MSU sixth, UM 37th in Vitale’s preseason Top 40

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Miles Bridges

With the college basketball season rapidly approaching, ESPN analyst Dick Vitale released his preseason Top 40 on Tuesday and Michigan State and Michigan both landed a spot on the list.

The Spartans checked in at No. 6 and the Wolverines barley made the cut at No. 37.

Michigan State is coming off a 29-6 season, where it was ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation at one point before being shocked by Middle Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Spartans bring in one of the best freshmen classes in coach Tom Izzo’s career with guards Cassius Winston and Joshua Langford and forwards Miles Bridges and Nick Ward.

“Miles Bridges will become a star in East Lansing. (Senior) Eron Harris will step up his game and develop into a consistent, double-figure scorer,” Vitale wrote.

The Wolverines finished 23-13 last year and were ranked as high as No. 24. Michigan returns all five starters – Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Duncan Robinson and Mark Donnal – from its team that fell to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, after a play-in win over Tulsa.

Vitale ranked Duke at No. 1, followed by Kentucky, Villanova, Kansas and North Carolina.

Twitter @jamesbhawkins