If Late Night With Roy didn’t do it for you and the ACC Media Days didn’t either, then surely the release of the AP Preseason Poll marks the official beginning of the college basketball season for you. Like I’ve stated before, as the Carolina basketball season approaches so does the end of my sanity. The Preseason AP Poll is as follows:
1. Duke (58 first-place votes)
2. Kentucky (2)
4. School outside of Philadelphia that shall not be named (4)
5. Oregon (1)
6. North Carolina
12. Michigan State
17. Saint Mary's
20. West Virginia
23. Rhode Island
24. Iowa State
Unlike the AP’s College Football preseason poll, the college basketball poll gives more than a good indication about who are the serious contenders to cut down the nets on the first Monday in April.
Duke is ranked number one in the AP preseason poll for the eighth time in school history, tied with UCLA for second all-time, and ranked behind Carolina’s record nine. Good news for all of you out there with that undying Duke hate, the AP preseason top ranked team hasn’t won the national title since Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and co. cut down the nets in 2009. According to ESPN’s Stats and Information, only 14 teams that have been top ranked in the preseason have gone on to win the national title since 1961-62.
The usual suspects of John Calipari’s one-and-done laden Kentucky squad and Bill Self’s eventual Big 12 champion Kansas team are in the Top 5, along with that school outside of Philadelphia that shall not be named and Oregon.
The Tar Heels have now been ranked in the AP preseason Top 10 38 times, three more than any other program. The ranking is Carolina’s lowest ranking in the preseason following a loss in the national championship in the AP era, while also marking the 15th time that UNC has been ranked in the Top 10 following a Final Four appearance.
Surprisingly, Carolina received no first place votes even with the experience and talent returning from a team that was an overtime away from potentially winning the programs seventh national title.
The ACC overall has five teams ranked in the Top 25, only tied with the Big Ten.
Ten more days y’all. Go ahead and book your therapist through March.