Coach K on college basketball: ‘We are not running this the way a billion-dollar industry should be run’
USA Today has released its preseason coaches poll, and Duke, for the second straight season, is ranked No. 1 in the country.
North Carolina, the defending national champ, will begin the season as the No. 9 ranked team. N.C. State, which has a new head coach this season, did not receive any votes.
The Blue Devils finished 28-9 last season and lost to South Carolina in the NCAA tournament Round of 32. Duke received 20 of the 32 first place votes.
Michigan State, ranked No. 2, received nine first-place votes.
Five ACC teams cracked the top 25. They are Duke, UNC, Miami (12), Notre Dame (14) and Louisville (16).
Duke returns only one starter from the 2016-17 season – Grayson Allen. However, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski pulled in the No. 1 recruiting class, headlined by Marvin Bagley, Wendell Carter, Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval. All of those players were ranked No. 1 at their position.
The Tar Heels finished last season with a 33-7 record and a national championship. The Tar Heels returns Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Kenny Williams, who all played crucial roles on last year’s team.
The Wolfpack finished 16-17 last season, missed the NCAA tournament, and fired its head coach Mark Gottfried in February. Kevin Keatts, who previously coached at UNCW, has taken over the program.
The poll’s voters are represented by coaches in each of the Division I conferences that receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
ACC in the USA Today top 25
Ranked: (1) Duke, (9) UNC, (12) Miami, (14) Notre Dame, (16) Louisville
Also receiving votes: Virginia, FSU, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech