 20 team.
31. Wichita State
Even without MVC most outstanding player Paul Miller, this squad will be dangerous.
32. Creighton
Nate Funk's return has opponents in a funk.
33. California
If Leon Powe had returned ...
34. Texas Tech
The General, Robert Montgomery Knight, enjoys a record-breaking season.
35. Nevada
Coach Mark Fox is smiling as Nick Fazekas is back.
36. Arkansas
The fans in Razorback country will be in hog heaven with this squad.
37. Michigan
Even without Daniel Horton, coach Tommy Amaker knows he has a team with potential.
38. Florida State
Leonard Hamilton will rely on his guards. Former Auburn star Toney Douglas will have an impact.
39. South Carolina
Dave Odom's team wants to build on its NIT success.
40. Maryland
Gary Williams' club will bounce back strong.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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