Kansas is No. 1 and Kentucky No. 2 in the preseason edition of the AP Top 25 poll, which was released on Monday. It’s the first time since the 2009-2010 season the Jayhawks will begin the season atop the AP poll and just the third time in program history, the other occurrence coming in 2004-2005.
Both previous times KU opened the season at No. 1 it failed to advance past the Sweet 16 of the Big Dance.
Kansas is hardly the unanimous No. 1 to open the season. Seven teams in total garnered first-place votes by voters; Kansas with 37, Kentucky with 19, Gonzaga with 1, Duke with 4, Virginia with 2, Tennessee with 1 and reigning NCAA champion Villanova with 1.
Bill Self’s Jayhawks have both experience and young talent in Lawrence to give them a realistic shot at winning their 15th consecutive Big 12 title — and potentially more. Back is Udoka Azuibuike, Lagerald Vick, Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot, as well as newly-eligible transfers like former Memphis standout Dedric Lawson and former Cal standout Charlie Moore. The No. 5 recruiting class in the country, headlined by five-stars Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson, only adds to the hype it will bring into the season.
Behind Kansas and Kentucky is Gonzaga, Duke and Virginia rounding out the preseason top-5. Below is a look at the full top-25, with first-place votes in parentheses.
AP Top 25
Others receiving votes: Loyola-Chicago 162, Marquette 124, Indiana 98, Florida 71, Nebraska 35, Maryland 28, Wisconsin 24, Notre Dame 22, Cincinnati 21, UCF 15, Alabama 15, Arizona 14, Buffalo 14, Louisville 11, Miami 10, San Diego State 9, Texas Tech 6, Southern Cal 6, Butler 6, Texas 5, St. John’s 3, Arizona State 3, Providence 2, Xavier 2, Davidson 1, Missouri 1, Marshall 1, NC State 1.
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