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Dickie V's Preseason Top 40

Dick Vitale weighs in with his preseason NCAA Basketball Top 40 list.  The surprising part to me wasn't seeing Pitt at #12, it was finding Pitt behind both Syracuse and Villanova.

Syracuse lost their big three of Wes Johnson, Andy Rautins, and Arinze Onuaku.  They have an excellent recruiting class coming in, but will be a very young team.  Villanova didn't lose as much, but they will be without their best player from last year, Scottie Reynolds, and starter Reggie Redding.

This has been rehashed over and over, but Pitt only loses Jermaine Dixon.  A loss to be sure, especially on the defensive end.  But Pitt always plays strong team defense and between Travon Woodall and incoming guards Isaiah Epps and Cameron Wright, I don't think Pitt will have a problem making up his offense.

I'm still not sure how high I'd rank Pitt yet, but I do think they're the preseason favorite in the Big East.  Vitale's colleagues, Andy Katz and Pat Forde agree.