Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in the college basketball world.
1. Which top-25 team aren't you buying?
Andy Katz: SMU. I'm not convinced the Mustangs will be able to handle not having a postseason. Larry Brown will coach them up throughout the season. But human nature will play a role here. The schedule will be tough, and the Mustangs must find motivation to be a spoiler.
Jeff Goodman: Arizona. The Wildcats have lost so much from a year ago and have a ton of question marks. I don't know if Parker Jackson-Cartwright is good enough to lead this group -- which will rely heavily on a couple of transfers in Ryan Anderson (BC) and Mark Tollefsen (San Francisco) and freshmen (in particular, Allonzo Trier). I think they will take a major step back this year -- and should not be ranked as high as they are (No. 12).
Myron Medcalf: Somebody help me understand the "North Carolina is definitely the best team in America argument." Thought this before the Marcus Paige injury. Yeah, they're deep and strong at every spot. But who have the Tar Heels added that will make them anything but the Marcus Paige Show again? They're a Sweet 16 team that benefited from a lucky draw. Even once Paige gets healthy, this is the same group that underachieved throughout the season and finished 3-6 against the ACC's ranked teams, if you include the ACC Tournament, last season. High ceiling. Plenty of potential. But so much to prove once they're at 100 percent.
2. Which top 25 is the most overlooked/underrated of the group?
Katz: UConn. The Huskies improved through transfers and newcomers. They had their moments last season, and the drive of coach Kevin Ollie should carry this team to a possible deeper March run. The schedule is tough enough to give a strong opinion pre-New Year's.
Goodman: Michigan State. Tom Izzo with more talent than a year ago, when the Spartans went to the Final Four. That's a pretty good recipe for success. The Spartans have one of the best all-around players in the country in Denzel Valentine, experienced big men and also a wing who can score in West Virginia transfer Eron Harris. They also have no shortage of shooters, with Bryn Forbes and freshman Matt McQuaid. I think they are undervalued at No. 13..
Medcalf: Cal finished 18-15 last year in Cuonzo Martin's first season. That's why voters placed the Golden Bears at No. 14. Makes sense. But the Bears return three double-figure scorers, insert McDonald's All-American Ivan Rabb and add Jaylen Brown, who could be a top-five pick next summer. Cal has to prove it, but it certainly has top-10 talent entering the season..
3. Which team should be ranked that isn't?
Katz: Cincinnati. No AAC bias here, but the league has intriguing teams. The Bearcats have experience, depth and the return of coach Mick Cronin. Cincinnati could win the league and be a major factor in March.
Goodman: I'll go with Texas A&M. The Aggies have a good amount back with Danuel House and Alex Caruso and bring in a terrific freshman class that includes a couple of bigs in Tyler Davis and Elijah Thomas -- and two talented wings with Admon Gilder and D.J. Hogg. They also added Anthony Collins -- a freshman point guard who produced when he was healthy at South Florida. Billy Kennedy's group won 21 games last season and are FAR more talented this season.
Medcalf: Danuel House (14.8 PPG) is back for a Texas A&M team that showcased its potential in a double-overtime loss to Kentucky last season but struggled in the final stretch of the year. But Billy Kennedy's squad brings in a top-10 recruiting class that features a foursome of four-star prospects. He'll have balance, talent, energy and experience on a unit that looks like a top-25 team, and more if it all comes together in College Station.