The actual (not "official") deadline for underclassmen to declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft has come and gone, which means it's time to re-evaluate our still ridiculously early top 25 for 2012-13.
Who they're losing: G Verdell Jones
Who they're bringing back: F Cody Zeller, F Christian Watford, G Jordan Hulls, G Victor Oladipo, G Maurice Creek, F Will Sheehey
Who they're adding: G Yogi Ferrell, F Jeremy Hollowell, F Hanner Perea
"Is Indiana back?" became one of the most prominent (and annoying) debates of the 2011-12 season, but it's one that shouldn't be an issue at all just a year later. The return of either Christian Watford or Cody Zeller -- the reigning Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year who looked sensational against Kentucky and Davis in the Sweet 16 -- guaranteed preseason top five status, but having both is enough to warrant handing the Hoosiers the top spot. Oh, and Tom Crean is bringing one of the nation's top recruiting classes, headlined by five-star point guard Yogi Ferrell.
Who they're losing: F Kyle Kuric, G Chris Smith
Who they're bringing back: G Peyton Siva, F Chane Behanan, C Gorgui Dieng, F Wayne Blackshear, G Russ Smith, G Mike Marra
Who they're adding: G Luke Hancock, G Terry Rozier
The team that probably gave Kentucky its toughest test in the big dance comes in, appropriately, at No. 2. Rick Pitino loses leading scorer Kyle Kuric, but replaces him with former two-time Illinois Player of the Year (over Anthony Davis) Wayne Blackshear, who only played one month this season because of injuries. Blackshear showed flashes of his potential in that game against UK, finishing with a nine-point performance that included a pair of spectacular dunks. The Cardinals also return Big east Tournament MVP Peyton Siva and West region MVP Chane Behanan, along with center Gorgui Dieng who set the school record for blocked shots in a single season during his sophomore campaign.
Who they're losing: F Darius Miller, F Anthony Davis, F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F Terrence Jones, G Marquis Teague, G Doron Lamb
Who they're bringing back: F Kyle Wiltjer
Who they're adding: G Ryan Harrow, C Nerlens Noel, C Willie Cauley, G Archie Goodwin, F Alex Poythress
Why fight it? This is what they do, and it works. Now, the college basketball world just has to keep up with the name changes. Anthony Davis, the insanely gifted center who was the No. 1 player in the class of 2011 and eventually became the national Player of the Year in his only college season becomes Nerlens Noel, the insanely gifted center who is the No. 1 player in the class of 2012. Terrence Jones, the beastly forward blessed with an incredible combination of size and skill becomes Alex Poythress, a consensus top 10 recruit with a nearly identical frame and game. Marquis Teague, the lightning quick freshman point guard, becomes Ryan Harrow, the NC State transfer who many said consistently got the better of Teague in practice.
It's hard to envision a scenario where Kentucky is as overwhelming a favorite heading into the 2013 NCAA Tournament as they were this season, but I won't be stunned it all if they're the No. 1 overall seed for a second straight year.
Who they're losing: G Erving Walker, G Bradley Beal
Who they're bringing back: G Kenny Boynton, F Patric Young, G Mike Rosario, F Erik Murphy
Who they're adding: G Braxton Ogbueze, G Michael Frazier
Bradley Beal is bolting for the NBA and Erving Walker is lost to graduation, but with Kenny Boynton, Patric Young, Mike Rosario and Erik Murphy all sticking around, this is a team with all the pieces to make a run at a national title. A healthy Will Yeguete will help make their frontcourt stronger than it was during their run to the Elite Eight in 2012.
5. Ohio State
Who they're losing: C Jared Sullinger, G William Buford, G Jordan Sibert, G J.D. Weatherspoon
Who they're bringing back: F Deshaun Thomas, G Aaron Craft, G Lenzelle Smith, F Evan Ravenel
Who they're adding: Amedeo Della Valle
As expected, Jared Sullinger declared for the NBA Draft on Wednesday, but Sully probably wasn't even Thad Matta's best player during the final month of the season. That distinction belongs to Deshaun Thomas, who can score from just about any spot on the floor and finally committed himself to defense once the postseason rolled around. Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith and LaQuinton Ross are all also back, forming a nucleus that is more than capable of making it back to the Final Four.
Who they're losing: G Austin Rivers, F Miles Plumlee
Who they're bringing back: G Seth Curry, F Mason Plumlee, G Tyler Thornton, G Andre Dawkins, F Ryan Kelly, G Quinn Cook
Who they're adding: G Rasheed Sulaimon, F Marshall Plumlee
Miles Plumlee and Austin Rivers are all off to get paid to the play the game, but Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, Quinn Cook, Tyler Thornton, Andre Dawkins and a third Plumlee (redshirt freshman Marshall) have the potential to create a team better than the one which was stunned by Lehigh in the round of 64. The returning group of players combined to form one of the worst defensive Duke teams in recent history, but Coach K now has an entire offseason to rectify that. Scoring, however, shouldn't be nearly as much of an issue.
7. North Carolina
Who they're losing: F Harrison Barnes, F John Henson, G Kendall Marshall, C Tyler Zeller
Who they're bringing back: G Reggie Bullock, G Dexter Strickland, G P.J. Hairston, F James McAdoo
Who they're adding: G Marcus Paige, F Brice Johnson, C Joel James, F J.P. Tokoto
Like Kentucky, UNC's situation appears far worse than it is when you initially see the names departing the program. Tyler Zeller was already out the door because of graduation, but soon after the season ended, the talented underclassmen trio of John Henson, Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall all announced they were out the door as well. It's a blow for Roy Williams, without question, but it also means more minutes for Dexter Strickland, Leslie McDonald, P.J. Hairston, Reggie Bullock and James McAdoo, who looked like a pro when he got more minutes in March with Henson sidelined. This UNC team won't be as NBA-ready as the 2011-12 squad, but if they manage to do what that team couldn't and stay healthy, they could be better-suited to make a run to the Final Four.
Who they're losing: G Zack Novak, G Stu Douglass, F Evan Smotrycz
Who they're bringing back: G Trey Burke, G Tim Hardaway Jr., F Jordan Morgan
Who they're adding: F Mitch McGary, F Glenn Robinson III, G Nik Stauskas
Perhaps no underclassmen's return means more to his future team than Trey Burke's. As a freshman, Burke led the Wolverines in scoring, assists, steals and blocked shots. He and Tim Hardaway Jr. could make up the Big Ten's top backcourt, and they'll be assisted by one of the nation's best recruiting classes, which includes top 25 big man Mitch McGary.
Who they're losing: F Thomas Robinson, G Tyshawn Taylor, G Conner Teahan
Who they're bringing back: C Jeff Withey, G Elijah Johnson, G Travis Releford
Who they're adding: F Perry Ellis, G Ben McLemore, F Andrew White
Bill Self is beginning to get the Tom Izzo, "you can't bet against this guy" treatment, and he deserves it. Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor are both gone, but the rebuilding still doesn't appear to be as daunting as it did 12 months ago for Self, and that season ultimately wound up coming to an end on the first Monday in April.
Who they're losing: F Chace Stanback, G Oscar Bellfield, F Brice Massamba, G Kendall Wallace
Who they're bringing back: F Mike Moser, F Anthony Marshall, G Justin Hawkins, F Carlos Lopez, F Quintrell Thomas
Who they're adding: F Khem Birch, G Katin Reinhardt, C Demetris Morant, G DaQuan Cook
Double-double machine Mike Moser, who was probably the best player in college basketball over the season's first month, has opted to stick around for another year and is the main reason the Rebs figure to garner some serious preseason love. He, Anthony Marshall and Pitt transfer Khem Birch compose a trio of forwards that can match up with any in the country, but the issue for Dave Rice will be finding consistency from his backcourt. The addition of incoming freshman sharp-shooter Katin Reinhardt should assist in offsetting the loss of second leading scorer Chase Stanback.
11. N.C. State
Who they're losing: G/F C.J. Williams
Who they're bringing back: F C.J. Leslie, F Richard Howell, G Lorenzo Brown, G Scott Wood
Top newcomers: G Rodney Purvis, F T.J. Warren, G Tyler Lewis
The Pack would have been a top 25 squad had C.J. Leslie elected to take his game to the NBA, but they're borderline top 10 with Leslie now officially back in the fold. Mark Gottfried will return his top four scorers from last season, all of whom averaged at least 10.8 points per game. He also adds another significant scoring threat in McDonald's All-American Rodney Purvis.
Who they're losing: G Marcus Denmon, G Kim English, F Ricardo Ratliffe, G Matt Pressey
Who they're bringing back: G Michael Dixon, G Phil Pressey, F Laurence Bowers
Who they're adding: F Alex Oriakhi, G Keion Bell, G Earnest Ross, G Jabari Brown, F Negus Webster-Chan, F Stefan Jankovic
It's hard to justify ranking a team that's losing its top three scorers this high ... until you look at the fact that they're adding four transfers who would start on just about any squad in America. Oriakhi, Bell and Ross are all proven contributors at the college level, while Brown -- a top 20 recruit in the class of 2011 -- played just two games at Oregon last season before deciding it wasn't the right fit. Michael Dixon and Flip Pressey are also back from last year's Big 12 tournament championship team, and Frank Haith will also be able to utilize the services of former all-conference forward Laurence Bowers, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL.
Who they're losing: G Antoine Young
Who they're bringing back: F Doug McDermott, C Gregory Echenique, G Grant Gibbs, F Ethan Wragge, G Jahenns Manigat, G Josh Jones
Who they're adding: G Isaiah Zierden, G Andre Yates, F Tevin Calhoun
With the four other members of The Associated Press All-American first team all likely headed to the NBA, there's a very real chance that Doug McDermott will head into the 2012-13 season as the preseason national Player of the Year. He and his Bluejays should again have little trouble scoring, but to be a legitimate Final Four threat they're going to have to improve tremendously on the defensive end.
14. Michigan State
Who they're losing: F Draymond Green, G Brandon Wood, G Austin Johnson
Who they're bringing back: G Keith Appling, C Derrick Nix, F Branden Dawson, C Adreian Payne, G Travis Trice
Who they're adding: G Gary Harris, F Matt Costello, F Kenny Kaminski
Tom Izzo doesn't have one guy who can replace Big Ten Player of the Year Draymond Green, but he certainly has enough parts to mold a team that could be as good as last season's Spartans. The presence of Keith Appling, Travis Trice and McDonald's All-American Gary Harris might lead Izzo to try and play at a faster pace next season. He also gets back Derrick Nix and Branden Dawson, a combination of size (Nix) and athleticism (Dawson) that should form one of the most formidable frontcourt duos in the country.
Who they're losing: F Perry Jones III, F Quincy Acy, F Anthony Jones, F Quincy Miller
Who they're bringing back: G Pierre Jackson, G Brady Heslip, G A.J. Walton, F Deuce Bello
Who they're adding: C Isaiah Austin, F Ricardo Gathers
The losses of Perry Jones and Quincy Acy were already huge, but Quincy Miller going back on his initial decision to return to Waco was the blow that really took the wind away from Scott Drew. Still, Drew returns a veteran and offensively gifted backcourt of Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip, as well as talented reserve Deuce Bello, who should get more of a chance to shine in his sophomore season. There's also the addition of immensely talented 7-foot freshman Isaiah Austin to be excited about.
16. Notre Dame
Who they're losing: F Tim Abromaitis, G Scott Martin
Who they're bringing back: F Jack Cooley, G Jerian Grant, G Eric Atkins, G/F Pat Connaughton, G Alex Dragicevich
Who they're adding: F Cameron Biedscheid, F Zach Auguste
Who they're losing: G Kyle Fogg, F Jesse Perry, G Josiah Turner, G Brendon Lavender
Who they're bringing back: F Solomon Hill, G Nick Johnson, F Kevin Parrom, G Jordin Mayes
Who they're adding: F Brandon Ashley, C Kaleb Tarczewski, C Grant Jerrett, G Gabe York
Sean Miller brings in one of the most talented recruiting classes in Arizona history, and in this day and age that's reason enough to rank a team that didn't make the NCAA Tournament this past season. Team MVP Solomon Hill is back, and a healthy Kevin Parrom should also provide a significant boost. The Josiah Turner era came to a quick and merciful end when the freshman opted to transfer after the season, which leaved Jordin Mayes and Nick Johnson to split point guard duties, something each is capable of doing.
Who they're losing: G Lazeric Jones, G Jerime Anderson
Who they're bringing back: F Travis Wear, F David Wear, F Josh Smith, G Tyler Lamb
Who they're adding: G/F Shabazz Muhammad, F Tony Parker, G/F Kyle Anderson, G Jordan Adams
It was hard to envision any scenario in which the Bruins -- who finished in the middle of the pack in a historically bad Pac-12 last season -- could begin the year with a little number next to their name, but hauling in the No. 1 recruiting class in the country might do it. Again, we've seen how this works.
Who they're losing: C Robert Sacre
Who they're bringing back: F Elias Harris, G Kevin Pangos, G Gary Bell Jr., F Sam Dower, F Guy Landry Edi
Who they're adding: No one
The 'Zags Achilles heel was widely-regarded to be post play last season, but the Bulldog frontcourt competed incredibly well against Ohio State in a tough round of 32 loss to end last season. Losing Sacre will hurt, but an improved Elias Harris should help alleviate that. Leading scorer Kevin Pangos is back for his sophomore campaign, and forward Sam Dower has the potential to be one of the biggest breakout players on the West Coast.
Who they're losing: G Jordan Taylor
Who they're bringing back: F Ryan Evans, F/C Jared Berggren, G Josh Gasser, G Ben Brust, F Mike Bruesewitz
Who they're adding: F Sam Dekker
Replacing All-American Jordan Taylor is a tall task, but nothing Bo Ryan has done over the past decade gives us a reason to believe this Badger team won't spend most of next season in the top 25. Even with Taylor gone, Josh Gasser and Ben Brust comprise a seasoned back court and Jared Berggren has the potential to be one of the better post players in the Big Ten.
Who they're losing: F Kris Joseph, G Dion Waiters, G Scoop Jardine, C Fab Melo
Who they're bringing back: G Brandon Triche, F C.J. Fair, F Rakeem Christmas, F James Southerland
Who they're adding: C DaJuan Coleman, F Jerami Grant
The mass exodus from last year's team, which went 17-1 in the Big East, places a considerable amount of pressure on the returning veterans, as well as highly-touted freshmen DaJuan Coleman and Jerami Grant.
Who they're losing: G/F Bradford Burgess
Who they're bringing back: F Juvonte Reddic, G Troy Daniels, G Rob Brandenberg, G Darius Theus, G Treveon Graham, G D.J. Haley
Who they're adding: F Jordan Burgess, C Justin Tuoyo
Despite the loss of leading scorer Bradford Burgess, this might be the best VCU team on paper that Shaka Smart has had heading into an offseason. That's saying something considering the success the Rams have had in Smart's first two years on the job. Helping to supplant the loss of Burgess will be his younger brother, Jordan, an incoming freshman who is one of the most highly-rated recruits to ever choose VCU.
23. Kansas State
Who they're losing: F Jamar Samuels
Who they're bringing back: G Rodney McGruder, G Will Spradling, G Angel Rodriguez, F Jordan Henriquez, F Thomas Gipson, G Montavious Irving
Who they're adding: F Darrell Johnson
It may not be as high-profile a job, but Bruce Weber inherits a better situation at K-State than the one he left behind (or was forced to leave behind) at Illinois. Much of the reason for that is the return of Rodney McGruder, who should warrant some Big 12 preseason player of the year talk. Angel Rodriguez and Thomas Gipson are also back after starting a combined 39 games as freshmen last season.
Who they're losing: G Will Barton, G/F Wesley Witherspoon
Who they're bringing back: G Joe Jackson, F Tarik Black, G Chris Crawford, G/F Adonis Thomas, G Antonio Barton
Who they're adding: F Shaq Goodwin, F Damien Wilson, G Geron Johnson
There's significant talent both returning and coming in, but it's hard to underplay the significance of losing Will Barton. Still, the Tigers should be the class of C-USA, which only means that their non-conference performance will again play a more crucial role in their tournament season than it will for just about any other team in the country.
25. San Diego State
Who they're losing: F Garrett Green, F Tim Shelton
Who they're bringing back: G Jamaal Franklin, G Chase Tapley, G Xavier Thomas, G James Rahon
Who they're adding: F J.J. O’Brien, F Dwayne Polee, F James Johnson, F Winston Shepard
There's no shortage of guard talent here, but Steve Fisher doesn't know much about his frontcourt, where St. John's transfer Dwayne Polee and freshman Winston Shepard will be asked to step in and contribute immediately.
THE NEXT FIVE:
29. Murray State
30. Iowa State