Duke is the runaway choice for No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason top 25 college basketball poll. It is the eighth time that the Blue Devils have held the preseason No. 1 ranking, tied with UCLA. North Carolina has the most preseason No. 1s with nine.
The Blue Devils, who return three starters from last season's team and have what is considered one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, received 58 of the 65 first-place votes from the national media panel.
Kentucky, which had two No. 1 votes, is second, while Kansas is third. Defending national champion Villanova had four first-place votes and was fourth while Oregon, which had the other No. 1 vote, is fifth.
North Carolina, Xavier, Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona round out the top 10. Indiana is 11th followed by Michigan State, Louisville, Gonzaga, Purdue, UCLA, Saint Mary's, Connecticut, Syracuse and West Virginia.
The first time Duke was a preseason No. 1 was 1978-79 and the most recent was 2010-11.
“It is always an honor to be ranked No. 1,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We understand that no teams have played a regular season game at this point, so many things can and often do change throughout the course of a college basketball season. Certainly, we're excited that people think highly of our team, and the ACC as a whole.”
The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten are tied with five ranked teams each while the Big 12 has four. Nine conferences have at least one team ranked in the preseason poll.
The NCAA ruled that North Carolina State freshman center Omer Yurtseven must sit the Wolfpack’s first nine games after examining his amateur status following Yurtseven's overseas career.
The ruling requires that the five-star prospect from Istanbul, Turkey, sit out the first 30% of the regular season and pay $1,000 to a charity of his choice before becoming eligible to play.