College basketball’s Fertile Crescent

AP Photo/James Crisp

On Wednesday afternoon, the preseason version of the USA Today Coaches Poll was released. The sport’s coaches seem to think one spot in the nation is far superior to everywhere else.

And no, I’m not talking about the Carolina Triangle.

The top five are in this order, from No. 1 to No. 5: Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan. Of those five schools, the two that are the farthest apart, according to Google Maps, are Lexington, Ky. (where the campus of No. 3 UK is located) and Ann Arbor, Mich. (No. 5 Michigan) 334 miles are all that separate those two schools. That’s a lot of talent in that little sliver of Midwestern land.

(MORE: College Football’s Top 25)

Indiana and Kentucky have always been two of the most basketball-crazed states in the country, but with Ohio and Michigan in the mix, there will be a lot of jostling for supremacy on the hardwood in this area during the upcoming season. From east to west, Columbus, Ohio and Bloomington, Ind. are only 227 miles apart, according to Google Maps.

As an ode to history, I’d like to dub this area the Fertile Crescent of Basketball. At least until a few of these teams prove themselves to be overrated, as some of the top 5 does every season.

Florida State fans, the Seminoles checked in at No. 24 in this preseason poll. See the rest of the top 25 here.

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