3. Ohio State

When a highly touted freshman named Jared Sullinger announced his talent in a dominant win at Florida last fall, the intention of this Ohio State team was clear: Win the national title. The Buckeyes were thwarted in March, but Sullinger's decision to eschew his place in the NBA draft lottery this summer ensures similar expectations in 2011-12. Important as he is, Sullinger isn't the only experienced Buckeye back. Guard William Buford, point guard Aaron Craft and forward Deshaun Thomas -- a little-used but massively talented swingman -- form this team's core. Thad Matta will have to incorporate freshmen in his rotation and adapt to the losses of sharpshooter Jon Diebler and defensive stalwart David Lighty, but make no mistake: Sullinger and company are one of the top national title contenders. -- Eamonn Brennan