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Hansbrough

The first preseason top 25 poll for college basketball is out and surprise, surprise, North Carolina is the top-ranked team. Shocking, really — especially when you consider the paltry roster. Nevertheless, there they are, atop the preseason college basketball world. Even better, no other team received a single first-place vote.

1. North Carolina
2. Connecticut
3. Louisville
4. UCLA
5. Duke
6. Pittsburgh
7. Michigan State
8. Texas
9. Notre Dame
10. Purdue
11. Gonzaga
12. Memphis
13. Tennessee
14. Oklahoma
15. Arizona State
16. Miami (FL)
17. Marquette
18. Georgetown
19. Florida
20. Davidson
21. USC
21. Wisconsin
23. Kansas
24. Wake Forest
25. Villanova

Besides the top 10, the rest is just guesswork. Hell, even the top 10 is a crap shoot. The only “sure things” are the Heels, UConn and Louisville and that’s based pretty much on talent level alone. Sure the Heels made it the Final Four and Rick Pitino’s Cardinals made it to the Elite 8, but the second-ranked team — UConn — got put out in the first round.

I’m also confused by Duke being a top-five team. Some are convinced. I am not. Last year’s team was average, as is the incoming recruiting class. Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson are awfully good and we know about Greg Paulus.

But that’s not top five material to me.

The school’s name may be, but the players behind the jerseys have to prove they are more than just a team with a popular name before I agree they are one of the five best teams when the season starts.