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Hit the bricks, 2016. It's already time to start thinking about the 2017 college hoops season.

Can Jok and Williams lead Iowa back to the NCAA Tournament again?
Can Jok and Williams lead Iowa back to the NCAA Tournament again?
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015-16 season is finally in the books after a national title game for the ages (congrats, Villanova!), which means it's time for the business of looking ahead to next season.  Obviously, projected rankings, brackets, and odds are a bit silly right now when we're still waiting to see where the final recruits will go, which players will stay in the NBA Draft (and which ones will return to school), and how the transfer merry-go-round might shake out.  But, hey, they're out there, so we might as well talk about them.

Way-Too-Early Top 25s

So far I've seen projected Top 25 rankings for next year from ESPNCBS SportsYahoo Sports, and Sports on Earth.

ESPN CBS Yahoo Sports on Earth
1 Duke Duke Duke Duke
2 Villanova Kentucky Kentucky Villanova
3 Kentucky Villanova Villanova Kentucky
4 Kansas Kansas Kansas Kansas
5 Louisville Xavier Michigan State Oregon
6 North Carolina Michigan State Oregon Wisconsin
7 Virginia North Carolina Xavier North Carolina
8 Indiana Oregon North Carolina Xavier
9 Wisconsin Arizona Indiana Indaina
10 Oregon Virginia Virginia Louisville
11 Xavier UCLA Louisville Virginia
12 Arizona Indiana Arizona Michigan State
13 Michigan State Maryland Wisconsin Arizona
14 Maryland USC Syracuse Maryland
15 West Virginia Wisconsin Gonzaga Texas
16 Purdue Saint Mary's UCLA UCLA
17 Syracuse Rhode Island Texas Saint Mary's
18 Oklahoma Texas USC Syracuse
19 Texas A&M Gonzaga West Virginia Seton Hall
20 UConn West Virginia UConn West Virginia
21 Seton Hall Louisville UConn
22 Iowa State Miami Creighton
23 Saint Mary's UConn USC
24 UCLA Creighton Virginia Tech
25 Cincinnati Butler Dayton
26 Wichita State

Despite losing a projected top-2 pick in Brandon Ingram, Duke returns several other key players (including noted asshole Grayson Allen) while adding in a loaded recruiting class. Get your Duke-hating pants laundered and ready to go -- we're going to need them next year.  There's a lot of consensus (or groupthink) among the top four teams in the projected polls -- everyone seems pretty sure that Duke, Villanova, Kentucky, and Kansas are going to be very, very good. Partially that's a case of returning talent (both Duke and 'Nova are returning several key contributors), but it's also a case of much-hyped recruiting classes (all of those programs are bringing in highly-touted recruits, with Duke, Kentucky and Kansas bringing in several).

There isn't quite as much consensus after the Top 4, although Xavier, Oregon, North Carolina, and Louisville are all widely tabbed to do well next year. In Big Ten-land, Iowa isn't ranked (no shocker there, given Iowa's massive losses from the 2015-16 squad), but up to five other B1G teams are in the rankings. Indiana, Michigan State, and Wisconsin are getting the most love, followed by Maryland and Purdue.

At present, Iowa is slated to play at least seven games next year against potential Top 25 opponents -- the aforementioned Big Ten teams, plus Virginia (in the Emerald Coast Classic) and Iowa State (as part of the annual Cy-Hawk Series). That number could increase, pending the reveal of Iowa's opponent in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge (although I'd bet on Iowa not drawing one of the ACC's best in that series) and the determination of Iowa's single-play and double-play opponents in the 2017 Big Ten schedule.


How might things shake out in next year's NCAA Tournament? ESPN's Joe Lunardi already has a mock bracket up for next season:

2017 Bracketology

As you can see, he has Iowa pegged for a #7 seed in the East region. If you could guarantee me that outcome right now, I... would take it in a heartbeat. Next year's team is going to have oodles of question marks to answer and will be relying on a lot of newcomers and unfamiliar faces. A fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament (and a third-straight #7 seed) sounds like a pretty decent fate for the Hawkeyes, frankly.

Unsurprisingly, Lunardi has Duke, Villanova, Kentucky, and Kansas as the #1 seeds in his bracket -- they really do look like the consensus top four teams in the country next season. He also has a whopping eight Big Ten teams in the bracket: Michigan State (#2 seed), Wisconsin (#4 seed), Indiana (#4 seed), Purdue (#5 seed), Michigan (#6 seed), Iowa (#7 seed), Maryland (#7 seed), and Ohio State (#11 seed).

2017 National Championship Odds

And, finally, courtesy of Bovada, we also have early odds for next year's national championship. As you might expect, Vegas also likes Duke, Kentucky, Villanova, and Kansas quite a bit. Iowa checks in with 75/1 odds to win the title, the same as Florida and SMU.

In case you were curious about the odds for other Big Ten teams...

12/1 Michigan State
20/1 Indiana
25/1 Wisconsin
33/1 Maryland
33/1 Purdue
66/1 Michigan
100/1 Ohio State
250/1 Illinois
250/1 Minnesota
300/1 Nebraska
500/1 Penn State

The full odds are below:

School Odds
Duke Blue Devils 9/2
Kentucky Wildcats 6/1
Villanova Wildcats 8/1
Kansas Jayhawks 10/1
Louisville Cardinals 10/1
Michigan State Spartans 12/1
North Carolina Tar Heels 12/1
Indiana Hoosiers 20/1
Oregon Ducks 20/1
Virginia Cavaliers 20/1
Arizona Wildcats 22/1
Wisconsin Badgers 25/1
Xavier Musketeers 25/1
West Virginia 28/1
Connecticut 33/1
Maryland 33/1
Purdue 33/1
Iowa State 40/1
Miami-Florida 40/1
Oklahoma 50/1
Seton Hall 50/1
Syracuse 50/1
Texas 50/1
Baylor 60/1
Gonzaga 66/1
Michigan 66/1
Texas A&M 66/1
UCLA 66/1
Wichita State 66/1
Florida 75/1
Iowa 75/1
SMU 75/1
Arizona State 100/1
Butler 100/1
California 100/1
Cinncinnati 100/1
LSU 100/1
Mississippi State 100/1
Notre Dame 100/1
Ohio State 100/1
Vanderbilt 100/1
BYU 150/1
Colorado 150/1
Dayton 150/1
Florida State 150/1
Georgetown 150/1
USC 150/1
VCU 150/1
San Diego State 200/1
South Carolina 200/1
St. Mary's 200/1
Tennessee 200/1
UNLV 200/1
Alabama 250/1
Arkansas 250/1
Auburn 250/1
Boise State 250/1
Clemson 250/1
Colorado State 250/1
Georgia 250/1
Georgia Tech 250/1
Illinois 250/1
Kansas State 250/1
Marquette 250/1
Memphis 250/1
Minnesota 250/1
Mississippi 250/1
Oklahoma State 250/1
Oregon State 250/1
Pittsburgh 250/1
Missouri 300/1
Nebraska 300/1
Stanford 300/1
Virginia Tech 300/1
Wake Forest 300/1
Massachusetts 500/1
Penn State 500/1
Saint Joseph's 500/1
Temple 500/1
Washington 500/1
Boston College 1000/1
St. John's 1000/1
TCU 1000/1
Washington State 1000/1

H/T to VU Hoops for the HTML help on the odds table.  Thanks!