Given the amount of talent at John Calipari’s disposal many have labeled the Kentucky Wildcats as the preseason favorites to win the national title, which would be the ninth in the history of the program. Friday morning another preseason poll placed the Wildcats in the top spot, with the Associated Press releasing its preseason media poll.
Kentucky received 52 of a possible 65 first-place votes, with No. 2 Arizona receiving five of those votes. Also receiving first-place votes in the poll was No. 3 Wisconsin (eight). Duke and Kansas, which won the Big 12 regular season title for a tenth consecutive season last year, rounded out the top five.
All four Final Four teams from last season are ranked in the initial AP poll, with Florida ranked seventh and reigning national champion UConn 17th. As for teams that did not reach the NCAA tournament last season, there are only two in the poll with SMU ranked 22nd and Utah 25th (the Utes are tied with Harvard for that spot).
Amongst conferences the ACC and Big Ten has the highest number of ranked teams, with five programs from each conference making the cut. Duke is joined by No. 6 North Carolina, No. 8 Louisville, No. 9 Virginia and No. 23 Syracuse. As for the Big Ten, in addition to Wisconsin, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 20 Ohio State, No. 21 Nebraska and No. 24 Michigan made the cut.
Wichita State, which won its first 35 games last season, is ranked 11th in the poll. The full poll can be seen below.
6. North Carolina
11. Wichita State
14. Iowa State
16. San Diego State
18. Michigan State
20. Ohio State
25 (tie). Utah
25 (tie). Harvard
Others receiving votes: Stanford 71, Iowa 58, Colorado 57, UCLA 35, Minnesota 34, Kansas St 27, Arkansas 21, Pittsburgh 20, Memphis 15, NC State 14, Louisiana Tech 9, Cincinnati 8, LSU 8, George Washington 7, Notre Dame 6, Oklahoma St 6, Dayton 6, Georgetown 5, Florida St 5, Maryland 3, Illinois 3, UNLV 2, BYU 2, West Virginia 1, Baylor 1, Stephen F. Austin 1, UTEP 1