A guide to the 2015-16 college hoops season
The blue bloods have reloaded. New contenders are rising. More talented freshmen are ready to shine.
The college basketball season is upon us and this one, as always seems to be the case, is loaded with intrigue.
To get you ready, we've got a rundown of the top teams and players, best games and a whole lot more:
Kentucky. Another year, another loaded freshman class.
North Carolina. The Tar Heels were the preseason No. 1 in the AP poll for a record ninth time. They might have a hard time staying there with senior guard Marcus Paige out three to four weeks with a broken hand, but watch out once he's healthy.
Kansas. Mix of experienced players, talented freshmen has the Jayhawks thinking big.
Duke. The defending national champions have reloaded and are ready for another deep run.
Virginia. Never count out a team that plays D like the Cavaliers.
Paige, G, North Carolina. At his best in the clutch, will be looking to make up for lost time.
Skal Labissiere, F, Kentucky. Could be the No. 1 pick in next year's NBA draft, will be a matchup nightmare until then.
BEST NON-CONFERENCE GAMES
No. 3 Maryland at No. 1 North Carolina, Dec. 1. If Paige is back in time, this matchup of former ACC rivals could be epic. Should be good anyway.
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Duke, Nov. 17. A meeting that could be the preview for the 2016 national championship game.
No. 11 Villanova at No. 6 Virginia, Dec. 19. The battle between Villanova's shooters against Virginia's defenders should be fun to watch.
No. 12 Arizona at No. 9 Gonzaga, Dec. 5. Could be the best game out West all season.
Louisville at No. 2 Kentucky, Dec. 26. Almost not worth mentioning - a given to be a top game every year.
UNDER THE RADAR PLAYERS
DeAndre Bembry, G/F, St. Joseph's. Could end up being an NBA first rounder after strong sophomore caught scouts' attention.
AJ English, G, Iona. Was the only player in the nation to average 20 points, five assists and five rebounds last season.
Shaka Smart, Texas. Havoc in the Hill Country. Should be fun.
Rick Barnes, Tennessee. Took about 10 seconds for the Vols to snap him up after firing from Texas.
Chris Mullin, St. John's. Best player in school history tries to get the program back on track.
8-1-Odds for Kentucky to win the national championship, according to Vegasinsider.com. Duke is second at 17-2.
2-Times North Carolina has been ranked No. 1 in the preseason and won the national title, in 1982 and 2009.
11-Straight Big 12 titles by Kansas.
30-Seconds of the new shot clock, a rule change expected to spur scoring and speed up the game.
1,018-Career victories by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, most all-time.