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Preseason Basketball Rankings: Where do the Hoos fall?

Now that the NBA draft announcements are over, we take a look at where the Hoos stand across the preseason rankings

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Championship-Virginia vs North Carolina Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Following the NBA draft withdrawal deadline, basketball prognosticators have had a chance to review the NCAA landscape for the upcoming season. With DeAndre Hunter returning to join Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and Jack Salt in the presumed starting lineup, Wahoo fans should be expecting big things from the team. Let’s see if some notable publications agree:

SBNation

Who’s number 1? Kansas

Hoos’ number? 2.

Mike Rutherford had this to say about placing UVa in the top two:

The reality is that a team which won 20 of its 21 ACC games and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament is returning two of its top three scorers in Kyle Guy (an AP Third Team All-American) and Ty Jerome. They’ll also bring back a potential lottery pick in sophomore DeAndre Hunter, who was sidelined for the team’s stunning first-round loss to UMBC. Even with the historic loss that’s going to hang over this program like a black cloud all offseason (and beyond), Virginia belongs here.

NCAA.com

Who’s number 1? Gonzaga

Hoos’ number? 3.

Andy Katz’s notes on the Hoos included:

This team will still be the toughest to score on in the country. The drive and edge to get back and advance deep will keep the Cavaliers going all season long.

CBSSports

Who’s number 1? Kansas

Hoos’ number? 7.

Gary Parrish is ever so slightly less optimistic about UVa and had this to say:

Tony Bennett’s team put together the nation’s best resume in advance of Selection Sunday. They were terrific most of the season. And seven of the top 10 players from that team should be back to help Virginia compete for another ACC title.

NBCSports

Who’s number 1? Kansas

Hoos’ number? 8.

Rob Dauster at NBC has the Wahoos a step lower in his rankings, noting:

Hunter is ready to step up and be the star for this team, and I think Mamadi Diakite will have a chance to be an elite defensive presence. If there is a real concern here, it’s depth, but I trust Tony Bennett will be able to figure something out. Always trust in Tony.

Sports Illustrated

Who’s number 1? Kansas

Hoos’ number? 6.

Molly Geary also notes Hunter’s return as a big reason to see the Hoos as contenders:

Replicating last season’s historically good defense will be tough, but the Hoos should once again be very strong on that end and could see players like Guy and Hunter take the next step offensively.

Athlon Sports

Who’s number 1? Kansas

Hoos’ number? 2.

Kyle Kensing is clearly bullish on Tony Bennett & Co. and notes that the UMBC upset could just serve as extra motivation:

[the UMBC game] will only be a chip on the shoulder for Tony Bennett’s (above, right) Cavaliers. Much of the core from a team that ran roughshod over the ACC returns, including talented big man De’Andre Hunter.

ESPN

Who’s number 1? Kansas

Hoos’ number? 7.

Myron Medcalf has had the Hoos steady at number 7 in the offseason:

Here’s a crazy prediction: Virginia will finish the year within the top 10 in defensive efficiency. And Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, Jack Salt and a healthy De’Andre Hunter, the program’s best NBA prospect since Malcolm Brogdon, will put together another impressive win tally, snatch a great seed in the tourney and, well, we’ll see what happens after that.

The expectations following a historically good (and historically finishing) season are clearly high for UVa, but fans have five more months to wait to see them in action.