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2012 Men's College Basketball Power Rankings

Tom Crean's Hoosiers are the consensus number one

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Tom Crean took over an Indiana Hoosier program decimated by Kelvin Sampson's dismal and scandal-plagued run as head coach. Just five years later, he's coming off a run to the Sweet Sixteen and the number one team in the nation.

1. Indiana Hoosiers

Tom Crean's charges will be building on a run to the Sweet Sixteen, where they gave a Kentucky team laden with NBA first-round draft picks their toughest test of their title run. The Hoosiers are bringing back most of the key players from a team that went 27-9 last season - including Cody Zeller, who should be the most complete big man in college hoops this season. One concern: the Hoosiers will be relying heavily on an untested point guard, incoming freshman Yogi Ferrell. Guard play is crucial to any championship run; Ferrell will need to mature quickly for the Hoosiers to reach the Georgia Dome.

2. Louisville Cardinals

This could be a down year for the Big East, with several traditional powers on their way out the door and Connecticut ineligible for the postseason. But the down-on-its-luck conference still has a legit title contender in Louisville. Rick Pitino's club is bringing back all the key players from their 2012 Final Four squad, including shot-blocker extraordinaire Gorgui Dieng and floor leader Peyton Siva.

3. UCLA Bruins

This ranking is based on the assumption that Shabazz Muhammad - the crown jewel in a sterling recruiting class - is cleared to play by the NCAA; that's no sure thing at this point. Without him, embattled coach Ben Howland could be in for another long season in Westwood... and possibly his last.

4. Kentucky Wildcats

Stop me if you've heard this one before... John Calipari loses just about every key player from last year's team to the NBA, but he's bringing in a new class that looks just as talented. The Wildcats may need a little time to jell, but no one is going to want any part of this team come March.

5. North Carolina State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack got a big boost when C.J. Leslie decided to stay in school for one more season. Combine him with what should be one of the top backcourts in the nation and an incoming class featuring three McDonald's All Americans, and NC State could be the class of the ACC this year.

6. Syracuse Orange

Syracuse's Otto the Orange
Getty Images / Jim McIsaac
Jim Boeheim will be competing for one last Big East title in what could be the hall-of-famer's final year on the bench; some are suggesting he'll step down before the Orange join the ACC next season. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams could be a star.

7. Ohio State Buckeyes

Thad Matta's club will miss Jared Sullinger and William Buford, but the tandem of point guard Aaron Craft and forward Deshaun Thomas should help keep the Buckeyes at the top of the Big Ten standings.

8. Duke Blue Devils

Quinn Cook's injury last season forced Austin Rivers into the point guard role far too often. Mike Krzyzewski's offense works better with a passer at the point; Cook's return should help the offense run a lot more smoothly.

9. Florida Gators

With shooter Mike Rosario and Kenny Boynton on the perimeter and center Patric Young in the middle, Billy Donovan's Gators might have enough talent to challenge Kentucky for the top spot in the SEC.

10. Baylor Bears

Point guard play is a big determining factor in any college basketball team's success, and the Bears' Pierre Jackson will be one of the best in the game this year. Baylor lost their starting frontcourt to the NBA Draft, but they're still loaded at the center and forward spots.
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