Kentucky No.1, Duke No. 4 in Top 25

Oct. 31, 2013 @ 01:49 PM

The first Associated Press top 25 poll of the new men’s basketball season was released today and the strength of the new ACC is on display.

The ACC has five teams in the poll, the most of any league in the country.

Duke leads the way at No. 4, followed by No. 8 Syracuse, No. 12 North Carolina, No. 21 Notre Dame and No. 24 Virginia.

Pittsburgh and Boston College were among other schools receiving votes, although their totals weren’t anywhere close to the top 25. Pitt has six points while BC garnered five.

For the first time since 1996-97 and just the third time overall, Kentucky is No. 1 in the preseason poll. The Wildcats are followed by No. 2 Michigan State, No. 3 Louisville, Duke and No. 5 Kansas.

That means the Champions Classic doubleheader in Chicago on Nov. 12 will be a heckuva night of basketball. No.1 Kentucky will play No. 2 Michigan State, with No. 4 Duke facing No. 5 Kansas in the nightcap. Wow.

I am honored to be an AP Top 25 voter for the fourth consecutive season.

I had reigning national champion Louisville at No.1. After seeing the Cards dismantle Duke in the regional final last March in Indianapolis, I have trust that Rick Pitino has a roster filled with tough-minded players more than capable of winning another NCAA title.

Yes, Peyton Siva is gone and so is center Gorgui Dieng, but Louisville has Russ Smith and Luke Hancock in the backcourt with Montrezl Harrell set to have a monster season in the post. Chane Behanan’s suspension does create concern, but I have a feeling he’ll be on the court in plenty of time for March Madness.

 

Here is my full ballot (teams in bold didn’t make the actual top 25):

 

1.      Louisville

2.      Kentucky

3.      Duke

4.      Kansas

5.      Michigan State

6.      Arizona

7.      Oklahoma State

8.      Syracuse

9.      Michigan

10.     North Carolina

11.     Ohio State

12.     Oregon

13.     Florida

14.     Wisconsin

15.     UCLA

16.     VCU

17.     Tennessee

18.     Memphis

19.     Notre Dame

20.     Virginia

21.     Marquette

22.     Connecticut

23.     Creighton

24.     Gonzaga

25.     Indiana

 

 

 

Here is a link to everyone’s official ballots, compiled by the AP main office in New York:

 

http://collegebasketball.ap.org/
 

 

 

Here is the full poll from the Associated Press:

 

 

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' preseason college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, 2012-13 final records, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and 2012-13 final ranking:<

                          Record   Pts Prv

1. Kentucky (27)          21-12 1,546   _

2. Michigan St. (22)      27-9  1,543   9

3. Louisville (14)        35-5  1,501   2

4. Duke (2)               30-6  1,435   6

5. Kansas                 31-6  1,357   3

6. Arizona                27-8  1,311  21

7. Michigan               31-8  1,120  11

8. Oklahoma St.           24-9  1,093  17

8. Syracuse               30-10 1,093  16

10. Florida                29-8  1,048  14

11. Ohio St.               29-8  1,036   7

12. North Carolina         25-11   954   _

13. Memphis                31-5    741  19

14. VCU                    27-9    680   _

15. Gonzaga                32-3    538   1

16. Wichita St.            30-9    512   _

17. Marquette              26-9    510  15

18. UConn                  20-10   448   _

19. Oregon                 28-9    408  25

20. Wisconsin              23-12   338  18

21. Notre Dame             25-10   332  23

22. UCLA                   25-10   244  24

23. New Mexico             29-6    213  10

24. Virginia               23-12   189   _

25. Baylor                 23-14   180   _

Others receiving votes: Tennessee 176, Creighton 145, Indiana 111, Colorado 83, Iowa 83, Harvard 46, Boise St. 22, Villanova 14, Arizona St. 11, Georgetown 11, UNLV 8, Washington 8, LSU 6, Pittsburgh 6, Stanford 6, Boston College 5, La Salle 4, Missouri 3, Saint Louis 3, St. John's 3, Cincinnati 1.