Scout/Jeff Drummond

Kentucky Wildcats begin season ranked No. 4 in USA Today Coaches Poll

Kentucky will open the 2016-17 college basketball season ranked No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Wildcats received two first-place votes in the poll. Duke, Kansas and Villanova occupied the top three spots, while Oregon rounded out the top five. Each of those programs received at least one vote for the No. 1 ranking.

Five UK opponents enter the season ranked in the Top 25, including No. 2 Kansas, No. 6 North Carolina, No. 9 Michigan State, No. 14 Louisville and No. 20 UCLA. 

The first matchup from that gauntlet occurs Nov. 15 against Tom Izzo's Spartans in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Two of the high-profile games will be at Rupp Arena: UCLA on Dec. 3 and Kansas on Jan. 28 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

No other SEC teams were included in the preseason poll, but Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas all received votes.

The Cats return to the court on Friday in the Blue-White Game at 7 p.m. ET at Rupp Arena.

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