For the second straight season, the Kentucky Wildcats have been named the No. 1 team in the AP Preseason Poll. They are just the fourth program to ever achieve this feat, joining UCLA, UNLV, and North Carolina.
This could be the most talented team head coach John Calipari has ever assembled, which is a scary thought to process. The Wildcats are coming off a national championship loss to Connecticut, but that experience may prove to be valuable as Calipari is chasing his second championship in his career. Kentucky is no stranger to the spotlight, and Calipari is aware these rankings do not mean much.
“It’s something for our kids to live up to,” Calipari said. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to play the games and figure it out.”
The Wildcats once again pulled off an amazing recruiting class, led by Karl Towns.
Following Kentucky are the Arizona Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers, Duke Blue Devils, and Kansas Jayhawks to round out the Top 5.
Wisconsin returns most of their Final-Four team from a year ago, and their No. 3 ranking is the highest in school history. Virginia finds themselves ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since 1982-1983, when they were ranked No. 1.
The North Carolina Tar Heels, Florida Gators, Louisville Cardinals, Virginia Cavaliers, and Texas Longhorns complete the Top 10.
The defending national champions, UCONN Huskies, are ranked No. 17.
This could become one of the most exciting college basketball seasons in recent memory.
“I think there are probably seven teams that all could be No. 1 in the country,” Calipari stated.
Here is the complete Top-25 (first place votes in parentheses).
1. Kentucky (52)
2. Arizona (5)
3. Wisconsin (8)
6. North Carolina
11. Wichita State
14. Iowa State
15. Virginia Commonwealth
16. San Diego State
18. Michigan State
20. Ohio State
*Section Photo credit to Doug Benc, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports.