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Duke tops first preseason AP college basketball poll

19 March 2016: Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils directs his players. The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Yale Bulldogs 71-64 in the second round of the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence Rhode Island. (Photograph by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

Monday afternoon brought about the first NCAA men’s basketball preseason AP Poll and, unsurprisingly, Duke took the top spot with 58 of a possible 65 first-place votes after landing what is widely seen as the best recruiting class in the country.

Last year’s National Champion, Villanova, will enter the season ranked fourth in the country. The Wildcats received four first-place votes while Kentucky is ranked second after receiving two first-place votes of their own. Oregon comes in at No. 5 as they picked up a single first-place vote. Kansas is ranked third despite receiving no first-place votes. Last year’s runner-up to Villanova, North Carolina, shows up at No. 6 in the preseason poll.

Nine teams that were unranked at the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season appear on the preseason list of the nation’s top 25 teams including Wisconsin at No. 9, Gonzaga at No. 14, UCLA at No. 16, Saint Mary’s at No. 17, Connecticut at No. 18, Syracuse at No. 19, Texas at No. 21, Creighton at No. 22 and Rhode Island at No. 23.

Teams from nine difference conferences appear in the polls with the ACC and Big Ten leading the way with five teams representing each conference. Kentucky is the only SEC school represented in the poll. Connecticut is the lone representative from the American Athletic Conference and Rhode Island is the sole representative of the Atlantic 10. Gonzaga could face a challenge in the West Coast Conference with Saint Mary’s debuting just three spots below the traditional powerhouse.

The complete poll results are as follows:

  1. Duke (58)
  2. Kentucky (2)
  3. Kansas
  4. Villanova (4)
  5. Oregon (1)
  6. North Carolina
  7. Xavier
  8. Virginia
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Arizona
  11. Indiana
  12. Michigan State
  13. Louisville
  14. Gonzaga
  15. Purdue
  16. UCLA
  17. Saint Mary’s
  18. Connecticut
  19. Syracuse
  20. West Virginia
  21. Texas
  22. Creighton
  23. Rhode Island
  24. Iowa State
  25. Maryland

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