The Associated Press released their preseason Top 25 poll Monday afternoon, making basketball season feel extremely close. For Tar Heel fans, that is likely very welcome news. The AP ranked Carolina eighth in their first poll of the season, coming in sandwiched between Nevada out of the Mountain West (tied for #7 with Wichita State) and Villanova out of the Big East.
UNC is third among ACC schools ranked in the poll behind Duke at #4 and Virginia at #5. In all, six schools in the conference made the poll with Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Florida State, and Clemson also coming in in the top 25. Eight teams on UNC’s schedule this season are ranked heading into the start of the year: Kentucky, Duke, Virginia, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Syracuse, and Gonzaga.
Kansas earned the #1 ranking in this iteration of the AP Poll after receiving 37 first place votes. Kentucky was second with 19 first place votes, and Gonzaga rounds out the top 3. Tennessee and Wichita State/Nevada come in at #6 and #7 ahead of UNC, followed by Villanova and Michigan State to complete the top 10.
The great thing about preseason polls is that they literally don’t matter once real games begin. UNC has the chance to move up if they can find early season success against some tough competition in their non-conference slate of games.
Do you think #8 sounds about right for the Heels at this point in the year? You can check out the full AP rankings by clicking here.