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College basketball preseason top 25: Gators ranked No. 5 in SB Nation's top 25

Billy Donovan's Florida Gators are ranked fifth in SB Nation's preseason college basketball top 25.

J. Meric

SB Nation released its college basketball preseason top 25 on Tuesday afternoon -- and the Florida Gators fared well in the season's first rankings.

Billy Donovan's Gators are ranked No. 5 in the rankings, behind the Indiana Hoosiers, Louisville Cardinals, Kentucky Wildcats and Ohio St. Buckeyes.

SB Nation's Mike Rutherford discussed Florida's roster this season -- and how the Gators' experience bodes well for a team looking to return to the Final Four.

Who they lost: G Erving Walker, G Bradley Beal

Who they brought back: G Kenny Boynton, F Patric Young, G Mike Rosario, F Erik Murphy, G Scott Wilbekin, F Will Yeguete

Who they added: G Braxton Ogbueze, G Michael Frazier, G Dillon Graham

Florida's last two seasons have ended with heartbreaking defeats in the Elite 8. In both instances - against Butler in 2010 and Louisville last season - the Gators had leads late in the second half and couldn't figure out how to seal the deal. Kenny Boynton, Patric Young and Erik Murphy were all members of both of those teams, and enter the 2012-13 campaign focused on taking Billy Donovan's team that one step further for the first time since 2007.

The Gators are ranked five spots higher in SB Nation's ranking than they are in either the AP preseason poll or the USA Today Coaches preseason poll, where the Gators are ranked No. 10.

Florida will kick off the 2012-13 season on Friday, when they take on the Georgetown Hoyas, and will kick off SEC play on Jan. 9, against the Georgia Bulldogs. Florida finished second in the SEC in 2011-12, with a 10-6 in-conference record, six games behind Kentucky, who went 16-0 in-conference.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.