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College basketball predictions: Kansas picked as national champ by Sports Illustrated analyst

The Kansas Jayhawks lost to Kentucky in the 2012 NCAA Championship game.

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

The Kansas Jayhawks will win the NCAA Championship this season, according to Andy Glockner of Sports Illustrated.

The other selections from Sport Illustrated's panel were Indiana and Louisville.

The Jayhawks lost Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor to the NBA but are returing center Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford while also adding freshmen Perry Elllis and Ben McLemore.

Glockner believes that Kansas will get better as the season progresses and the defense should be one of the best in the country if Withey can block shots at the same rate the he did last season.

Withey averaged 9.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in 24.8 minutes per game in 2011-12.

The Jayhawks open the season against SE Missouri State on Nov. 9 but will be tested early as they play No. 14 Michigan State on neutral ground on Nov. 13. Kansas will also face No. 4 Ohio State on Dec. 22 before conference play starts.