Oklahoma State, sophomore, 6'4", 220 pounds
• Smart returned to school despite the likelihood of his having gone in the top five of the NBA draft. He possesses the best combo of leadership and talent in the nation.
Louisville, senior, 6'1", 165 pounds
• Smith was the main reason the Cardinals won the national championship last season. The sometimes out-of-control guard averaged 18.7 points per game, helping the team finish on a 16-game winning streak.
Ohio State, senior, 6'2", 190 pounds
• Craft is widely regarded as the best perimeter defender in college basketball. As a three-year starter, he has led the Buckeyes to a Sweet 16 (2011), an Elite Eight (2013) and the Final Four (2012).
Michigan State, sophomore, 6'4", 205 pounds
• Despite nagging injuries, Harris was terrific as a freshman, averaging 12.9 points while leading the Spartans to the Sweet 16.
Kansas, freshman, 6'8", 200 pounds
• Barring a major surprise, Wiggins will be the top pick of the 2014 NBA draft. His overwhelming presence could lift Kansas coach Bill Self to his second national title in seven seasons.
Creighton, senior, 6'8", 225 pounds
• McDermott has gone from a mid-major recruit to one of the best players in the country. He averaged 23.2 points per game last season while shooting 49 percent from three-point range.
Duke, freshman, 6'8", 235 pounds
• As a high school star last year, Parker made the cover of Sports Illustrated. He’s the latest great prospect out of Chicago, specifically the same high school where Bulls star Derrick Rose once played.
Kentucky, freshman, 6'9", 250 pounds
• The tough, skilled McDonald’s All American is projected to go immediately after Wiggins in the 2014 NBA draft—if he performs as a freshman this season.
Michigan, sophomore, 6'10", 255 pounds
• McGary started slowly last season but developed into one of the main reasons for the Wolverines’ run to the national title game. He averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in the NCAA tournament.
Kentucky, sophomore, 7', 244 pounds
• Cauley-Stein could have been a lottery pick after one season if he had entered the NBA draft, despite averaging just 8.3 points per game. He’s one of three centers on the Wildcats’ roster likely to play at the next level someday.
• The only coach ever to lead three different programs to the Final Four, Pitino will be fascinating to watch this season. Can the defending-champion Cardinals repeat?