Kentucky's John Calipari will try to win his second national championship this season. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
A year after missing the NCAA tournament and being ousted in the first round of the NIT, Kentucky was voted as the No. 1 team in the USA TODAY College Basketball Coaches Poll released Thursday.
Kentucky finished 21-12 last season, but expectations are high in Lexington as the team tries to win its ninth national championship.
This season, Kentucky boasts the top recruiting class in the nation, featuring center Dakari Johnson, guards James Young and Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and forwards Julius Randle and Marcus Lee.
"For eight years I've said that before I retire I'd like to coach a team that goes 40-0," Calipari said during the team's media day. "Will it happen? I don't know. But we've got the will to win. We'll be the most inexperienced team in the country, but we are really talented. We have got great size and speed and skill. Will we be a great defensive team and rebounding team, and will we share the ball? If we do that, we have a chance to be one of the best teams in the country."
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Michigan State, which returns four starters from last season, is second, followed by defending national champion Louisville, Duke and Arizona.
Kansas, with star recruit Andrew Wiggins, is No. 6, followed by Syracuse, Florida, national runner-up Michigan and Ohio State.