Villanova should once again be able to celebrate another national title next season. (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)
Villanova won the second national men's basketball title in three years on Monday night, possibly ending an era in which the time of Wildcats as a national player was far from over [19659003Michigan'sdefeatcouldhavemadeJalenBrunson'sextremelysuccessfulappearanceonMainLinetofinalizeaMicroscopeThefactthatwhileBrunson(andpossiblyMikalBridgesandOmariSpellman)couldcontinuethefoundationforVillanova'ssuccesswillnotchangeJayWright'steamwillremain(relatively)oldwithPhilBoothEricPaschallandaboveallDonteDiVincenzowhointhelastfiveseasonswillbeenthusiasticaboutaprogramthatwaslostintheyears165-21
The Wildcats will be looking for another Final Four journey, but they will not be alone. So here's an early picture for a full-at-large field – 36 teams deep – for 2019, which is sure to change as players become pro in the coming weeks.
. 1 Kansas. The Jayhawks will win the Big 12 because they do. Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk both go and Malik Newman could become a pro. But Bill Self will transfer Dedric and K.J. Lawson (from Memphis) and Charlie Moore (California) are eligible and will bring in Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes two top 20 recruits (247 sports each). With a strong spin back, Kansas will fight for another Final Four trip.
. 2 Villanova. Until proven otherwise, the Wildcats should be considered a perennial favorite. DiVincenzo is well on his way to becoming the next great Villanova guardian, and while the charm of the collars may prove fleeting, the truth is that the Beast of the Great East should remain one of the most enduring teams in the country.
. 3 Virginia. A game will not erase all season, and it would be silly to dismiss the Cavaliers in the first round of the tournament because of their slip-up to UMBC. It is also fair to ask how this historic setback will affect a recurring core that will include Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De & # 39; Andre Hunter. By the time the postseason arrives next year, both the good obvious story (Virginia's defense is awesome) and the bad one (Virginia can not win in March) are dead horses that are still receiving heavy blows.
. 4 Duke A bit of Duke fatigue is built into this placement, and it's the same thing that's related to Kentucky year after year. The Blue Devils will be an outstanding recruiting class under the direction of R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, and Zion Williamson, and they'll be the centerpieces of a team that's likely to lose its entire starting lineup. But it is a guess as to how good a team is that they will form and whether they will be able to defend (or whether Duke will only go into the zone when the league game starts). It's the most talented team, but is it the best team? The time will tell.
. 5 Kentucky Wait, the Wildcats may have sophomores on their list? Mind. Blown. How many returnees John Calipari will have is on the move, but there will be at least some. Kentucky played their best on the track before sputtering in the Sweet 16 against Kansas State. Unlike last season, the Wildcats probably have at least a few players who have been there and done that and it should make a difference – for a more even regular season and a better show comes March.
. 6 Gonzaga. The Bulldogs only went 32-5 of the season after losing four of the top 6 players from a national finalist. They will be even better next season, behind a strong lineup with Rui Hachimura, Zach Norvell, Josh Perkins and Killian Tillie.
. 7 Tennessee. Consider this as a voice for laziness. The volunteers were the most stable team in the Southeastern Conference throughout the season, and Grant Williams performs a rotation that should largely return intact outside the graduate transfer James Daniel. Tennessee's defense will be one of the great things of the 2018-19 season.
. 8 North Carolina. Who will have completed the point with Joel Berry II? That, together with the question of whether the young talents of the Tar Heels can develop enough to better supplement Luke Maye, will be one of the big questions of the postseason. Holdover's Cameron Johnson and Kenny Williams also see extended roles.
. 9 Michigan. Sure, that could be something down. Moritz Wagner could (should?) Become a professional. Charles Matthews could too. Rather, consider this projection as a projection where the Wolverines end at the end of the season if they only get one back to complement Jordan Poole and Zavier Simpson. John Beilein has won a couple of big-ten tournaments in a row, and a three-peat is not ruled out.
10th Florida. Can Good Florida prevent Florida from staying two weeks straight? Will Jalen Hudson finally stay in Gainesville? Is there enough to offset the completion of Chris Chiozza? This is one reason for optimism on all three fronts of the Gators, which should be at least in the upper third of the SEC.
. 11 Nevada. The Wolf Pack had such a flat rotation this season because Coach Eric Musselman had to have many older transfers on the list in the coming years. Provided the Martin twins (Caleb and Cody) and Jordan Carolina remain, Nevada will reshuffle them with low-key scorers such as Nisre Zouzoua (a transfer from Bryant) and Jazz Johnson (Portland) for a second-weekend threat. 19659017] 12th State of Michigan Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. have become pro, so the Spartans have already absorbed much of their offseason losses. Michigan State will have a lot to prove after a 30-7 season, which was relatively easy thanks to a Down Big Ten. Joshua Langford, Cassius Winston and (probably) Nick Ward are a good start for Tom Izzo.
. 13 West Virginia The mountaineers must replace defensive ace Jevon Carter, as well as Daxter Miles, but they have one of the strongest identities in sports, a possible Hall of Famer on the sideline in Bob Huggins and a place in a league where the bulk This past The strong teams of the season have big holes to fill. Maybe not a national title contender, but very good.
fourteenth Auburn Here's a skepticism about the Tigers who went 5-6 on the track (a good deal without rims guard Anfernee McLemore). Yes, Auburn will bring everyone and presumably put Austin Wiley in his place after quitting the FBI investigation last year. But the SEC will be even better, and profits will be a bit harder to come by.
15th Mississippi State. Maybe one of the early wild cards for the next season. The Bulldogs have improved a lot in 2017-18 and Quinndary Weatherspoon (who has a talent for Summer Beaters) is an overlooked star. The state of Mississippi has won 25 games for the first time since 2004 and will add 6-foot-9 Reggie Perry as the jewel of a prestigious recruiting class. Ben Howland was to bring the Bulldogs into the NCAA tournament.
sixteenth Virginia tech. There is a lot to miss in the Hokies, who have shown increased self-confidence in the past season. If this continues and Justin Robinson (a potential All-ACC guardian as a senior) remains a reliable presence, Buzz Williams will have a team that can survive the first weekend in March. Justin Bibbs is the big loss to finish.
17th Oregon. There are a few other teams than Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky who are likely to rely on one and tu talent. The ducks have the newcomers Bol Bol and Louis King in the lead and they will attract the most attention when Dana Altman tries to reach a championship title from 23-13 – which is not the hardest thing in the Pac-12  18th Xavier. Many of the big names of Xavier's Seed # 1 in the West Region have disappeared, but there is still an interesting core of Emperor Gates, Quentin Goodin, Tyrique Jones, Naji Marshall, and Paul Scruggs. Expect a steady improvement during coach Travis Steele's first season. Bonus Statistics: Xavier's last five coaches – all of whom switched to more prominent programs – scored an average of 23.4 wins in their first season with the Musketeers.
19th Purdue. At this time last year, it felt like the Boilermakers window was a bit smaller after Caleb Swanigan became a pro. Then they went on to play as well as anyone else for much of the season, while Carsen Edwards appeared as the Star Guard. Lesson learned. Edwards will be Purdue's only returning starter, and while the Boilers are unlikely to land seed # 2 again, they will find a way to stay relevant.
20th Louisville. There are two ways to look at the Cardinals' recently completed season. One, it's a miracle Interim coach David Padgett held things together after Rick fired Pitino. Secondly, there is plenty of room for improvement from a roster that was talented enough to get into the top 4 of the ACC without the turmoil. Look for new coach Chris Mack to enjoy a solid debut with Deng Adel, Ray Spalding and Co.
21. Clemson This placement depends on the return of Shelton Mitchell and Marcquise Reed as seniors in the fifth year. Both will be exploring the design process, but they could initiate another tournament run for the Tigers (along with Center Elijah Thomas). The loss of post Gabe DeVoe to the end hurts, but if Brad Brownell retains the rest of his backspace, Clemson will not be missed again next fall.
22nd LSU. Two things have been determined in the first season of Will Wade at Baton Rouge: First, Tremont Waters is an exceptional point guard. Two, the tigers will not retire from anyone. Wade has a strong recruiting class, and this ranking reflects some belief that at least half of his four top-60 freshmen leave an immediate impression.
23rd Kansas State. Yes, the Wildcats bring back a bunch from an elite eight-team, including Barry Brown, Xavier Sneed and Dean Wade. This was also a team that played strong defense and often subliminal offensive and went 0-7 against the top three teams in the Big 12. A point near the top of the top 25 would be appropriate, as well as upgrading to what was largely weak nonconference timetable.
24th Florida State. The Seminoles are a good example of how some victories in March can change a team's perception. Leonard Hamilton's team left home last month for the regular season. Then it reached the elite eight. The strengths (depth, athleticism) will remain the same next year, with Terance Mann likely to be the best returner.
25th TCU. Jamie Dixon has a lot to do to rebuild his frontcourt, but the Horned Frogs are very vigilant. Alex Robinson and Desmond Bane are now experienced in the NCAA tournament and a healthy Jaylen Fisher should put TCU at risk of returning to the top half of the Big 12.
26th UCLA. There will be a lot of talent in Westwood, and much of it will be in freshman and college classes. Can coach Steve Alford make the best of it, or will the Bruins ride as a borderline tournament team (or worse) as they have three of the last four years?
27th Cincinnati They know that the Bearcats will defend themselves like crazy, and that alone will win them many games in the American Athletic Conference. The loss of seniors Gary Clark and Kyle Washington, as well as the junior Jacob Evans, who appears to be dropping the blanket a bit.
28th Texas tech. When Zhaire Smith decides to hire a pro after a strong freshman year, the Red Raiders have a returning starter from the first Elite Eight team in program history. The commitment to defense is extraordinary in Lubbock, but this is still a significant exodus. When Smith returns to mate with his colleague Jarrett Culver? Shoot Chris Beard team about 10 spots or so.
29th Providence. Ed Cooley finds a way to lure the brothers into the NCAA tournament every year. Why should be different next year? Alpha Diallo and Isaiah Jackson will be the key figures, as will Indiana Emmitt Holt after missing the last season with a stomach injury. It is critical to replace the production of Kyron Cartwright at this point.
30th Loyola Chicago. Clayton Custer? Back. Marques Townes? Back. Cameron Krutwig? Back. But the most important thing for the Ramblers is that they will probably continue to be so dedicated to getting the ball off the ground with brilliance as some younger players turn up in bigger roles. Loyola should be the favorite of the preseason in the Missouri Valley after his Final Four run
31. Boston College Do not forget the Eagles who could have one of the best backcourts in Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman in the country. An early key for the next season is whether the NCAA Deontae Hawkins appealed for a sixth year of authorization. The striker looked like a difference maker before giving in after eight games with a knee injury.
32nd Notre Dame. The Irish follow the credo of "getting old and getting old" like Villanova, but they could not explain the injuries of seniors Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell last season. It is T.J. Gibbs will star in Mike Brey's system. Expect Notre Dame to return to the NCAA tournament after a one-year break.
33rd Penn State Tony Carr's decision to become a pro changes momentum a bit for NIT champion Nittany Lions, who would have landed higher had the point guard come back for his junior year. However, Josh Reaves, Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins form a core of quality as coach Patrick Chambers has been pursuing his first NCAA bid ever since he came to Happy Valley.
34th Vanderbilt. It's not hard to figure out why a 20-loss team is in this conversation. The Commodores will add a pair of top-15 freshmen in striker Simi Shittu and Guard Darius Garland and could still land wings to Romeo Langford, the top-unbound incoming freshman. Bryce Drew's team should be young, fun and dangerous in the second half of the season.
35th N. C. State Here are Kevin Keatts, who outperformed Raleigh in the first half of the year as well as at UNC Wilmington. There will be a lot of moving pieces, but the possibilities in a Wolfpack backcourt, Braxton Beverly, Torin Dorn, Markell Johnson and UNC Wilmington Transfer C.J. Bryce will not be questionable.
36th Maryland. Some skeptics are warranted for the Terrapins, who had no traction last season – with inconsistencies mingling with injuries that led to a limited bank. Nevertheless, Anthony Cowan and Kevin Hürter could be two of the top 10 to 15 of the Big Ten, and an improved Bruno Fernando (assuming he is back) makes Maryland a good choice to return to the NCAA tournament.
19659043] Sportsbooks have Duke, Villanova, Kansas and Kentucky favorites next season
Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova's sixth man, was unsurpassed in the NCAA title game
. Watch & # 39; One Shining Moment & # 39; from UMBC Sister Jean to Donte DiVincenzo and Villanova