Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Alabama, Kentucky rises in latest way-too-early top-25 power rankings for 2024-25

Alabama v Connecticut
Alabama v Connecticut / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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10. Auburn Tigers

Speaking of “All-Americans, Auburn returns one of the best big men in the country for next season in Johni Broome, who led them in scoring/rebounding. Chris Moore and Chad Baker-Mazara are back to provide frontcourt depth, while four-star wing Jahki Howard could be an impact freshman to watch.

The big question is whether the Tigers' backcourt upgraded or not. Denver Jones (9.1 ppg) is back but all of the other guards are gone, including freshman Aden Holloway going to rival Alabama. Replacing the group includes Furman transfer JP Pegues, Georgia Tech’s leading scorer Miles Kelly, as well as five-star freshman prospect, Tahaad Pettiford. An improvement from that group will have Auburn as a Final Four contender.

9. North Carolina Tar Heels

The return of 20 ppg scoring guard and ACC Player of the Year RJ Davis instantly makes the Tar Heels a team capable of going deep, even without Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram around. Replacing them is Belmont sharpshooter Cade Tyson, along with forward Ven-Allen Lubin, a starter from Vanderbilt this past season. 

Look for the underclassmen core to have a big impact, including the five-star wing duo of Drake Powell and Ian Jackson. If they and Elliot Cadeau are breakout performers alongside Davis being one of the five best players in NCAA Basketball, UNC could repeat as ACC champs.