The defending champion Duke Blue Devils begin the 2010-11 where they left off- on top. The team returning just two starters in Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, but brings back Mason and Miles Plumlee to the frontcourt as well as Andre Dawkins to the backcourt. Transfer Seth Curry and one of the nation's top recruiting classes highlighted by Kyrie Irving, Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton set the expectations high- high enough to garner 29 of the possible 31 first place votes in the preseason Coaches' Poll.
Michigan State, who reached the Final Four for the second consecutive season last year, received the other two first place votes. Coach Izzo flirted with leaving the program in the offseason for the NBA, but remains on campus along with three of its top four scorers. They are led by a talented backcourt of Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers, but Lucas, a former Big Ten Player of the Year, is coming off an Achilles injury.
Rounding out the Top 5 are Kansas State, Pittsburgh and Ohio State. Kansas State has nearly every contributor returning with the exception of speedy point guard Denis Clemente, but All-America candidate Jacob Pullen will lead the team along with a potent and deep front court. Jamie Dixon and the Panthers have four starters coming back to campus. Ohio State lost the National Player of the Year in Evan Turner, but brings back a solid core of four starters and a top recruiting class with big man Jared Sullinger leading the way.
Villanova (No. 6), Kansas (No. 7), Purdue (No. 8), North Carolina (No. 9) and Kentucky (No. 10) are the final teams in the Top 10.