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NCAA News Wire

Kentucky tops preseason poll for second straight year

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With a roster overflowing with talent, Kentucky was the overwhelming choice as the No. 1 team in the preseason Associated Press college basketball rankings released Friday.

The Wildcats also began last season as the top-ranked team in the nation and reached the NCAA championship game before losing to Kentucky. Some of the key players from that team and a host of McDonald’s All-Americans join them this season.

Kentucky, which is just the fourth team to be the preseason No. 1 in back-to-back seasons, received 52 first place votes from the 65-member panel.

Arizona was ranked No. 2 and had five first-place votes. Wisconsin, which reached the Final Four and returns four starters, had eight first-place votes.

Rounding out the top five were perennial powers Duke and Kansas.

North Carolina headed the second five, followed by Florida, Louisville, Virginia and Texas.

Virginia has not been in the preseason top 10 since 7-foot-4 center Ralph Sampson’s senior season in 1982-83.

The other teams previously voted No. 1 in the preseason in consecutive years are UCLA (1966-60, 1971-74), UNLV (1990-91) and North Carolina (2008-09).

Wichita State, which reached the Final Four two years ago, came in at No. 11, followed by Villanova, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Virginia Commonwealth, San Diego State, Connecticut, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Ohio State.

The rest of the Top 25 are Nebraska, SMU, Syracuse, Michigan, Harvard and Utah.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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