Kansas tops college basketball poll; ACC loaded
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Kansas has the top spot in the Associated
Press’ preseason college basketball poll, followed closely behind by three
members of the Atlantic Coast Conference — Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and
Kansas garnered the top spot in the preseason poll for the first time since
1956-57, the season Wilt Chamberlain led the Jayhawks to the national
championship game — a triple-overtime loss to North Carolina.
This year’s Kansas squad has four returning starters from last year’s team
that lost in the NCAA Tournament regional finals to Georgia Tech.
The Jayhawks received 25 first-place votes and a total of 1,697 points from a
nationwide media panel, edging Wake Forest for the top spot. The Demon
Deacons, who have all five starters back from last year’s team that lost in
the round of 16 to Saint Joseph’s, earned 22 first-place votes and 1,680
Georgia Tech, last year’s NCAA Tournament runner-up to Connecticut, picked up
10 first-place votes and 1,567 points to take the third spot. North Carolina
also received 10 top tallies to claim fourth.
Illinois is fifth after garnering two first-place votes, while Syracuse — the
2002 national champion with all five of its starters from last year returning
— is sixth.
Oklahoma State, with two first-place votes, is seventh, followed by defending
national champion Connecticut, Kentucky and Arizona. Kentucky also notched one
first-place vote. Connecticut was last year’s preseason No. 1 and became the
24th team since the poll started in 1948-49 to open the year on top and win it
The second-10 consists of Duke, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Louisville,
Maryland, Texas, Pittsburgh, Alabama, North Carolina State and Notre Dame.
Wisconsin, Washington, Florida, Memphis and Gonzaga round out the poll.
The ACC has six teams in the poll, while the Big East and SEC each have four.
Three top-25 teams will get their seasons started this Thursday in the Coaches
vs. Cancer Classic, as Syracuse, Mississippi State and Memphis all play games
in the 16-team tournament.