5 Underrated Teams from the Preseason AP Poll Top 25


Oct 20, 2023

Whether you believe it or not, we are just under three weeks away from the start of the college basketball season on November 6. The preseason chatter is starting to heat up after the release of the first AP Top 25 poll of the season, with plenty of notable rankings among the top teams in the nation.

To catch you up on the AP Top 25 Poll, we discuss three teams we believe have been underrated by the poll ahead of the start of the season.

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No. 11 Gonzaga

The Zags are the pipeline for basketball talent in the northwest, and this team seems to be flying way too under the radar despite all of the hidden talent on the roster. While transfers Steele Venters and Graham Ike may not necessarily be household names, they have been two of the best mid-major talents in the sport in recent years and provide some serious firepower to this Bulldogs starting lineup. Add in Creighton transfer Ryan Nembhard as the ringleader of this offense, and the ceiling for this program suddenly goes through the roof in Spokane.

No. 16 Kentucky

It’s been tough sledding for the Wildcats over the past three seasons, with just one NCAA Tournament victory in that span. We’re going to err on the side of coaching and talent here as John Calipari remains one of the elite coaches in the sport while he brings in just a ridiculous class of talent. Justin Edwards, DJ Wagner, and Aaron Bradshaw joined the program as top ten nationally ranked freshmen, while four-star recruit Rob Dillingham might as well be a five-star.

No. 21 USC

This Trojans team could be a boatload of fun based on talent alone this season. Andy Enfield has done it again, recruiting a seriously stacked roster. It starts with arguably the top recruit in the nation in five-star freshman Isaiah Collier, an explosive and exciting point guard who will immediately bring flair to the backcourt. Bronny James also hopes to play this season and can contribute immediately with some knockdown shooting and a high level of poise for a true freshman. With Washington State transfer DJ Rodman and 2022-23 leading scorer Boogie Ellis rounding out the starting five, USC has the firepower to compete with anybody within the Pac-12 this season.

No. 22 Villanova

We are willing to give head coach Kyle Neptune a pass for his rookie season on the sidelines after losing star player Justin Moore to an Achilles injury and being left without an alpha scorer on the court for most of the season. While Moore started slow in his return in late January from the injury, he looked more comfortable and like the Moore we remember from years past. Add in Maryland transfer Hakim Hart, Richmond transfer Tyler Burton, and returning big man Eric Dixon as legitimate starters who can thrive in this offense. The Wildcats have a team that could compete in a strong Big East this season.

No. 24 Alabama

As head coach Nate Oats alluded to at SEC Media Day, the conference has a history of underrating his teams in the preseason. Oats is one of the quickest in the country in figuring out what he has, and we know he has a legitimate talent in North Dakota State transfer Grant Nelson. The 6’10” forward took social media by storm last season when highlights showed his advanced handles from the perimeter, knocking down threes and throwing down ferocious dunks. He can do it all at his size and provides a level of star power to this Alabama team that is desperately needed after the departure of Brandon Miller for the NBA. We’re willing to bet on an AP Poll finish higher than 24th here for Bama.

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Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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