#1 North Carolina in Preseason AP Men’s Basketball Top 25

North Carolina surprised nearly everyone last year by putting together a talented team led by first-year coach Hubert Davis. Earned the 8th seed in the NCAA Tournament and qualified for the National Title Game.

Tar heels aren’t sneaking up on anyone this year.

Four starters returned from the team, lost to Kansas In New Orleans, tar heels Runaway Pick as Preseason No. 1 in AP Top 25 Released on Monday. They earned his first-place vote of 47 of his 62 votes by a national media panel, easily surpassing Gonzaga, his top team in the preseason for the past two years.

The Bulldogs won first place votes with 12 votes, while No. 3 Houston got No. 1 and No. 4 Kentucky. two others.

“When I opened my locker for my first practice last year, there was a picture of the New Orleans Superdome. I wanted them to see where we were going in April. ‘” Davis recalled last week. “Hard work and preparation, the practice it takes to be able to do it. This year it’s the same approach as last year. The only difference this year is the noise outside.

“Last year we didn’t think the outside noise gave us a chance. This year we think the outside noise gives us an opportunity,” Davis said.

It was the 10th time North Carolina finished first in the preseason, breaking a tie with Duke for the most. AP voteIn those years, however, the Tar Heels only appeared in two national championship games, and only the 1981-82 team of James Worthy and Michael Jordan finally cut the net. was.

“As Coach Davis always preaches, there’s a lot of outside noise, but we’re not too worried about that sort of thing,” said Caleb Love. One of four returning starters in North Carolina With RJ Davis, Leaky Black and Armando Bacot.

“We’re just focused on our team,” Love said.

The Bulldogs turn to Drew Timm again to bring coach Mark Few the elusive national title. Houston has the best preseason ranking since his 1983, when the Cougars’ Phi Slamajama his third on his team to reach the title his game for the second year in a row. Kentucky has its highest preseason ranking since 2019, when the season ended amid the pandemic.

There was a fifth-place tie between the Jayhawks, who flew their latest national title banner inside Allen Fieldhouse earlier this month, and Big 12 rivals Baylor, who flew their own championship banner last season.

Duke, with John Schaer replacing Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzewski, ranked seventh and UCLA eighth. Clayton clinched his highest preseason ranking at No. 9, followed by Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, TCU, and Auburn.

Blue Jays coach Greg McDermott said, “When you get the No. 9 pick, you don’t really care. “You go to work every day and try to get better every day. We’re going to approach it the same way this year.” is important.”

The No. 13 Hoosiers earned their first ranking since January 2019 and their best preseason ranking since 2016.

Vilanova, with Kyle Neptune replacing Hall of Fame coach Jay Wright, ranked 16th, the Wildcats’ lowest preseason ranking since 2008. Arizona, Virginia, San Diego State and Alabama followed.

The final five are Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, Dayton and Texas Tech.

“When I was in school as a player, I never accepted rankings, no matter what the media said about our franchise. You still have to go out and play games,” said Mike Woodson of the Hoosiers. the coach said. “Hell, in my senior year, we were ranked #1, but we didn’t make it. After all, it’s kind of nice for players who haven’t experienced it.” Again, you have to go out and play, which means you have to prove it on the basketball floor, and that’s when it counts.

conference watch

The Big 12 and SEC lead with five ranked teams. Big Ten, Pac 12, and ACC have 3 each, and Big East has 2. The West Coast, Atlantic 10, Mountain West, and American Athletic Conference each have one team participating in the voting.

peek outside

Texas A&M was the first team to drop out of the ballot, followed by UConn with 24 of the 62 votes. Miami, Purdue and St. Louis were also eyeing the top 25 when the first regular season ballot was announced on November 14.

mark the calendar

Most teams’ seasons start on November 7th, but as usual, the heavyweight’s first meeting will be the Champions Classic on November 15th in Indianapolis. row, before No. 5 Kansas played No. 7 Duke at Nightcap.


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