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Kentucky is pre-season No. 1 in coaches' basketball poll

Oct. 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Kentucky, which didn't qualify for the NCAA Tournament last season, Thursday was voted the No. 1 team in the USA Today's coaches' pre-season basketball poll.

The Wildcats won the 2012 NCAA Tournament -- their eighth in school history -- but were 21-12 last season. After missing out on the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky was ousted in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament by Robert Morris.

But Kentucky this year received 16 of the 32 first-place votes and begins the season as the No. 1-ranked team. Michigan State (27-9 in 2012-13) is named first on three ballots and is second, just ahead of defending NCAA Tournament champion Louisville (35-5). Louisville receives 10 first-place votes.

Duke (30-6) gets the other three first-place mentions and is fourth with Arizona (29-8) taking the No. 5 spot.

Kansas (31-6) is voted sixth with Syracuse (30-10), another Final Four team last season, just ahead of Florida (29-8) for seventh. Michigan (31-8), which was beaten by Louisville in the tournament final last April, comes in ninth and Ohio State (29-8) is 10th.

North Carolina (25-11) is No. 11 followed by Oklahoma State (24-9) in 12th and Memphis (31-5) at No. 13. Gonzaga (32-3) is 14th and Virginia Commonwealth (27-9) sits in the 15th spot.

Wichita State (30-9), which was the fourth team in the Final Four, makes the No. 16 position ahead of No. 17 Marquette (26-9). Oregon (28-9) is 18th followed by Connecticut (20-10) and New Mexico (29-6) in 19th and 20th, respectively.

Wisconsin (23-12) is 21st with, in order, Notre Dame (25-10), UCLA (25-10), Indiana (29-7) and Virginia (23-12) rounding out the Top 25.

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