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NCAA Basketball: Way-too-early top 25 power rankings for 2023-24 season

Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies players celebrate after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs in the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies players celebrate after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs in the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball
Marquette Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek NCAA Basketball Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

474. . . . Golden Eagles . 4. team

2022-23 season record: 29-7 (17-3 Big East)

Expected losses: Zach Wrightsil, Keeyan Itejere

A year ago, the Golden Eagles had lost its two best players and didn’t add anyone from the transfer portal. I thought they were going to be in trouble in the Big East. Instead, they were the champions and were a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This time around, they’re set to return 99% of its total production and the entire rotation from a 29-win roster.

Of course, there’s a chance that they could lose one of their two starting forwards, Olivier-Maxence Prosper and Oso Ighodaro. Both were double-digit scorers and quality defenders with the skillset and athleticism that pro teams would like.

Leading scorer Kameron Jones (15.1 ppg) is also set to return, as well as Tyler Kolek, who is the Big East Player of the Year. He averaged 12.9 ppg and 7.5 apg, which ranked 3rd in all of NCAA Basketball. With both Markquis Nowell and Yuri Collins going pro, Kolek can be the best pure passer in the country next season.

With David Joplin, Stevie Mitchell, and Sean Jones also set to return, Marquette has just about everything needed to run it back as a Final Four contender. Coach Shaka Smart has had some great teams in his coaching career but assuming this team remains in tact, will be his best one to date.