Men's basketball preseason No. 20

First coaches poll for 2004-05 announced Thursday

The Wisconsin men's basketball team is ranked 20th in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Top 25, released Thursday. The Badgers join No. 5 Illinois and No. 10 Michigan State as the Big Ten's representation in the initial poll.

Kansas edged Wake Forest and North Carolina for the preseason top spot. The Jayhawks received 8 of 31 first-place votes and 741 poll points. Wake Forest led all teams with 12 first-place votes, but had 724 total points. North Carolina (6, 697), Georgia Tech (1, 604) and Illinois (1, 598), Syracuse (557), Connecticut (541), Oklahoma State (1, 511), Kentucky (480) and Michigan State (476) round out the top ten.

No. 11 Arizona and No. 13 Louisville each received a first-place vote.

In addition to the Spartans and the Illini, Wisconsin has No. 16 Maryland and No. 18 Alabama on its schedule.

The Badgers were ranked No. 16 in the final coaches' poll of the 2003-04 season.

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