Cincinnati and Notre Dame Crack Preseason Top 25

By chrismolicki

The ESPN Top 25 preseason rankings are being announced this week, and with 21-25 already released, Big East schools Notre Dame and Cincinnati have come in at #22 and #24, respectively.

This seems like a fair ranking for the two squads, as both teams are very talented and very close to each other in terms of skill.

Cincinnati returns the trio of Cashemere Wright, Sean Kilpatrick, and JaQuon Parker, all of whom helped push the Bearcats into the Sweet Sixteen of last year’s NCAA tournament. This year, they look to go even further as a top-4 finish in the conference is very likely. Cincinnati is one of the few teams legitimately in contention for the Big East crown.

Then of course there’s the Fighting Irish, who will be leaving the conference very soon. Mike Brey’s squad is loaded with experience from seniors Scott Martin and Jack Cooley and juniors Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins. The Irish surprised everyone last year, but they won’t be sneaking up on anyone this time. This is a deadly team filled with overachievers. If they overachieve this year, it will mean trouble for a lot of people.

The other two Big East teams that will make ESPN‘s Top 25 are Syracuse and Louisville. The Orange should be ranked near the end of the top-10, while the Cardinals should slide into the #2 spot, right behind Indiana.

Many are expecting this to be a down year for the Big East. The Big Ten and ACC will likely be better. But if there’s anything we know about this conference, it’s that they will never back down from a challenge and will certainly be aiming to contend.


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