With several players back from their national runner-up squad and another elite recruiting class, the Wildcats were the resounding choice for the top ranking, claiming 52 of the 65 first-place votes. Arizona (5) and Wisconsin (8) received the other first-place votes and are second and third, respectively, in the preseason poll.
It marks only the fourth time that a program has received the No. 1 ranking in consecutive seasons. It’s also the fourth time UK has been the top pick in its tradition-rich history, joining the 1980-81, 1995-96 and 2013-14 teams.
Rounding out the Top 25 were: Wichita State, Villanova, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Virginia Commonwealth, San Diego State, Connecticut, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Nebraska, SMU, Syracuse, Michigan, Harvard and Utah.
The SEC also received some votes for Arkansas and LSU.